It looks like the former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, who fought three times in 2015, won’t be quite as active here in 2016, as she has asked UFC president Dana White for more time off, and according to White, she won’t be fighting at UFC 200 in July, which was the event that the UFC was planning to have her return at.
“The filming of the movie got pushed back. She could do [UFC 200 and the movie], but the question is, should she do both? She could do both, but why should she? The filming is in a time frame where she’d finish before [UFC] 200, but it would be cutting it too close.”
White also admitted that Rousey not being able to compete at UFC 200 is the reason why he made the Holly Holm vs. Miesha Tate fight, which is scheduled to co-headline the UFC 197 pay-per-view on March 5, along with the Conor McGregor vs. Rafael dos Anjos fight, where McGregor will attempt to become the first double-champion in UFC history.
Previously, the UFC president was completely against having Holly Holm defend her newly won bantamweight championship because he wanted to ensure that the Holm vs. Rousey rematch would take place at UFC 200 in July, which the UFC was, and still is hoping will be the biggest show in company history.
UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta has gone on the record and said that he thinks the Holm vs. Rousey rematch will be the biggest fight in UFC history, and that they were planning to do the fight at UFC 200.
After Holm defeated Rousey, she was itching to get back into the octagon, and she didn’t want to wait until July, which would be an eight-month layoff, to fight again. However, the UFC brass was unwilling to pet her in the octagon before then.
Miesha Tate has been campaigning for a title shot ever since she was promised one after her most recent win over Jessica Eye. She was then denied a third crack at Rousey after the win, and Holly Holm was given the opportunity. After Holm won the title, Tate once again campaigned for a title shot, and was initially denied, but now, her wish has been granted.
As previously mentioned, Tate has fought Rousey twice and has lost both fights via submission. Furthermore, she wasn’t exactly competitive in her two fights with Rousey, so it’s probably safe to say that the UFC brass is hoping that Holm ends up defeating Tate on March 5 so that Rousey’s next fight, which will be for the championship, won’t be against Miesha Tate.
With Rousey out of UFC 200, there is some uncertainty as to who will headline what is expected to be the most successful UFC show of all-time.
Both Conor McGregor and Holly Holm are fighting four months before the event, and if either fighter ends up losing their respective fight, or is seriously injured, they may be left off the UFC 200 card.
Previously, it was expected that Conor McGregor vs. whoever the UFC wanted to put him in the octagon with, and Holm vs. Rousey 2 would co-headline UFC 200.
For now, Rousey’s return date is unknown. Of course, it’ll be after July, but, the question is, how much time will the UFC allow Rousey to take off?
With Rousey fulfilling her prior obligations, and with her needing a significant amount of time to prepare for a rematch with Holly Holm, we may not see the former UFC champ return to the octagon until this year is nearing its end.
[Featured image via Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]