The sudden rise of Holly Holm

Updated 2103 GMT (0503 HKT) November 19, 2015
01 holly holm 01 holly holm
1 of 10
Holly Holm celebrates her stunning upset over Ronda Rousey after their UFC bantamweight championship bout Sunday, November 15, in Melbourne, Australia. Here's a look at Holm's life and career. Quinn Rooney/Getty Images
Holm, seen here at a party for the 2008 ESPYs, grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she did swimming, gymnastics and soccer before getting into combat sports in her late teens. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
Holm is close to her father, Roger Holm, a longtime minister at an Albuquerque church. He has never missed one of her fights. Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images
Holm takes a selfie with fans after an open prefight workout November 12 at Federation Square in Melbourne. In the past week, the little-known fighter has gained 1.4 million social media followers. Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images
Rousey, left, and Holm face off during the weigh-in the day before their fight. Things got a little testy during their staredown, so UFC President Dana White, center, stepped in and defused the situation. Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images
The undefeated Rousey was an overwhelming favorite to retain the title. But Holm used her boxing skills to pepper the champ with jabs while avoiding takedowns. Quinn Rooney/Getty Images
The low point of Holm's boxing career may have come when she was badly beaten by French boxer Anne Sophie Mathis during an IBA welterweight title fight in December 2011. It was one of only two losses she sustained in 38 professional bouts. Steve Snowden/Getty Images
Six months later, Holm bounced back to beat Mathis in a rematch June 15, 2012, at the Route 66 Casino in Albuquerque. Steve Snowden/Getty Images
After more than a decade as a professional kickboxer and boxer, Holm switched full time to the more lucrative sport of mixed martial arts in 2013. Here, she kicks Raquel Pennington during a bantamweight bout February 28 in Los Angeles. Holm won the fight. Harry How/Getty Images
Holm with husband Jeff Kirkpatrick, who is vice president of operations for an Albuquerque roofing company. The two were married in 2012 in Cancun, Mexico. Instagram