Ronda Rousey, expected to return to the octagon in December, is still the biggest star in the history of the MMA promotion, according to UFC president Dana White.
Rousey’s much-awaited comeback is expected to take place at UFC 207 against reigning bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes in Las Vegas on Dec. 30.
White was speaking to radio station Hot 97 during an interview when asked if Rousey was a bigger star than Conor McGregor and Brock Lesnar, the two other big-ticket pay-per-view draws.
“By far. Not even close, by far the biggest star ever,” exclaimed the UFC boss.
Ronda Rousey, a global icon
White said that even though McGregor is a big draw in his own right, Rousey has a stronger global following.
“Ronda Rousey is such a big star that when you go down to Brazil – I don’t know if you guys have watched any of the fights we do from Brazil — they don’t care who you are. They want the Brazilian to whoop your ass.
“When Ronda went down there, they cheered for Ronda over the Brazilian. Never seen that before in my life and will probably never see it again. That’s how big Ronda Rousey is,” added White.
The former bantamweight champion hasn’t fought since dropping the title to Holly Holm during UFC 193 last November.
Since that knockout, there has been a lot of speculation about Rousey’s future, with some even suggesting that she could call it a day.
Last month, White confirmed that the Nunes-Rousey match for UFC 207 was in the works. Soon after that Rousey’s longtime trainer, Edmond Tarverdyan, confirmed the development.
UFC 207 confirmed?
As of this writing, the match hasn’t been made official but word on the street is that the match will happen.
McGregor has repeatedly claimed to be a bigger draw than Rousey. However, White dispelled the theory.
“The truth with Ronda is this: Ronda Rousey worked her ass off for four years. She worked hard. All the time she fought, all the PR that she did for us, and more importantly the training.
“The training takes a lot out of you. And after the loss she said, ‘I need a break. I need time off.’ And the minute anybody says that in this business…you don’t do that in this sport.
“Your head has to be in this game 24-7 and you’ve got to be a killer. The minute you think you need a break, you definitely need a break,” said White, while lavishing praise on Rousey.
There are also rumors about a possible superfight between Rousey latest sensation Cris Cyborg.
Stay tuned for the latest on Ronda Rousey.