Jon Jones spoke to the media about watching his Jackson Wink MMA gym-mate Holly Holm TKO’d by 135lb champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 239.
Holm’s stunning UFC 193 head-kick knockout of Ronda Rousey is a win that will no doubt be played on highlight reels in fifty years time but like many fighters who reach such heights, replicating that achievement has been a tall order for the former champion.
Her loss to Nunes at UFC 239 seemed to signal the end – at least for now – of Holm as a genuine top contender in the sport and just prior to his own tough battle against Thiago Santos, Jon Jones was forced watch the defeat play out right in front of him.
Jones spoke during a post-fight media scrum and explained how tough it was for him to witness his long-time friend and teammate getting knocked out with her own signature shot just moments before he himself made his walk to the octagon.
“It was very hard for me to witness that. Mentally, I had to be prepared for anything. I’ve had a few nights where my teammates have come up short.
“And my coaches always tell me, ‘Jon, you just need to keep your head in the game.’ It was tough for all of us because the room was just so silent.” (via BJPenn.com)
“I told her that I was really proud of her. I told her just being a woman that’s willing to go out there on national TV and face someone like Ronda Rousey and face the Amanda Nunes’ of the world, like, dude that is Barbie doll worthy.
“Little girls should have Barbie’s of Holly Holm because she is truly courageous.
“It takes a lot to do what she’s doing. To be vulnerable in front of the world. I told her she has nothing to hang her head about.”
Holm’s record now stands at 2-5 since her earth-shattering KO of Ronda Rousey at UFC 193 – a record that is indicative of her stuttering form at the highest levels.
With wins only over Megan Anderson and Bethe Correia in the last three-and-a-half years, Holly will no doubt be forced to take a long look at her place in the sport – although her skill-set will always make her a handful for those perhaps just outside of the elite of the elite.