May 10—Albuquerque's Holly Holm is stepping in for old nemesis Miesha Tate and will fight Brazil's Mayra Bueno Silva July 15 on a UFC card in Las Vegas, Nevada, according to multiple online reports.
But Lenny Fresquez, Holm's longtime Albuquerque promoter, told the Journal via text on Wednesday afternoon that Holm-Silva is not a done deal.
"We have been offered the fight," Fresquez wrote, "but no contracts have been sent over."
Holm, 41, recently signed a six-fight contract extension with the UFC with the long-term goal of regaining that organization's bantamweight title. She lost the belt to Tate in March 2016 after winning it in dramatic fashion from Ronda Rousey the previous November.
Tate was scheduled to fight Silva on June 3 but reported has withdrawn due to a hand injury.
In the first fight on her new deal, Holm (15-6) convincingly defeated former Jackson-Wink teammate Yana Santos on March 25. But the Albuquerque left-hander has been locked out of the bantamweight title picture.
First, UFC President Dana White announced that champion Amanda Nunes would face Julianna Peña for a third time. Peña upset Nunes and took the title in December 2021; Nunes regained the belt with a victory over Peña in August.
Peña then withdrew from the third Nunes fight due to an injury. White chose to give Mexico's Irene Aldana the title fight vs. Nunes on June 10. Holm, in perhaps the best performance of her MMA career, beat Aldana by unanimous decision in October 2020.
Perhaps adding insult, if not injury, White then named Raquel Pennington as the title-fight alternate, should anything happen to Aldana. Holm has beaten Pennington twice.
Working against Holm in her title quest is her loss to Nunes by first-round TKO (head kick and ground-and-pound) in July 2019.
Now, at least, it appears Holm has a fight — if not one for the title — provided it's accepted once a contract is offered.
Silva (10-2-1) is riding a four-fight win streak. She last fought on Feb. 18, defeating Lina Lansberg by second-round submission (knee bar).