UFC fans will see former women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey rematch current titleholder Holly Holm, but due to Rousey’s injuries and medical suspension the two are unlikely to meet until next spring.
The skilled and acclaimed boxer Holm (10-0, 7 KOs) convincingly handed Rousey (12-1, 3 KOs) the first loss of her stellar career with a knockout kick to the head in the second round of their Nov. 15 bout in Melbourne, Australia. Rousey shun the public eye in the subsequent two weeks and required plastic surgery to repair a gash on her lip.
However, Rousey resurfaced over Thanksgiving weekend, appearing in public for the first time and looking as if she had recovered well from the seemingly minor procedure.
Still, UFC issued Rousey a six-month medical suspension that will stand unless she passes a head CT scan. Even if she does, Rousey won’t be allowed to fight again for at minimum 60 days and have no contact for 45 days, which nixes any training for more than a month.
Although initially hesitant to decree an immediate rematch, UFC president Dana White did assure MMA fans that Rousey vs. Holm II will take place in the near future, and potentially in the next “few months.”
"Both of these two are going to take the next few months and go back in and start working on s--t and they're going to clash again and this second fight will be f--king awesome," White said during UFC announcer and analyst Joe Rogan’s podcast.
White even started to rev up the hype machine of what is sure to be one of the most watched events in UFC’s history, claiming the 28-year-old Rousey should come back stronger than ever.
"She's the mentally strongest f--king athlete I've ever met in my life," White said. "When she gets over this loss, she's going to be a savage. She was a maniac and a hard worker when she was the best in the world. What's she going to be like now that she lost?"
Should White’s estimate and timetable hold up, Rousey and Holm will certainly avoid a bout this winter and may square off sometime in March or April.
Newly famous Holm meanwhile continued her victory lap and media blitz with a recent interview with The New York Times. Holm, 34, was asked how many times out of 10 she could beat Rousey, but remained humble and didn’t kick the former champion while she's down.
“Ten,” Holm said. “Because if I tell myself that there is one that I might not get, then I’ll be vulnerable.
“I also know that I’m beatable, so I’m going to train twice as hard. She’s going to come back. She’s mad that it’s not her title anymore. I’ve got to be twice as ready as last time.”