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UFC targeting Ronda Rousey fights in both January and March

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

LAS VEGAS -- Ronda Rousey defended her UFC women's bantamweight twice within two months in the opening phases of 2014, and if all goes well, the UFC is hoping she'll do the same in 2015.

"She's absolutely, 100-percent fighting January," UFC President Dana White revealed at a Friday press conference to promote UFC 181. "She'll fight in January, 100-percent. She'll fight in January, and then she's going to film a movie, and then I'm hoping for her to come back again in March."

If Rousey (10-0) returns to fight in January, it will likely be as the co-main event of UFC 182, which features a light heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier, or UFC 183, which is headlined by the blockbuster returns of former middleweight champion Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz.

White reiterated on Thursday that number-one ranked women's bantamweight contender Cat Zingano (8-0) will likely be Rousey's next opponent, provided that Zingano defeats Amanda Nunes at UFC 178.

Zingano previously earned a shot at Rousey, along with a co-starring role in The Ultimate Fighter 18, by knocking out Miesha Tate with a vicious third-round assault in early-2013. However Zingano suffered series of devastating knee injuries following the bout, which ultimately led to Tate replacing her as a coach on the show.

Zingano's husband, Mauricio Zingano, unexpectedly took his own life in January, which further delayed Zingano's return to the UFC.

Rousey sits an undefeated 4-0 inside the UFC, having finished all but one of her opponents inside the first round. She smashed Alexis Davis in just 16 seconds in her most recent title defense.

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