Crisp, cool air. Leaves changing colors. And now we'll have yet another reason to look forward to the fall.
UFC president Dana White said this week on the Big Boy show in Los Angeles that Ronda Rousey would most likely be returning to the UFC's Octagon in November. The previous target date was UFC 200 on July 9, but that would be too soon for Rousey, who has a host of Hollywood obligations to fulfill the first half of the year.
With a November date a possibility, could the UFC bring Rousey back in its New York City debut? UFC vice president of public relations Dave Sholler said Saturday following UFC on FOX 18 in Newark, N.J., that if MMA is legalized in the state this year the UFC is targeting a November event. Rousey at Madison Square Garden would be a massive draw.
White told Big Boy that he expects Rousey to return as strong as ever despite coming off the first loss of her career.
"She's very intense," White said. "She's a badass, man. She'll be back."
Rousey will almost certainly face the winner of the women's bantamweight title bout between champion Holly Holm and Miesha Tate, which will go down in the co-main event of UFC 196 on March 5 in Las Vegas. Rousey, of course, has a history with both.
Holm beat Rousey to win the belt via second-round knockout at UFC 193 back in November. It was one of the biggest upsets in UFC history with Holm, a former three-division boxing champion, being a significant underdog. Rousey has also faced Tate twice, beating her by submission both times. Holm is a -365 favorite over Tate, according to online sports books.
Rousey, who just turned 29 years old on Monday, has been busy. She hosted Saturdy Night Live last month and has a spread coming out in Sports Illustrated's annual Swimsuit Issue. Fans, though, have not been very kind since Rousey's defeat. She has gotten a bevy of social media hate since falling to Holm.
"She's one of those polarizing figures that so many people were bummed out that she lost and so many people were happy that she lost," White said. "She incites both."