On the latest edition of the UFC Tonight show on FOX Sports 1, UFC president Dana White officially confirmed that Holly Holm’s next fight will NOT be a rematch with Ronda Rousey.
“Holly Holm will fight before she fights Ronda,” White stated, though he didn’t reveal who her opponent would be or when the new woman’s bantamweight champion would be stepping back into the Octagon.
The UFC’s initial idea following that shock loss was for Holm to rematch Rousey at UFC 200 in July, but with the former champion suffering from loose teeth that would likely keep her from sparring for up to six months, not to mention the fact that she had movie projects lined up for the first half of 2016, there’s always been a great deal of uncertainty regarding their ability to follow through with that plan.
Meanwhile, Holm had indicated that she didn’t want to wait around until the summer to make her first title defense, stating that she was eager to get back into the Octagon sooner rather than later, while suggesting Miesha Tate as a potential opponent.
Tate is currently the No.2 ranked contender behind Rousey and has already made it clear she’d jump at the chance to fight Holm, so it’d be a surprise if that’s not the fight the promotion has in mind.
It’ll be interesting to see exactly when the fight materializes, with a March or April date likely to indicate that the promotion are still holding out hope that Holm Vs Rousey II could happen in July.
For now though, all White will say is that Rousey does plan to compete again at some stage in 2016.
“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.”