Dana White says Ronda Rousey-Miesha Tate III will be next after Tate’s UFC 196 win

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Ronda Rousey (photo credit Jayne Kamin-Oncea © USA Today Sports)

Holly Holm took a massive risk in fighting Miesha Tate at UFC 196, as it potentially put her massive money rematch with Ronda Rousey in jeopardy. It was an admirable risk on her part, but it turned into a must-win fight, and on Saturday the worst case happened.

“Stylistically this was a very bad matchup,” UFC President Dana White said on the Fox Sports 1 post-fight show. “I told her people when we were doing this, ‘you’re guaranteed a rematch with Ronda Rousey. You’re guaranteed a rematch.’ But I won’t be that guy tonight, I won’t be that guy.”

He was “that guy” a little bit more in a post-fight interview for ESPN, and Saturday’s result became the absolute best thing that could have happened for Tate. Rousey’s longtime foe had been somewhat futilely working towards that rematch for years, but because she’d been beat twice the UFC wasn’t keen on booking it. Now?

“I think that Ronda now will fight Miesha Tate for the title,” White said. “That’s what’s going to happen. That’s what I said before this fight even happened. Whoever wins tonight will fight Ronda for the title.”

As for when that rematch happens, the target date is still the fall, but White said he could always try to make it happen earlier.

“I texted Ronda – Ronda wasn’t watching the fight. I text Ronda and she said ‘what happened?’ I said ‘Miesha just choked her unconscious’ and she said ‘looks like I’ve got to get back to work,'” White said. “She’s scheduled to not come back until October or November, but it doesn’t mean I can’t ask [about UFC 200].”

Penick’s Analysis: Absolute worst case scenario for Holly Holm, and they set themselves up to be left behind in a petty way in this loss. Risking the big money fight to be a fighting champion was a move I can’t fault her for, but within that set up she couldn’t lose this fight. She needed this win, and instead, even had she survived that choke, she’d have wound up fighting to a draw here. It was not the follow up effort she needed, and Tate pulled off an amazing win to get her third and probably final crack at Rousey. Whether her win gets Rousey back sooner or not is the next question, because if she feels less need for a long camp to fight someone she’s beaten twice, she may be willing to return sooner. We’ll find out soon enough.

[Photo (c) Jayne Kamin-Oncea via USA Today Sports]

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