Even though Ronda RouseyÂ hasnâ€™t fought since February, she has the womenâ€™s bantamweight division scouted â€“ both in and out of the UFC.
The womenâ€™s 135-pound weight class has flourished since Rousey (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) debuted earlier this year, and though the UFC currently has most of the divisionâ€™s best talent signed, thereâ€™s one unsigned talent the champion would very much like to test her skills against.
â€œI would love to fight Holly Holm,â€ Rousey told MMAjunkie. â€œI would absolutely love to fight Holly Holm.â€
Holm (6-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC), a former professional boxer with multiple world championships under her belt, successfully transitioned to MMA in 2011 and has become one of WMMAâ€™s most dynamic strikers.
Female knockout artists are a rarity in MMA, but â€œThe Preacherâ€™s Daughterâ€ has the necessary combination of technique and power to put her opponentâ€™s to sleep. Moreover, Holm has a bullish confidence and believes â€“ with a bit more grappling experience â€“ she can dethrone the former Olympic bronze-medal judoka.
While a fight between Rousey and Holm would be a marketable matchup, plenty of barriers are in the way before the fight can become a reality. For one, Holm, whose primary home is the Texas-based Legacy FC promotion, would need to sign with the UFC, though the sides are reportedly far apart on terms for a deal.
During Rouseyâ€™s recent absence, in which she filmed two movies overseas after coaching â€œThe Ultimate Fighter 18,â€ several new contenders have emerged and made a case for a championship fight. Rousey recognizes the legitimacy of those contenders, and after her UFC 168 pay-per-view co-headliner against Miesha Tate on Dec. 28 in Las Vegas, she said sheâ€™ll be ready to take on the next contenders. Holm would be nice, but she said the UFC has plenty of options queued up.
â€œThe person who stands out to me the most is Miesha Tate, and the next person who stands out to me the most is Cat Zingano,â€ Rousey said. â€œThen the next person who stands out to me the most is Sara McMann. Then the next person who stands out to me the most is Alexis Davis. After that I donâ€™t know. The women are performing every single time they go out there.â€
With Rouseyâ€™s time in the sport potentially ending in the next few years, only a limited number of fights may remain for â€œRowdy.â€
While Holm is still developing at her own pace, Rousey is hopeful sheâ€™ll be signed to the UFC sooner rather than later so the matchup can come to fruition before her exit.
â€œI really hope that the UFC picks Holly up and that I get to fight her before I retire,â€ she said.
For more on UFC 168, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.