Friday 30 September 2016

'When she gets over this loss, she's going to be a savage' - Dana White predicts Ronda Rousey comeback

Tom Rooney

Published 18/11/2015 | 14:56

Holly Holm of the US (R) lands a kick to the neck to knock out compatriot Ronda Rousey and win the UFC title fight in Melbourne on November 15, 2015. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE NO ADVERTISING USE NO PROMOTIONAL USE NO MERCHANDISING USE. AFP PHOTO/Paul CROCKPAUL CROCK/AFP/Getty Images
Holly Holm of the US (R) lands a kick to the neck to knock out compatriot Ronda Rousey and win the UFC title fight in Melbourne on November 15, 2015. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE NO ADVERTISING USE NO PROMOTIONAL USE NO MERCHANDISING USE. AFP PHOTO/Paul CROCKPAUL CROCK/AFP/Getty Images

Following Ronda Rousey’s shock defeat to Holly Holm, UFC president Dana White is adamant the former bantamweight champion will be back with a vengeance.

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In the early hours of Sunday morning in Melbourne’s Ethiad Arena, Holm pulled off the greatest upset in MMA history when she knocked out Rousey via a second round head-kick in their main event title bout.

Holm, despite her undefeated record and pedigree in boxing and kick-boxing, was a 9/1 underdog in some quarters and expected to be added to the long list of Rousey’s victims.

Rousey was 12-0 heading in to the contest, having never gone distance and only once fighting beyond the first round. Her previous three fights had lasted  a combined 64 second.

Since joining the UFC’s ranks in 2012, the Californian has become the biggest star the sport has ever seen, and found herself among Hollywood A-listers through her roles in The Fast and the Furious, The Expendables and Entourage.

She was also commanding the biggest salary of any UFC employee, even more than Conor McGregor, despite what he might say.

It mattered little as Holm ruthlessly exploited her rudimentary striking skills and shattered the lustre of the promotion’s most prized asset.

Immediately, rumours circulated that Rousey may retire or, at the very least, leave her long-time trainer Edmund Tarverdyan, whose instruction between rounds in Melbourne has been called into question. White is sure she will come back better than ever.

"She's the mentally strongest f-**ing athlete I've ever met in my life," he said on the Joe Rogan Podcast. "When she gets over this loss, she's going to be a savage. She was a maniac and a hard worker when she was the best in the world. What's she going to be like now that she lost?"

White has all but guaranteed that Rousey will get any immediate rematch against Holm, though it’s unclear exactly when.

Chances are it’ll be at UFC 200 on July 9 in the new Las Vegas Arena, which promises to be the promotion’s most audacious showcase and should feature a certain Crumlin man, defeat or injuries notwithstanding. White also quelled rumblings that Rousey had suffered a broken jaw.

"Both of these two are going to take the next few months and go back in and start working on s--t and they're going to clash again and this second fight will be f**ing awesome," White said.

"There's nothing wrong with Ronda. She had a huge f**ing cut in her lip; her lip was split open. I was there and I was like, we don't need a f--king doctor sewing her lip up, what's her lip going to look like if a doctor sewed it?"

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