UFC president Dana White spoke recently with TMZ Sports about former women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.
“I can tell you this – Ronda wants to fight Cyborg,” said White. “Absolutely, positively wants to fight Cyborg. So we’ll see what happens.”
“We’re talking about [Rousey] coming back this year, but we’ll see what happens.”
White also explained Rousey’s absence since losing her title to Holly Holm at UFC 193 on November 15, 2015, in Melbourne, Australia.
“Ronda wanted time off,” said White. “Girl busted ass for years. Wanted time off. Deserved time off. She just got a bunch of little injuries fixed up that she needed to work on.
“She’s getting nasty again, and her head’s in the right place. I think we’ll see her soon. … I’m hoping she fights this year.”
White expanded upon the remarks during the latest UFC Unfiltered podcast.
White also said the league is not likely to add a new women’s division at 145.
“I don’t think so,” he said. “I think, first of all, there aren’t enough 145-pound female fighters to start a 145-pound division. There just isn’t. You know? Cyborg is this one girl floating out there who had that type of star power. She headlined Brazil for us.”
Rousey is the most famous fighter in UFC history, but her popularity did not translate thus far into PPV buys as well as did the popularity of Conor McGregor. However, White predicted last month that the return of Rousey will be the biggest fight in league history. White has also said that Rousey will get an immediate title shot upon her return.
Rousey’s loss sent the division into a tumble, with four champions in eight months .The current champion is Amanda Nunes. It is also possible that Rousey will choose a rematch with Holly Holm upon her return. Or if White is right, and Rousey absolutely, positively wants to fight Cyborg, the catchweight contest would doubtless be available. In all likelihood, however, a title shot is the most likely outcome for Rousey’s return.