On the outside looking in, Ronda Rousey’s loss to Holly Holm at UFC 193 may have presented itself as a catastrophic moment for the UFC. Taking her fast rise toward the top of the sport (and near the top of the sport’s world itself) into consideration, watching the UFC’s top draw drop to the canvas in an unconscious heap of herself could have hampered her popularity.
Not the case, says UFC President Dana White. If nothing else, Rousey’s popularity has risen since losing the UFC women’s bantamweight championship. He said on ESPN’s “First Take” Thursday:
“It’s crazy because you win and lose in the fight game; it happens. It’s funny, because we were comparing her to [Mike] Tyson, who had this invincibility. She was a Tyson. And it was never more true than when she lost – because when she lost, everybody was shocked. One hundred million people were talking about it on social media. And I actually think Ronda Rousey is bigger now after the loss than she was before the fight.”
White also stated he and UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta “should probably lose [their] promoter’s license if [they] didn’t make that rematch” happen between Holm and Rousey. He’s not sure when it will happen, but says he’ll give Rousey some time before discussing the bout with her.
As mentioned, Rousey was undefeated heading into her title defense against Holm in Melbourne, Australia. She’d defeated the likes of Miesha Tate, Sara McMann, Cat Zingano and Alexis Davis during her 12-fight unbeaten streak, which stems back to debut in 2011.