Ronda Rousey’s next title defense will come against an unexpected opponent when she faces former boxing world champion Holly Holm in the UFC 195 headliner on Jan. 2.
The UFC women’s bantamweight champion announced the matchup on Friday morning on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” UFC 195 will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
“She’s definitely my biggest challenge to date, so I’m super excited about it,” Rousey said.
Rousey is coming off a 34-second shellacking of Bethe Correia at UFC 190. That victory improved the Olympic judoka to 12-0 as a professional, including six triumphs in the Octagon. All but one of “Rowdy’s” victories within the Las Vegas-based promotion have come inside of a round.
Holm, meanwhile, is unbeaten nine professional outings. The former boxing titlist retired from the ring for good in 2013 and signed with the UFC after winning her first seven bouts. The Jackson-Wink MMA representative defeated Raquel Pennington via split decision in her debut before scoring a more decisive unanimous verdict against Marion Reneau in her sophomore outing at UFC Fight Night on July 15.
"I prepare for a five-round war every time I get in there," Rousey said. "No one's easy until after you beat them, and with Holly Holm, she's the type that is ready to go 12 boxing rounds. She's not the average chick that I fight. She's the best striker I've ever fought, and striking is something I learned much later in my career. So I don't ever expect fights to be easy and fast. No one knows exactly how the fights are going to go, and that's why everybody buys them."
UFC President Dana White had previously said that Miesha Tate was the division’s next No. 1 contender after Tate defeated Jessica Eye at UFC on Fox 16 on July 25. However, Rousey has already beaten Tate twice -- once in Strikeforce in 2012 and again in a rematch at UFC 168.