The much-anticipated rematch between Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm won’t be happening anytime soon. Following UFC 196, Rousey will instead fight Miesha Tate upon her return to the octagon.
Tate used a rear-naked choke to defeat Holm in the fifth round of their UFC women’s bantamweight championship fight on Saturday night. Rousey lost the title to Holm in November, and her first fight back will be for the belt.
"I think that Ronda now will fight Miesha Tate for the title. That's what's going to happen," UFC President Dana White told ESPN. "That's what I said before this fight even happened. Whoever wins tonight will fight Ronda for the title."
It will be the third fight between Rousey and Tate with the former champ coming out on top in both of their previous matchups. Before Holm handed Rousey the first loss of her MMA career, Tate was the only fighter to survive the first round against the former champ. Tate made it all the way to the third round against Rousey on Dec. 28, 2013, before falling victim to an arm bar.
Rousey hasn’t fought since she lost to Holm on Nov. 15, and there had been speculation that she would make her return in July at UFC 200. But she won’t be able to fight at the pay-per-view because she is scheduled to film the remake of “Roadhouse,” and Rousey probably won’t fight again until late 2016.
Holm’s title reign lasted less than four months, and her loss to Tate might have cost her millions of dollars. Before UFC 196, White said on “The Jim Rome Show” that he believed Rousey-Holm II would be the biggest fight in UFC history, potentially generating close to two million PPV buys.
It looked like Holm would have beaten Tate in a decision, had she made it through the fifth round. Even if the fight was scored a draw, which was possible, she still would have held onto the belt.
Rousey wasn’t watching UFC 196 live, but was instead at a pro wrestling show. When White texted her and told her that Tate won, she responded, “Looks like I gotta get back to work.”
When Holm was given a shot at the bantamweight title in November, Tate considered retirement. Now, she prepares for a third fight with Rousey, looking to earn her sixth consecutive victory.
Despite her recent title loss, Rousey will undoubtedly be favored to win the belt. Before she was defeated by Holm, Rousey had won her last three fights in just 64 total seconds.