Mixed martial artist Holly Holm (10-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) is definitely enjoying the world’s attention right now after snatching the UFC Bantamweight championship from crowd favorite Ronda Rousey a month ago at UFC 193, which was held in Melbourne, Australia.
Holm connected with a roundhouse kick to the side of Ronda’s face, which knocked her out during the second round of their bout.
However, with great power comes great responsibility, and that means defending the title against Rousey (12-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) herself.
But that rematch may not come until UFC 200 in July, as MMA Junkie previously reported. In fact, even before the shocking loss to Holly Holm, Rousey was slated to fight on July 2016.
In an in-depth interview with “Rowdy” Rousey, she said that she needs to come back and do whatever it takes to “beat this chick.”
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) December 8, 2015
“Who knows if I’m going to pop my teeth out or break my jaw or rip my lip open again? I have to (expletive) do it. It doesn’t matter. I have to do it,” Rousey said.
However, Rousey, 28, said in an exclusive interview with ESPN The Magazine that it may take up to six months for her to completely heal and recuperate from her injuries.
Rousey then said that it depends on the UFC and Holm’s camp regarding what will happen.
Holm’s representative earlier said that the women’s UFC Bantamweight champion would “happily” take on 135-pound contender Miesha Tate at the interim. However, UFC President Dana White insisted that it would be unwise not to give Rousey an immediate shot to regain the title.
Holm’s rep says UFC wants Holm-Rousey II in July. Based on Rousey’s recent comments, this seems like a bad idea. https://t.co/PTt6pvlHU3
— Ben Fowlkes (@benfowlkesMMA) December 9, 2015
The logic in White’s statement: An immediate rematch between Holly Holm and Ronda Rousey would result in more attention – a proud fighter aiming to get a shot at redemption against an undefeated foe.
On the contrary, that would not be the case if Holly Holm loses her next fight to another fighter other than Rousey.
If Holm, 34, loses the belt, then Rousey’s road to redemption would be a little more complicated. She may be able to beat anyone who wins over Holm, but unless she beats Holm, MMA fans would continuously brand “The Preacher’s Daughter” as the Furious 7 star’s kryptonite.
Holly Holm W-33, L-2, D-3 boxing record. #UFC https://t.co/SC07cGOdDx
— Gary William® (@__1Gary1__) November 15, 2015
Losing to another female fighter would also bring down Holm’s reputation as the perfect rival for Rousey, who has long been considered as one of the fighters who brought mainstream fame to the UFC.
Although a rematch is the most direct and logical route for Rousey, some people think that she needs to regain her confidence in tune-up matches.
In her present skillset, Rousey has little chance to do some damage on Holm, who has rock-solid defense and athleticism that she’s gotten from various sports, including soccer, swimming, kickboxing, and professional boxing.
Holly Holm was a world champion in boxing and hung up the gloves with a 33-2-3 win-loss-draw record. She was Ring Magazine’s female fighter of the year in 2005 and 2006 and was considered to be one of the best female welterweights in history.
— HollywoodLife (@HollywoodLife) October 27, 2015
Holm made her debut on the mat despite a lack of experience, although she managed to beat her opponent via TKO by taking out her legs.
The New Mexico native won her first bout in the high-profile Bellator MMA in 2013 and soon after retired from boxing for good.
However, Holly Holm was driven to make her mark in the Octagon, and that was apparent during the bout at UFC 193. She managed to evade Rousey’s ground game and keep her standing for most of the bout until the last few seconds when she took Rousey down.
If Ronda Rousey wants to avenge her shameful loss, she should improve her stand-up game and force Holly Holm to the ground in the rematch.
[Photos by Isaac Brekken and Harry How/Getty Images]