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Holly Holm vs. Ronda Rousey Rematch Discussed by UFC Co-Owner Lorenzo Fertitta

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 17, 2015

Ronda Rousey, right, smiles with UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta following her UFC 170 mixed martial arts women's bantamweight title fight against Sara McMann on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
Isaac Brekken/Associated Press

UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta expects Ronda Rousey to get her rematch with Holly Holm at UFC 200 next year after the former champion has filmed a couple of movies.

Rousey was outclassed by Holm inside two rounds last month at UFC 193, culminating in a brutal knockout win for the underdog. Fertitta said that should the two square off once again, it would be a historic event, per Michael McCarthy of Sporting News (h/t Damon Martin of Fox Sports):

It will be the biggest fight in UFC history. We certainly believe that as a company. I think the world will be interested in a rematch because it was a huge upset. So many people thought Ronda was just completely invincible. To see her get beat like that was a shock. They want to see if she can come back.

We'd like to make that fight happen in July at UFC 200. We're still talking to Holly's management team to figure out whether that works for them. We should know in the near future.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 01:  UFC Chairman & CEO Lorenzo Fertitta conducts opening remarks for the media and employees during the UFC Campus Groundbreaking Ceremony on December 1, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC v
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Fertitta revealed he had been to see Rousey personally and that she was still “very disappointed” following her defeat. The UFC chief also added Rowdy has some prior commitments to fulfil before she considers making a return to the cage, although she is “champing to be back in there.”

“She made some commitments before the fight to make two movies,” Fertitta added. “So she's going to do that. Then get back to training in the Octagon.”

While Rousey’s dominance in the division before the loss to Holm gives her credence to claim for a rematch, the nature of the bout itself may suggest otherwise.

Rousey was outclassed by Holm in their fight at UFC 193.
Rousey was outclassed by Holm in their fight at UFC 193.Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images
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In the minutes that preceded the knockout, Holm was totally dominant. Her superior striking kept Rousey at bay, and when the former champion did lurch forward, she was easily picked off. It certainly wasn’t as if Holm landed a lucky flush punch to finish the fight; it was totally lopsided for a prolonged spell.

Nevertheless, as noted by MMA journalist Josh Gross, it’s a rematch that would garner interest and be easy to promote:

Josh Gross @yay_yee

Was just thinking that the Holm-Rousey rematch is fine by me. Like this do-or-die narrative from Rousey. https://t.co/AeULJVL5Ym

UFC President Dana White told Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times (h/t the Guardianthat Holm will have to wait to defend the bantamweight title until July if Rousey is ready for the rematch.

White wants Holm to fight Rousey in her first title defence.
White wants Holm to fight Rousey in her first title defence.Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

However, Holm's manager, Lenny Fresquez, also told the Times he’s concerned Rousey will not be ready to compete at UFC 200 due to the severe nature of her loss and that his fighter would prefer to keep active with a defence against contender Miesha Tate. 

Chamatkar Sandhu of MMA Junkie echoed those sentiments and feels as though Holm-Tate is the best option for the bantamweight division at this juncture:

Chamatkar Sandhu @SandhuMMA

Given how long Rousey will be out for it pretty much counts her out of UFC 200 so the Holm vs Tate fight makes sense https://t.co/BihhWaxkXc

Ultimately, the direction the UFC looks to go with this will be dependant on whether Rousey is ready to compete at next summer’s extravaganza. Holm-Rousey II would be huge and befitting of the grand stage, so it’s understandable the brand may be keen on keeping the new champion away from Tate, who is a game competitor herself.

Holm losing the belt before UFC 200 and Rousey being ready to compete would be a nightmare scenario for the UFC. Rousey and Tate have already fought two times before, with the former emerging a comfortable winner on both occasions. It's not really a fight fans would want to see again, so expect the company to bide its time before making a final decision on Holm’s next opponent.

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