Although she may have had the toughest fight and first loss of her MMA career, but UFC president Dana White says she’s still the highest paid fighter on the UFC roster right now…
The hype train that rolled in to town to UFC 193 was derailed spectacularly by Holly Holm, as she decimated the women’s bantamweight queen Ronda Rousey with a huge knockout. The head kick that was heard around the world is still resonating to this day, as the recent news that ‘Rowdy’ would in fact pursue her movie career further, and not fight at UFC 200 as was first thought.
Holm goes on to make her first title defense against Miesha Tate at UFC 197, and it’s beginning to look like Ronda Rousey‘s drawing power could start to become a thing of the past. Not so fast, according to Dana White, who says the former women’s bantamweight champion is still the biggest and highest paid star in MMA.
“Ronda means a lot to the UFC and to this sport,” White told Yahoo! Sports (via MMA Mania). “As in everything. Everything this woman does. She’s an unbelievable athlete, personality, friend, partner, you name it. Ronda Rousey is amazing.”
“Uh, yea. You know … I think Ronda Rousey is the biggest star in the UFC,” White said. “”But let me tell you what, Conor McGregor is nipping at her heels.””
Talking to Sports Illustrated, the UFC president asked if ‘Rowdy’ was still the highest paid athlete, even after her crushing loss:
“It would still be true,” White said. “Yes. Without a doubt. Holly Holm is now facing Miesha Tate, which is a very dangerous fight, but if the Holly Holm-Ronda Rousey rematch happens I think it’s the biggest fight in UFC history.”
“She’ll fight in 2016,” said White. “100 percent. That’s all we’ve got. Obviously we were looking for her to fight at UFC 200, but that’s not going to happen. After 200 happens we’ll look and see what went on, what she’s got going on. If there’s any human being that deserves some time off it’s Ronda Rousey.”
White also said he’d be OK with Rousey deciding to retire rather than fight Holm for a second time:
“I’m cool with that. I care about Ronda and all the people here at the UFC as a person. The minute you start doubting whether you should fight or not, you probably shouldn’t.”
“That’s a fair question,” said White. “I think it’s to avenge the loss. That is why she would come back.”
Watch this space.