After devastating loss at UFC Vegas 77, what’s next for Holly Holm?

MMA: UFC Fight Night-San Antonio - Holm vs Santos
Aaron Meullion-USA TODAY Sports

This past Saturday night in the main event of UFC Vegas 77, we saw a pivotal matchup in the women’s bantamweight division. Former champion Holly Holm (15-7) was looking to stake her claim to another title shot as she took on surging top contender Mayra Bueno Silva (11-2-1).

With the retirement of Amanda Nunes, the bantamweight division is wide open right now. There’s still not a vacant title fight on the books and if one of these ladies made a statement, they would definitely give the match makers something to consider regarding the vacant title.

Holly Holm still has a lot of name recognition and she entered this bout off a dominant win against Yana Santos earlier this year. In the first round, Holm did an excellent job striking with her legs and using a lot of volume. However, the more impactful strikes were coming from Bueno Silva.

Still, I thought Holm did enough to win the first round because the volume was so much more. In the second round, Bueno Silva landed a big right that forced Holm to clinch her against the fence. Once things were there, Bueno Silva locked in a deep modified guillotine on the former UFC champion.

Holm tried fighting out of it but it was locked in and there was no escape. The former champion was forced to tap giving Bueno Silva the biggest win of her career.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 77?

This is a crushing loss for Holly Holm given the state of the division. Holm turns 42 in October, but she was in an excellent position to potentially earn herself a title shot with an impressive win. Now, she’s likely going to need a couple of wins to get a title shot.

Again, she’s in a fortunate spot with Nunes having just retired and the division being wide open. So, who should she be booked against for her next fight? Personally, I love the idea of a rematch with Miesha Tate being next for Holm.

Tate is going to return to 135 with Nunes no longer holding the UFC title. Holm and Tate had a sensational fight at UFC 196 with Tate pulling out a miracle submission in the fifth round. Both fighters still have a name in the sport and I think fans would get behind the matchup.