Ronda Rousey wants her rematch with Holly Holm, but it won’t come as early as many UFC fans had hoped. The two fighters won’t meet at UFC 200 in July as expected, and there’s a chance that they won’t fight at all for the UFC women’s bantamweight championship.
As she waits to fight Rousey, Holm will put her title on the line against Miesha Tate on March 5 at UFC 197. The only woman to ever defeat Rousey is favored to keep the belt, but a victory is certainly no guarantee.
Holm wanted to defend her title, and gave Tate a shot when she discovered Rousey wasn’t ready to step back inside the octagon just yet. UFC President Dana White initially told Tate that her victory over Jessica Eye in July would earn her the fight with Rousey at UFC 193, but it was Holm who was awarded the title shot instead.
"I was open to a rematch with Ronda," Holm said at a press conference. "I just wanted whatever opportunity was going to come. I think this is definitely even more of a challenging way to go. There's a lot of pressure behind it. I think there's a lot of anticipation what I'm going to do after the last fight. There's a lot of high expectations, and who wants to be a one-hit wonder?"
Tate has already lost twice to Rousey, though she gave her a tougher fight than any of her opponents before Holm. The current champ is risking a lot of money with the UFC 197 fight, considering she could blow her chance at a rematch with Rousey that would give her a monster payday.
Holm made six figures for fighting Rousey, and after all was said and done she reportedly could have made upwards of $300,000. Rousey reportedly made close to $5 million in her fight before Holm, and she was expected to make even more at UFC 193, which exceeded one million buys and was the second-most profitable pay-per-view in the company’s history.
A rematch between Holm and Rousey could sell close to twice as many PPV's. Rousey’s movie schedule, however, puts that in jeopardy, and she won’t step into the octagon until late 2016.
"Sometime later in the year, they haven't told me an exact date or location yet," Rousey told TMZ. "It's a decision we're all going to make together but I'm kind of waiting to hear from them what options they're going to give me."
Rousey can't fight at UFC 200 in July because she is filming a remake of "Road House."
“The way I look at this one is, Ronda has worked her ass off for us for the last three years,” White told Yahoo Sports. “She’s been fighting, promoting and building the sport. If anyone deserves the time off, it’s her. The night [of UFC 193], Holly said she’d do the rematch and that Ronda deserved it and everything else. So we were holding it for her if she wanted to do it.”
UFC 197 will be one of the biggest events in the company’s history. Not only will Holm defend her title against Tate, but Conor McGregor will face Rafael dos Anjos in the main event.