Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm are headed for a rematch to the UFC 193 bout that shocked the MMA world, with Rousey losing her first professional fight after Holm’s stunning knockout kick.
But UFC fans may have to wait a while before Rousey has a chance to avenge her loss, with her out-of-the-octagon obligations getting in the way.
Saturday’s match was shocking to many, who expected Ronda Rousey to cruise as she has in her other bouts. Rousey struggled to gain control through the first round, then was taken down by a head kick and punch combination just under a minute into the second round.
Speaking after the match, UFC President Dana White confirmed that Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm would be headed for a rematch.
“Obviously we don’t make fights the night of the fight, but the rematch makes a lot of sense,” White said at the post-fight press conference (via Sherdog). “I think the rematch is what people would want to see. [Holm’s victory] changes a lot of things; the Cyborg fight, some other stuff we were working on.”
But though White implied that the rematch would come immediately, it will likely have to wait several months. As Fox Sports reported, Rousey has already been planning to take some extended time off. She is starring in the movie Mile 22 alongside Mark Wahlberg, and has planned to take the early part of 2016 off.
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) November 15, 2015
The filming schedule means Rousey won’t be available to fight again until UFC 200 in July, 2016, the report suggested. That is the double-edged sword the UFC faces with Ronda Rousey.
At this point, she is undoubtedly the UFC’s brightest star, posing on magazine covers and appearing in movies. While the crossover success helps bring more attention to the UFC and draws in new fans from different arenas, it also means more restrictions for her UFC obligations and forces fans to wait for the rematch.
Ronda Rousey wasn’t available to talk after her stunning loss — she headed immediately to the hospital to have her split lip sewn up — and hasn’t been able to share her thoughts on when she could return to the ring. But Holm did take an interview and confirmed that she would be up for a rematch as well.
“I think a rematch makes sense for sure. I’ve been on a losing side of a fight and I wanted the rematch; I wanted to avenge my loss,” Holm said. “With a champion like Ronda who has gone out of her way, above and beyond to do great things, absolutely she deserves a rematch.”
“I don’t look at this belt and think I made it; I still think I have things that I need to do. I think a rematch, that’s kind of like unspoken — just common sense to me I guess.”
While the details of a Holly Holm vs. Ronda Rousey rematch are yet to be finalized, UFC followers are left trying to place just where the upset stands in the organization’s history. Dana White suggested that it was the biggest upset of all time, and with the UFC being at the peak of its popularity, it is likely the biggest event ever in its 22-year history.
“Tonight was one of those moments. These are the moments in fighting that make it so crazy and so fun,” White said. “[UFC commentator Joe Rogan] was downstairs [and] he was saying this was by far the biggest upset in UFC history. At the end of the day I made this fight. I said that this was a good fight.”
Ronda Rousey losing might have been best for UFC’s business. She loses again? The run is over https://t.co/Rpc0xgvRM6
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) November 15, 2015
It’s likely that more planning for the Ronda Rousey vs. Holly Holm rematch could come to light in the coming days, but it’s very unlikely that Rousey would put on hold her Hollywood obligations and risk her status as a rising star. That means fans will have about eight months to wait to see if Rousey can avenge her first ever loss.
[Image via Quinn Rooney / Getty Images]