Despite what Holly Holm’s manager may be trying to set up, there is no way the UFC women’s bantamweight champion faces anybody but Ronda Rousey in her first defense at the titleholder, UFC President Dana White tells the Los Angeles Times.
Not only that, but there’s no way White or anybody involved in creating the rematch schedule it before July — presumably in time for UFC 200.
Lenny Fresquez, longtime manager to Holm, proposed having the champion fight perennial top contender Miesha Tate before facing off in a rematch with Rousey — not only to stay busy but also because he doesn’t necessarily believe Rousey would be ready for a fight in July.
“It might be three to six months before I can eat an apple, let alone take an impact,” Rousey said to ESPN The Magazine recently.
White’s focus on a rematch comes less than a month after Rousey lost her first professional fight to Holm, dropping to the canvas from a headkick delivered in the second round of their championship contest in Melbourne, Australia. One of the biggest upsets in the history of the sport and quite possibly the biggest upset in the history of the UFC, a rematch between “The Preacher’s Daughter” and the previously unbeaten former Olympian will likely scream dollar signs if and when it happens.
It’s possible, and likely, that White sees a potential loss to Tate — who currently rides a four-fight winning streak since suffering her second career defeat to Rousey — as a further complication to the title picture at 135 pounds, effectively eliminating what excitement currently surrounds Holm-Rousey II.