One humiliating KO loss does not mean former bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey (pictured) is no longer the UFC’s biggest superstar – this, according to UFC president Dana White.
Many thought that after Holly Holm thoroughly humbled Rousey at UFC 193 in November, parlayed with what Conor McGregor did to Jose Aldo one month later at UFC 194 to unify the featherweight title, that there was a new sheriff in town.
UFC 194 also pulled a UFC-U.S. live gate record of $10,006,249 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas thanks to McGregor.
Still, White claims McGregor hasn’t leapfrogged Rousey as the UFC’s brightest star.
“Yeah, I think Ronda Rousey is the biggest star in the UFC. But let me tell you what, Conor McGregor is nipping at her heels,” White told Yahoo! Sports.
White is BFFs with Rousey, so it’s not a surprise he’s taking up for her – especially since she has admittedly been mentally fragile after Holm stole her belt and evaporated her aura of invincibility.
Regardless, it’s a good problem for White to have. The UFC has struggled to produce mainstream superstars the past few years, and it’s good to have a 1 and 1a in your back pocket.
White granted Rousey an immediate rematch to try and reclaim her title at UFC 200 on July 9, but filming for the remake of the movie “Raod House,” where Rousey serves as the main character, was pushed back and Rousey’s return date is now unknown.
McGregor, meanwhile, headlines UFC 197 on March 5 against lightweight champ Rafael Dos Anjos to try and become the UFC’s first two-way champion. Holm will break in her belt against Miesha Tate in the co-main event.