Money talks, and that’s why the UFC has no problem letting Ronda Rousey make the walk down the octagon aisle into an immediate rematch with freshly-coined bantamweight champion Holly Holm.
If all goes according to plan, Holm vs. Rousey II will headline UFC 200, the promotion’s blockbuster show in Las Vegas’ new arena. The gate will massive, but nothing compared to the UFC record pay-per-view buys the July 9 show is expected to shatter.
Rousey is hellbent on getting right back in the cage against Holm, and who can blame her considering how silly Holm made her look last month when she dissipated her aura of invincibility with a highlight reel head kick, but a second straight loss to Holm could very well spell the end of Rousey’s MMA career.
Rousey hinted as much in her only interview since the devastating defeat.
“I guess it’s all going to be determined by what happens in the rematch. Everything is going to be determined by that. Either I’ll win and keep going or I won’t and I’ll be done with everything,” Rousey told ESPN.com.
Rousey said she was never able to recover after getting popped in the mouth in the opening 30 seconds. “The world’s most dominant athlete” admitted she was “embarrassed” with everything that happened from that point up until finding herself unconscious on the canvas.
Rousey also said, for better or for worse, that she will stick with coach Edmond Tarverdyan, who many are blaming for making Rousey believe she was prepared to stand with the former boxing champion.
“Rowdy” also revealed that several of her teeth were so battered by Holm that “it might be three to six months before I can eat an apple, let alone take an impact,” so that cuts further into preparation time for the rematch. Oh, and let’s not even talk about a timetable for her to heal mentally.
There’s no denying Rousey would love nothing more than to take back what she believes is rightfully hers. However, the risk might not be worth the reward so close removed from such a humbling.
UFC light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier suggested Rousey take a year to improve her hands before daring to fight Holm again.
Instead of the UFC looking to bank on one big – perhaps, final Rousey – cash grab, they might be better served saving Rousey from herself and assigning both fighters other opponents before a rematch. It buys Rousey additional time to fine-tune her standup attack, thus increasing her chances of beating Holm and not prematurely bolting for Hollywood.
Holm is more than happy to grant Rousey another go, especially a quick one because she knows it’s impossible for Rousey to improve her standup enough to close the gap in just a handful of months. More than anything, Holm just wants to stay active.
In this what-have-you-done-for-me-lately sport, Rousey is jeopardizing her legacy if Holm blasts her again. Sometimes patience is the toughest part of training.