Last month, UFC president Dana White said freshly-minted women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm (pictured) would grant Ronda Rousey an immediate rematch following November’s upset victory at UFC 193.
On Tuesday, White changed course and said Holm will now defend her throne against a yet-to-be determined opponent before facing Rousey.
“Holly Holm will fight before she fights Ronda,” White revealed on UFC Tonight.
White was hoping the highly anticipated rematch would headline UFC 200 on July 9, but it appears Rousey will not be ready by then. Holm has welcomed an instant sequel with Rousey, but didn’t want to wait eight months for Rousey to get right and was pushing to compete against anyone before then.
Holm vs. Rousey II is expected to challenge UFC pay-per-view and live gate records, so there’s a lot of financial risk having Holm fight anybody not named Rousey next.
White didn’t say who or when Holm would return to action, but let’s just say, Miesha Tate is a happy camper right now.
As far as when the UFC’s golden girl will come back, White said it’s not a matter of if, but when. Rousey has two films to shoot in the first half of 2016, which would cut significantly into her preparations for returning from the worst beating of her life.
“You will see Ronda Rousey fight again,” White said. “Ronda has dedicated the last three-plus years to working hard here. Not just fighting, but promoting and taking the sport and the UFC to a whole other level. Ronda has some well-deserved time off, but she will fight this year.”