Even though Ronda Rousey hasn’t fought since February, she has the women’s bantamweight division scouted – both in and out of the UFC.
The women’s 135-pound weight class has flourished since Rousey (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) debuted earlier this year, and though the UFC currently has most of the division’s best talent signed, there’s one unsigned talent the champion would very much like to test her skills against.
“I would love to fight Holly Holm,” Rousey told MMAjunkie. “I would absolutely love to fight Holly Holm.”
Holm (6-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC), a former professional boxer with multiple world championships under her belt, successfully transitioned to MMA in 2011 and has become one of WMMA’s most dynamic strikers.
Female knockout artists are a rarity in MMA, but “The Preacher’s Daughter” has the necessary combination of technique and power to put her opponent’s to sleep. Moreover, Holm has a bullish confidence and believes – with a bit more grappling experience – she can dethrone the former Olympic bronze-medal judoka.
While a fight between Rousey and Holm would be a marketable matchup, plenty of barriers are in the way before the fight can become a reality. For one, Holm, whose primary home is the Texas-based Legacy FC promotion, would need to sign with the UFC, though the sides are reportedly far apart on terms for a deal.
During Rousey’s recent absence, in which she filmed two movies overseas after coaching “The Ultimate Fighter 18,” several new contenders have emerged and made a case for a championship fight. Rousey recognizes the legitimacy of those contenders, and after her UFC 168 pay-per-view co-headliner against Miesha Tate on Dec. 28 in Las Vegas, she said she’ll be ready to take on the next contenders. Holm would be nice, but she said the UFC has plenty of options queued up.
“The person who stands out to me the most is Miesha Tate, and the next person who stands out to me the most is Cat Zingano,” Rousey said. “Then the next person who stands out to me the most is Sara McMann. Then the next person who stands out to me the most is Alexis Davis. After that I don’t know. The women are performing every single time they go out there.”
With Rousey’s time in the sport potentially ending in the next few years, only a limited number of fights may remain for “Rowdy.”
While Holm is still developing at her own pace, Rousey is hopeful she’ll be signed to the UFC sooner rather than later so the matchup can come to fruition before her exit.
“I really hope that the UFC picks Holly up and that I get to fight her before I retire,” she said.
For more on UFC 168, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.