Well, fans won’t have to wait until 2016 to see the much talked about Ronda Rousey vs. Holly Holm UFC Championship bout.
UFC President Dana White appeared on ESPN’s SportsCenter late Friday night and announced the huge UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship fight between title holder Ronda Rousey and unbeaten Holly Holm had been moved from January 2 up to November 15 for UFC 193.
The move is a huge one for the UFC, who will be holding the event in the 56,000 Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. UFC 193 will be the first stadium show the company has produced since the uber-successful UFC 129 in Toronto, which drew 55,724 in April, 2011.
“She will break the all-time attendance record for the sport of mixed martial arts,” White said on ESPN Friday. “Obviously Ronda Rousey was huge for us down in Brazil, she was well received there, it was just a phenomenal event. It did very well on pay-per-view here in the United States. She’s obviously a huge superstar for us and Australia’s an important market for us so we’re going to bring her out there.”
The main event was a major shuffling, as Welterweight Champion Robbie Lawler was originally slated to defend his title against Carlos Condit. However, a thumb injury sidelined the usually indestructible Lawler, and no timetable for his return has been announced.
Rousey’s popularity has always been rather high for MMA, but her pay-per-view drawing ability exploded in 2015. The Rousey-headlined UFC 184 drew around 600,000 pay-per-view buys with one of the weakest undercards of all-time, while UFC 190 topped 900,000. The latter was seen as a major surprise, as the event was held in Brazil, and Rousey was unable to make the typical media rounds to help promote the fight.
Many have criticized the UFC’s decision to go with Holly Holm over Miesha Tate or Amanda Nunes, including Tate herself. The company has been accused of protecting Ronda Rousey, although anyone who has watched Holm’s career realizes she has a skill set that Rousey has yet to see in the cage. Virtually all of Holm’s professional mixed martial arts bouts have been about her creating a blueprint to attempt to beat Ronda Rousey with patience and range-based striking.
Holm was also one of the most successful boxers of her generation, going an impressive 33-2-3. Holm has trained with coaches Greg Jackson and Mike Winklejohn since she was 16-years-old, and works out at their facility with the likes of Jon Jones, Donald Cerrone, Diego Sanchez, Cub Swanson, and several other huge names.
The Rousey vs. Holm main event will go a long way in the UFC’s ambitious aspirations to fill up the huge stadium. While Robbie Lawler vs. Carlos Condit was likely to be an excellent fight, Ronda Rousey’s MMA drawing power is only rivaled by that of Conor McGregor in 2015.
UFC 193, headlined by Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate takes place November 15, 2015, from the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.
[Image via Fox Sports]