UFC Champ Holly Holm is ready to return as early as February, but the UFC isn’t planning on booking her until they put together the Ronda Rousey rematch.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Holm’s manager Lenny Fresquez confirmed that the UFC has put an official offer out for the rematch at UFC 200 on July 9. However, he’s not certain Rousey will be ready by then, and if that’s going to be the case, the champ wants to stay busy.
“I’m not sure Ronda will be ready for a July fight,” Fresquez said. “She took a severe beating, and I don’t think it’s in her best interest to take the next fight so fast. They told me she’s been ready and cleared, but … Holly’s used to staying active. We’re from the old school, and we believe the No. 1 contender is there for a reason. … [Tate] deserves a shot, but it’s not for me to decide.
“…Holly’s not so much about the money as [much as thinking] she wants to fight. We’d like to fight Miesha. We understand there are risks, but Holly’s a dominant champion, and she wants to fight the best. Right now, Miesha is the best.”
In a follow up, Lance Pugmire of the LA Times tweeted that the UFC is looking to book Tate against either Cat Zingano, Julianna Pena, or Amanda Nunes.
Penick’s Analysis: Interesting that Bethe Correia isn’t in the list of potential Tate opponents, especially with Pena’s name being thrown out there. Tate and Pena are close, and I don’t see that fight being put together; the Zingano rematch makes the most sense of the three, because Tate’s already expressed that she doesn’t see the Nunes fight as sensible given her current pay rate and position. Obviously, if Rousey’s going to be available to fight by UFC 200, the UFC is going to keep that fight locked in, but it’s easy to see why Holm and her team would want to stay busy. If it’s possible Rousey will be out later than July, then Holm getting a fight sooner than later makes sense, but if that fight can happen at UFC 200, that’s where they’re going to go. Hopefully for Holm they can lock something down on that front, because simply keeping her on the sidelines indefinitely pending Rousey’s return isn’t the right move, either.
[Photo (c) Matt Roberts via USA Today Sports]