Earlier this week, UFC color commentator and Fox Sports 1 analyst Kenny Florian hinted that UFC bantamweight champion Miesha Tate, Holly Holm (pictured) or Ronda Rousey declined a 140-pound catchweight contest against Cris “Cyborg” Justino at UFC 198.
As it turns out, Florian clearly knew what time it was but didn’t want to throw any of the ladies under the bus. It was Holm who turned down a tango with Justino.
In Holm’s defense, it’s not because she’s afraid to get mauled by the buff Brazilian, (well, she might be, and can you really blame her?), but it’s because Holm has her heart set on an immediate rematch with Tate to reclaim her throne.
“We were not interested in [Justino] right now,” Holm’s manager Lenny Fresquez told abqjournal.com after confirming the UFC did present his client with the option of welcoming Justino to the UFC. “[Holm] just wants to fight Miesha.”
After dominating Rousey to steal the bantamweight belt in November, Holm found herself in a hotly contested shootout with Tate in March at UFC 196. The fight was tight heading into the fifth and final round, and it appeared as though Holm was starting to pull away until she eased up for a split second and Tate made her pay with a rear-naked choke.
UFC president Dana White has already said a trilogy between Tate and Rousey is on deck this winter, but it appears Holm is hopeful Rousey’s Hollywood career forces the UFC to change course. Rousey was slated to start filming the movie “Road House,” where she plays the lead character, in early 2016 but filming for the 1989 remake has been pushed back until at least May.
“I really want that rematch, but I’m not the one with the title now,” Holm said. “I’m not the one with the belt. So I have to be patient and wait for that opportunity to come.”
Fresquez added that they wouldn’t be opposed to giving Rousey another go in order to cement her status as top contender.
According to Fresquez, UFC brass are expected to speak with Tate this week about her immediate future, which will have a direct impact on Holm’s fate.