Dana White didn’t say it directly, but it was very much implied: Holly Holm ruined some plans by knocking out Ronda Rousey at UFC 193.
However, considering Rousey’s track record as the promotion’s most dominant champion leading up to Saturday’s shocker in Melbourne, don’t be surprised if “Rowdy” gets a second chance against Holm in the not-too-distant future.
“Obviously we don’t make fights the night of the fight, but the rematch makes a lot of sense,” White said at the post-fight press conference. “I think the rematch is what people would want to see. [Holm’s victory] changes a lot of things; the Cyborg fight, some other stuff we were working on.”
Although Holm appeared to be in complete control before putting Rousey away with a head kick and follow-up punches 59 seconds into round two, the Jackson-Wink MMA representative was also in favor of a rematch with the Olympic judoka. One of Holm’s greatest combat sports triumph prior to UFC 193 occurred when she avenged a devastating knockout loss to Anne Sophie Mathis in a boxing title bout in 2012.
“I think a rematch makes sense for sure. I’ve been on a losing side of a fight and I wanted the rematch; I wanted to avenge my loss,” Holm said. “With a champion like Ronda who has gone out of her way, above and beyond to do great things, absolutely she deserves a rematch.
“I don’t look at this belt and think I made it; I still think I have things that I need to do. I think a rematch, that’s kind of like unspoken -- just common sense to me I guess.”
Rousey, meanwhile, was unavailable to comment on the matter. She bypassed a post-fight interview in the Octagon immediately after her loss, and was not present at the presser because she was transported to the hospital for a post-fight checkup.
“She was transported because she got knocked out, No. 1, and her lip was split in half and they had to sew her lip so they transported her,” White said.
The UFC boss said he spoke briefly to the fallen champion but offered little insight into Rousey’s post-fight reaction other than the obvious.
“Obviously she’s completely bummed out and depressed. That’s it,” White said.
If all had gone as expected, the countdown for a Rousey showdown with Cristiane Justino would have begun in earnest. Instead, the UFC and the rest of the MMA world are left to ponder where Holm’s victory ranks among the sport’s biggest upsets.
“Tonight was one of those moments. These are the moments in fighting that make it so crazy and so fun,” White said. [UFC commentator Joe Rogan] was downstairs [and] he was saying this was by far the biggest upset in UFC history. At the end of the day I made this fight. I said that this was a good fight.
“Holly was the right fight. Ronda had never faced anybody that uses the range and distance the way that she does. This woman has four times more fights than Ronda does. This was the right fight.”