Much of the talk after Holly Holm toppled Ronda Rousey in devastating fashion for the UFC women’s bantamweight championship at UFC 193 has centered around an immediate rematch. On Wednesday, though, Dana White officially shot that prospect down. In a bit of a surprising move, the UFC president announced Holm will defend her title in an interim fight before she faces Rousey for a second time. White made the announcement on Fox Sports 1’s UFC Tonight.
White made sure to note that the rematch, though not immediate, was still imminent. He didn’t announce an opponent or a date for Holm’s return, but most expect her first title defense will be against Miesha Tate, winner of four straight fights since losing to Rousey in 2013.
As for Ronda, Dana discussed her future as well by noting that she will be back in the octagon this year.
Though he again didn’t mention any additional details, it’s of note that White didn’t say her first bout back would be against Holm, either. It’s a bit of a change of heart but probably for the best. This way Dana and the UFC can continue building Holly’s star power while doing some damage control to Ronda’s image.
Although, with her Saturday Night Live hosting gig this month it doesn’t appear Ronda’s star status has diminished much.