In the end, Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate 3 wasn't the kind of trilogy the UFC wanted. At least not right now.
UFC president Dana White told the Los Angeles Times on Friday that Holly Holm was chosen as Ronda Rousey's next opponent, because, simply, Rousey has already beaten Tate twice and in dominant fashion. White didn't think the UFC needed to go to the well one more time at this point.
"We were talking about Miesha from the start, then as we started sitting around we were saying, ‘Everyone has seen the Miesha fight already,' " White said. "A third fight in a rivalry usually comes after the stuff we'd see in [Arturo] Gatti-[Micky] Ward. With Miesha, the result has been the same twice. Everyone's already seen that fight."
Rousey will defend her UFC women's bantamweight title against Holm in the main event of UFC 195 on Jan. 2 in Las Vegas, Rousey announced Friday on Good Morning America. Tate's manager Josh Jones told MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani that he was "absolutely shocked" and "very disappointed" that Holm was the opponent, because most people expected it to be Tate.
White told the LA Times that he would prefer Tate fight Amanda Nunes next. Nunes is on a two-fight winning streak and is another top contender.
"Theres two sides to the coin," White said. ... "I'm not sure losing another fight to Ronda so soon would be good for Miesha. She's not going anywhere. I think she'll be fine."
Holm has won both of her fights in the UFC, the latest a unanimous decision over Marion Reneau last month. Tate has won four straight since losing to Rousey in December 2013, including an impressive unanimous decision victory over Jessica Eye at UFC on FOX 16 on July 25. White himself called the Tate-Eye bout one for the No. 1 contender slot.
Tate fell to Rousey by third-round armbar at UFC 168 in December 2013 and she remains the only opponent to take the champion past the first round. Rousey also defeated Tate to win the Strikeforce title back in 2012 by first-round armbar.
Holm, undefeated like Rousey in MMA at 9-0, is a former three-division boxing champion and Ring Magazine women's boxer of the year in 2005 and 2006. She dispatched Reneau, a ranked fighter, with relative ease last month. In her UFC debut in February, Holm beat Pennington via split decision in an uneven performance.
"Everyone has jitters in their first fight. Holly came back from that and destroyed a woman who'd looked damn good in her previous fights," White said. "When you talk about the possibilities of what Holly can do ... she's a world-class boxer ... the Holly Holm fight for Ronda is way more intriguing."