Ronda Rousey went down with a thud after receiving a kick to the face from Holly Holm. Since then, she’s gone into hiding, recovered from facial injuries, saw Holm lose the women’s bantamnweight title and shoot a movie.
It’s been six months since Rowdy Ronda Tousey took to the octagon, and once her title was stripped, so too was she from UFC fans.
Dana White revealed in a recent interview that Rousey probably wouldn’t be around to help amp up the hype for the UFC’s first event as the prestigious Madison Square Garden in November.
In fact, she might not fight in 2016 at all.
Per White, Rousey “recently had knee surgery” and may not make it back to get a title shot until 2017 rolls around. He “doesn’t know” when she’ll fight again.
Fighting in November would still put an entire year between Rousey and her last fight, yet White claims that when Rousey is finally ready, her first bout will be an attempt to take back the title she lost to Holm.
White didn’t appear to be overly concerned with Rousey’s knee injury, as the procedure was said to be “minor” and just a clean-up. Health isn’t exactly the big question mark here, though. It’s Rousey’s prolonged absence.
Rousey already revealed major combat flaws in her game when succumbing to Holm, and the loss also shook her to her core and pushed out serious mental and emotional issues, as well.
Extra time away from the octagon could certainly do her some favors, but there has to be at least a slight concern that she could end up being away for too long.
If Meisha Tate, the current women’s champ, holds onto the title for that long, she’ll be battled tested and in a groove. Despite defeating Tate twice before, it could be a bad recipe for Rousey’s return to the ring.
Forget about a rematch with Holm or a potential epic showdown with Cris Cyborg. If Rousey is gone too long, she may not have enough juice to win her first fight back. At that point, she’d be in an 0-2 hole after starting off his career as an undefeated champion. That’d be damaging for her ego and psyche, as well as her iconic status in the UFC.
It’s too early to tell what the added time away will do to Rousey or her game. All we know for sure is she isn’t healthy enough to get back in the ring right now and we may not see her fighting until 2017 hits us. That’s not good for the UFC and it takes some excitement out of betting on women’s MMA fights.
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