UFC President Dana White is never one to shy away from his true feelings on a matter. The case was no different this week regarding the controversy surrounding Ronda Rousey’s next fight.
After originally promising UFC Women’s Bantamweight mainstay Miesha Tate the next shot at Ronda Rousey’s crown, White and the UFC changed their minds. Instead, it was announced Friday on Good Morning America that Rousey would be taking on undefeated Holly Holm in the main event on UFC 195 in January.
Dana White spoke out on the decision to the Los Angeles Times the same day, saying the primary reason for the switch was the simple fact that the world has seen Rousey face Tate twice.
“We were talking about Miesha from the start, then as we started sitting around we were saying, ‘Everyone has seen the Miesha fight already. A third fight in a rivalry usually comes after the stuff we’d see in [Arturo] Gatti-[Micky] Ward. With Miesha, the result has been the same twice. Everyone’s already seen that fight.”
To White’s credit, it was a fair criticism, as many fans and the media have said the same. However, over the past year, Tate reeled off several big victories to earn her way back to the top. The UFC has scheduled immediate re-matches for no less than five divisional titles over the past two years, although some of them didn’t come to fruition.
Just this year, Dana White and the UFC had planned a third bout between Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler. Due to an outcry on Twitter during a Dana White Q&A session, the fight was changed and Rory MacDonald was given a championship opportunity instead.
Understandably frustrated, Tate and her manager both spoke out on the issues, saying the announcement caught them off-guard as the UFC hadn’t informed them of the change. Just under a month ago, White announced at a press conference that Tate had earned the fight, despite losing to the dominant Rousey twice in the past.
White did mention a bit of a consolation for Tate, however, by suggesting he would like the fighter to take on Amanda Nunes at the same show. This revelation came shortly before rumors surfaced of another major championship fight, which would pit Women’s Strawweight queen Joanna Jedrzejczyk against rival Claudia Gadelha on the very same show.
Either way, any show with Rousey stands to be a box office smash and Dana White knows it. Whether it’s Holly Holm, Miesha Tate or Cris Cyborg, Rousey fights are a huge moneymaker for both Dana White and the UFC.
[Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images]