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Holm says ‘mental block’ influenced loss against Shevchenko

Holly Holm, right, hits Valentina Shevchenko, of Kyrgyzstan, during a women's bantamweight mixed martial arts bout in Chicago, Saturday, July 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Looking back on it, Holly Holm says she and her team were fully prepared to bounce back from losing the UFC women’s bantamweight title and defeat Valentina Shevchenko in July.

Problem for Holm, she says, wasn’t the fact that she broke her thumb in the middle of the fight, but her inability to execute.

“I didn’t perform well. I had almost like a mental block in there,” Holm said on The MMA Hour this week.”

Holm is now 0-2 since defeating Ronda Rousey at UFC 193 last November, dropping a fifth-round decision to Miesha Tate and a five-round decision to Shevchenko. Currently rehabbing her thumb injury, Holm is hopeful of at least one more fight before the year comes to a close. She’s confident she still has what it takes to be a top player at 135 pounds.

“We had the right game plan, I just didn’t perform it,” she said. “A lot of what [Shevchenko] was throwing were counter-hooks and things like that. We knew that was going to be there, there was nothing that should have shocked me or anything. She’s very tough, I take nothing away from her. But breaking my thumb was not why I lost the fight. I threw an overhand, I know what punch it is if I watch the fight, and I’m pretty sure it was in the fourth round. I threw an overhand and I caught nothing but thumb, and I just thought I jammed it. I thought, ew, this might hurt later. And I threw another one and though, oh no, yeah, that one’s real bad.”

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