It doesn’t take long to spot Holly Holm in a star-studded commercial set to launch nationwide next week.
The former UFC bantamweight champion bats leadoff in Mountain Dew’s upcoming “Let’s Do” campaign commercial, which also features the seemingly ubiquitous rap group Migos and Philadelphia 76ers all-star Joel Embiid.
A pensive Holm can be seen at the start of the spot and then later she cryptically walks away from her own reflection as she makes her way to the cage. MMA Fighting spoke to Holm about her role in the campaign and how it was influenced by her own career struggles.
“I feel like if you go back to the beginning, why did you do this in the first place? Because you believed in yourself, you put the hard work in, and you went forward and you did it,” Holm said. “What makes that so different that I can’t do it now?
“I’ve had some losses, yes, but just because I’ve had losses in my past does not mean that that’s what my future looks like, and I think that a lot of us let our past define our future and that makes no sense at all. You’re never gonna grow, you’re never gonna get somewhere, you’re never gonna get past that hump if you literally think that that’s going to define you.”
Holm rocketed into the spotlight back in November 2015 when she knocked out superstar bantamweight Ronda Rousey at UFC 193 to claim the bantamweight championship. The win improved her MMA record to 10-0 and with a lifetime of boxing accolades already under her belt, Holm became a household name among combat sports fans overnight.
However, a high-profile rematch failed to materialize as Rousey would end up taking a break from the sport and Holm’s first title defense was instead against Miesha Tate at UFC 196. Tate defeated Holm by fifth-round submission and “The Preacher’s Daughter” has seen mixed results since, going just 2-3 in her last five bouts.
Holm is coming off of a unanimous decision win over Megan Anderson in her most recent fight, and she emphasized how her losses helped her improve. That confrontation with the mirror is symbolic of what she calls an unavoidable “mind game” you have to go through before a fight.
“I know, every fighter that walks into the cage, that moment actually is the biggest moment,” Holm said. “‘Man, honestly, why do I do this? I signed up for this. Why did I sign up for this? Can I really do this? What am I thinking?’ And then it’s like, ‘Yeah, I can.’ Yeah, it’s a commercial, but that is exactly how I feel.
“You battle with your own demons and your own self-doubt and there’s always those thoughts that cross your mind saying, ‘Can you really do this?’ And that’s like that inner demon you’re battling and it’s kind of crazy how they portrayed that, it’s really cool because it’s very much how it goes in your head.”
The ad also features skateboarders Sean Malto and Mariah Duran, and Japanese artist Ushio Shinohara. It is set to air on television next Monday during the NBA on TNT broadcast.