Holly Holm, the reigning UFC bantamweight champion, will defend her title against Miesha Tate before the highly anticipated rematch against Ronda Rousey, according to UFC president Dana White.
White broke the news on the Wednesday edition of UFC Tonight. A few months back, White was adamant that the undefeated Holm (10-0) would have to wait until July (UFC 200) for her next title defense. In fact, White even joked that he risked losing his promoter’s license if Holm faced anyone besides Rousey (12-1). “Holly Holm will fight before she fights Ronda,” White said on Wednesday, changing his previous stance.
Holm had expressed her desire to get back into the Octagon ahead of the July event. It seems like she’ll get what she wanted. Miesha Tate (17-5), who was promised a title shot before Holm was named as Rousey’s opponent at UFC 193, is the logical choice for Holm’s first title defense.
Last weekend, Holm signed a multi-year contract extension with UFC. She’s 3-0 inside the Octagon and is expected to kick box her way through any and all challengers. Tate, a former Strikeforce champion, presents a great challenge for Holm. She’s on a four-fight winning streak and has a chip on her shoulder after being denied a shot at Rousey last year.
In related news, Ronda Rousey will host “Saturday Night Live” on January 23 in New York. “Ronda has dedicated the last three-plus years to working hard here. Not just fighting, but promoting and taking the sport and the UFC to a whole other level. Ronda has some well-deserved time off, but she will fight this year,” White said during UFC Tonight after announcing Holm’s future course.
Holm vs Tate is expected to go down during UFC’S March PPV. The location for that fight card is yet to be formally announced. Regardless of what happens during that bout, Holm vs Rousey is still pencilled in as the main event for July’s UFC 200. Will Holly Holm still be the champion?