File photo by Joe Castro/EPA
MANILA, Philippines – The highly-anticipated Octagon return of Ronda Rousey was pushed back to a later date after the former UFC women’s bantamweight champion underwent a minor surgery on her knee.
UFC president Dana White revealed that Rousey’s comeback has been delayed even further, making it impossible to book her on the promotion’s November 12 card that will be held at Madison Square Garden in New York.
“Ronda Rousey, I don’t know. I’m hoping we’re going to get Ronda back this year,” he said in an interview on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” on Friday, June 3. “She actually just had surgery yesterday on her knee. Nothing serious, just get in there, scope it and clean it out a little bit. She feels great. Her spirits are great. She’s been training.”
The 46-year-old White hopes to see Rousey fight in December of this year, but White stressed the possibility of the ex-bantamweight queen being sidelined until early January 2017.
“If she fights, I’m hoping she fights in December. If not, then she would probably fight at the New Year's show at the beginning of the year,” White stated.
Rousey has not fought since suffering a painful second-round knockout loss to Holly Holm in November 2015.
Prior to his disappointing defeat to Holm, Rousey was unbeaten in her first 12 professional bouts, finishing 11 matches in the first round and 9 by way of her signature armbar submission.
White guaranteed that Rousey will get an immediate 135-pound title shot upon her return.
“If Miesha Tate’s still the champion, she will fight Miesha Tate. Whoever has the belt is who Ronda will fight,” White shared.
Tate crossed paths with Rousey twice, dropping the Strikeforce women’s bantamweight belt by first-round submission in March 2012 before tapping out once more in the third round of their December 2013 rematch.
Meanwhile, White is not ruling out pitting Rousey against Holm inside the UFC cage again.
Holm will have the opportunity to redeem herself as she is slated to lock horns with Peruvian standout Valentina Shevchenko in the main event of UFC on FOX 20 on July 23.
"Injuries happen in this sport and a fight is made. Somebody falls out and somebody else slides in," White asserted. "I'm not even saying Holly Holm couldn't be the champion by the time Ronda comes back. So, whoever holds that belt when Ronda's ready.” – Rappler.com