Social media exploded yesterday. Women’s bantamweight champion ‘Rowdy’ Ronda Rousey was announced as the headliner at UFC 193 in Melbourne, Australia. Rousey will defend her championship belt against decorated striker Holly ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’ Holm in what is said to be a coup for the hosting venue, Etihad Stadium.
UFC supremo Dana White made the announcement on ESPN’s SportsCentre in New York. Rousey and Hom will take the place of Lawler and Condit at the top of the bill.
“We’ll break all-time attendance record for an MMA event,” said White on Twitter.
Australian MMA fans are euphoric.
“Australia’s an important market for us,” said White to ESPN, “so we’re going to bring her out there in our first real big stadium show. And we know she’ll break the record out there.”
Ticket sellers were inundated at the news. Within seconds of the announcement online ticket sellers were reporting a blowout in sales.
Ronda Rousey is arguably the most marketable fighter in the world. She is without doubt the best.
But Holm is no slouch either. The 33 year-old from New Mexico has a 9-0 record, she has won 9 world boxing titles, and fast climbing the bantamweight ranks.
Her only chance against Rousey, however, is to elude the champion’s Olympic level judo game and keep the fight standing.
Holm lacks the grappling pedigree of Rousey. The champion’s almost patented arm-bar has ended more fights than both of Holm’s fists.
Only Miesha Tate has managed to take Rousey beyond the first round.
In her 12 career wins Rousey ended the last four in: 66 seconds (Sara McMann), 16 seconds (Alexis Davis), 14 seconds (Cat Zingano), and 14 seconds (Bethe Correia).
Most experts are predicting another early night for the champion.