Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm: Why Rematch May Be No. 1 Contender Bout

Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm locked up in a now legendary bout at UFC 193 in which the shooting star of Rousey’s once dominant fighting career came to a crashing halt following a brutal head-kick from Holm early in Round 2 of their scheduled five-round bout.

Since then, there hasn’t really been a question of whether the rematch would take place, but when. Many envisioned it as a shot for the UFC Bantamweight Championship, but then Miesha Tate happened to Holm, leaving the organization’s newest star dethroned and unconscious in her first defense.

Now, Tate has agreed to fight Amanda Nunes at UFC 200, defying expectations that Ronda Rousey would face the champion a third time in her comeback.

Previously, Ronda made short work of Tate in a one-round victory at Strikeforce and later, a lopsided third-round stoppage within the UFC.

On paper, Ronda Rousey has a claim to Tate’s first defense, but it doesn’t appear that she will be ready for her comeback by then.

That makes Holly Holm a natural first opponent for Ronda Rousey, and if the fight does go down next for the two women, then there is little to dispute that it would be a No. 1 Contender’s match for the winner of Tate-Nunes.

But the question remains: is that what Ronda Rousey really wants?

There was a strong feeling among UFC brass that she would be back in time for UFC 200, which takes place on July 9, but with the card already packed to the gills, it’s likely that UFC President Dana White saves her comeback for later in the year.

Rousey did not seem like she was in too big of a hurry to get back in the octagon following her brutal loss as, according to UFC President Dana White, she wasn’t even watching the Holm-Tate fight and didn’t know the outcome until he texted her.

Ronda also had a controversial interview on Ellen in which she claimed to have considered suicide after her first loss in the UFC. While show host Ellen DeGeneres and many outside of MMA commended her for her “bravery,” other fighters, Tate included, have called it a sign of mental weakness on Rousey’s part or an attempt to grab attention.

Ronda Rousey has also been criticized for paying more service to her acting and modeling career that has taken off since becoming an MMA fighter than actually returning to the sport that made her famous.

Mix these factors with the reality that it’s tough to come back after a long layoff — just ask Cain Velasquez, who suffered both of his lopsided defeats after about a year off from the cage — and Holly Holm may not be the best call for a first bout back.

However, it is likely the only bout that would make sense for Ronda Rousey considering Holm lost to Tate when she got choked out, so she has just as much of a claim at a rematch with Tate as Ronda does.

That said, the UFC has a reputation for booking the fights that fans want to see ahead of the fights that actually make sense from a wins-and-losses perspective.

This is a rare case, however, where a No. 1 Contender’s match between Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm would not only be the fight that fans are clamoring for, but it would also be the fight to make on merit.

But what do you think, readers?

Is Ronda Rousey even ready to get back in the cage, and if she does, should her first opponent be Holly Holm, title or not? Sound off in the comments section below.

[Image via Ronda Rousey Facebook]

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