As Thomas Jefferson once said, “With great risk comes great reward.” UFC president Dana White has made a slight tweak to the famous line by essentially stating, You took a horrible risk now and you’re going to miss out on a life-changing reward.
Now-former UFC bantamweight champion Holly Holm (pictured) risked everything this past Saturday by putting her belt on the line against Miesha Tate at UFC 196 instead of waiting for a blockbuster rematch against Ronda Rousey, who Holm knocked out with a highlight reel head kick in November to capture the crown.
White had previously predicted Holm vs. Rousey II would generate the largest pay-per-view number in UFC history. Holm’s piece of that PPV pie would have likely set her up for life.
Instead, Holm was adamant that she didn’t want to ride the pine for seven to 12 months waiting for Rousey to decide when she would be ready to return.
There’s no worse feeling than rolling the dice and losing. Except when you roll the dice, lose and your boss is there to rub salt on your wounds.
Well, at least White didn’t totally blame Holm for the decision to bypass an immediate rematch with Rousey. White fingered her manager, Lenny Fresquez, for not looking out for his client’s best interests.
“The sad part about that is, listen, he’s an old boxing guy who thinks he’s smart, and he’s not,” White said of Fresquez on ESPN’s Russillo & Kanell. “It’s one of those things. I feel bad about it. I feel bad for Holly. I don’t know if Holly really knows what she lost. I think she has so much faith in the people that surround her, she feels like, ‘Well, they got me this far.’
“We had this meeting, and Holly wasn’t even in it. Holly, that’s your life. You should be in that meeting. Don’t leave it to these people. Anyway, Holly made a lot of money. She accomplished great things, she beat Ronda Rousey. But it could have been so much bigger for her, and the sad part is, I don’t think she even knows it.”
If you may recall, White and Fresquez reportedly butted heads when the UFC was trying to sign the free agent Holm back in 2014. Before finally coming to terms, White became less than pleased with Fresquez – which is typically code for, he was demanding too much money.
Now that Holm’s MMA career has hit its lowest point after getting choked unconscious by Tate to lose the title, and more importantly a massive payday in a sequel with Rousey, White decided this was the perfect time to remind Fresquez that “he’s an old boxing guy who thinks he’s smart, and he’s not.”
Fresquez told ESPN.com that “it was a team decision, and Holly is the boss. She wanted to fight, and she got her wish.”
It’s not as though a rematch with Rousey still can’t happen down the line, but it has lost plenty of sizzle now that Holm has a loss on her résumé.
Holm, now more than ever, wants to get right back to work. Unfortunately, she’s presently on the outside looking in when Rousey returns to the cage this winter. White has said the UFC is planning on arranging a trilogy between Rousey and Tate.
Rousey already owns two submission wins over her archenemy.