The weigh-in altercation between Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm has been a hot topic in the final hours leading up to their bantamweight championship showdown at UFC 193.
After a relatively cordial build-up to the fight in recent weeks, the two combatants got down and dirty after hitting the scales on Thursday. A typically intense Rousey rushed forward to invade Holm’s space during their final staredown only to have the ex-world champion boxer respond by putting her fist in Rousey’s face.
After that altercation, Rousey didn’t mince words during a brief interview with UFC commentator Joe Rogan.
"I just wanted to get in her face and show her that I was there for a reason," Rousey said. "She's the one that put the fist on my face. I didn't touch her. She's the one that touched me and I told her that fake, sweet act -- I can see right through it. I really do. It was all fake. All until now. All that respect, all that everything, all you being sweet. I see right now that it's fake and you're gonna get it on Sunday.”
In the middle of it all was UFC President Dana White, who was caught off guard by the scuffle.
“I didn’t see that coming. Obviously if I saw that coming it wouldn’t have happened,” White told Submission Radio. “Ronda is intense, man, and Holly didn’t back down. One thing you have to understand going into big fights like this, mental warfare is definitely on. Conor McGregor is one of the best ever at mental warfare; Joanna Jedrzejczyk one of the best ever at mental warfare; and Ronda and Holly definitely had it going on today.”
Afterward, there was plenty of speculation that the entire thing was staged. While it’s entirely possible that Rousey took it upon herself to build a little more heat in the name of pay-per-view buys, White denies that the promotion ordered any type of choreographed animosity.
“I can tell you this: That never happens. We never tell people to go do anything. If you look at the falling outs I’ve had with fighters, don’t you think that fighters would come and and say, ‘They told us to go do this and they tell us to go do that?’ We don’t tell the fighters to do anything,” White said.
“There’s no push to sell tickets. Two women are selling over 50,000 tickets here and this thing’s trending as one of the biggest pay-per-views we’ve ever done, let alone this year. There’s no push to go out and do anything fake. We don’t ever do things like that. And if we did, you’d have heard about it by now, believe me.”
White is normally on hand to prevent that type of encounter that took place on Friday. When he wasn’t present, Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier famously brawled at a UFC media event in Las Vegas in 2014. This time, the UFC boss admits he could have done better.
“Ronda went after her, and it seemed like they were jockeying for position,” he said. “It’s my job to make sure that doesn’t happen and they don’t put their hands on each other. And apparently I didn’t do my job today.”