Holly Holm’s next fight will be against Ronda Rousey at UFC 200 whether her manager likes it or not, apparently.
In an interview with the LA Times this week, UFC President Dana White said in an apparently “sarcastic tone” that the UFC was “real concerned” with the opinion of Holm’s manager Lenny Fresquez, who said earlier in the week that Holm wished to fight early in the year, potentially against Miesha Tate, because they weren’t sure Rousey would be ready by July. White added that he had no concerns about Rousey getting back by UFC 200.
“Ronda is the fiercest competitor I have ever met in my life and she’s also very proud,” White said. “What made the world love Ronda is that Ronda absolutely 100% knew she was not going to lose. … People rallied around this powerful female figure.
“Ronda’s never lost a fight. She will overcome it and be back. She got clipped, stayed in there and tried to fight through it. She told me she was in there, she was rocked, and she’d never been rocked like that before. And the things that were going on in her head – what she was doing – she’d never been in that situation.”
Penick’s Analysis: And it’s time once again for the old independent contractor vs. employee conversation. White essentially casting aside the thoughts of his champion and her manager and saying they’ve pretty much got no say in the matter simply highlights again how much UFC fighters are not “independent.” This is a straight employer-to-employee decision, and is the type of situation that, if pressed in court, could be used to prove that fact. It’s not surprising in the least that White, who continues to discuss publicly his personal friendship and affinity for Rousey, is setting things up in her favor. That’s to be expected at this point. It doesn’t make that fair to Holm, but she’s probably been expecting it as well. Regardless, the fight’s happening at UFC 200. Unless it doesn’t, and then they’ve needlessly kept Holm on the shelf.
[Photo (c) Jayne Kamin-Oncea via USA Today Sports]