Up next: Holly Holm. UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey announced Friday she will defend her title against undefeated Holm to begin the New Year Jan. 2, 2016.
Rousey made the announcement on ABC's wakeup show Good Morning America. "She's definitely my biggest challenge to date, so I'm super excited about it," Rousey said, according to a UFC press release. The dominant and popular fighter is fresh off a thrilling, 34-second victory over Bethe Correia that moved her record to 12-0. Holm, undefeated at 9-0, was an accomplished boxer, including a three-division world champion, before moving on to an impressive career in mixed martial arts.
Rousey, 28, has walked through most of her competition and was named the most dominant athlete in the world in 2015 by Sports Illustrated. Her last four victories have taken a combined 130 seconds. Rousey said she is ready for a longer fight with Holm.
"I prepare for a five-round war every time I get in there," she said, according to UFC. "No one's easy until after you beat them, and with Holly Holm, she's the type that is ready to go 12 boxing rounds. She's not the average chick that I fight. She's the best striker I've ever fought, and striking is something I learned much later in my career. So I don't ever expect fights to be easy and fast. No one knows exactly how the fights are going to go, and that's why everybody buys them."
Holm, 33, beat Marion Reneau in her last fight in July by unanimous decision. In an interview earlier this year, Rousey's coach Edmond Tarverdyan brushed aside Holm's boxing ability and it would not present a challenge for the champion.
"Ronda beats Holly in a boxing match," Tarverdyan said, according to MMA Fighting. "I don't believe it -- I know so. And I believe in my fighter a lot."
Ticket details, undercard fights and venue location have yet to be announced.