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Holly Holm: It's 'very possible' the UFC is waiting to book me for Ronda Rousey rematch

Holly Holm didn't get the rematch she wanted. Instead, there's a chance she gets the rematch the UFC wanted from her all along.

There has been a divide in what Holm and the UFC have wanted after Holm knocked out Ronda Rousey in the second round of their UFC 193 main event in November.

The UFC didn't want Holm to fight again until Rousey returned to the Octagon, the safe and sure bet for a rematch that would be a promoter's dream. Rousey not being able to come back until the end of this year and Holm preferring to stay active threw a monkey wrench into the UFC's plan. So, Holm got her wish and defended the belt first against Miesha Tate at UFC 196 last month.

Tate, of course, had a monkey wrench of her own. She beat Holm by fifth-round submission to win the women's bantamweight title. What is that saying about the best-laid plans?

From the jump, Holm wanted that rematch with Tate with the rationale that she had been beating Tate until "Cupcake" pulled off that stunning rear-naked choke in the final round. The UFC preferred Tate wait for Rousey to return setting up a third matchup between the two hated rivals.

Those plans went south as well when Tate said it was her desire to fight sooner than the end of the year. So, the UFC booked Tate to defend her title against Amanda Nunes at UFC 200 on July 9 in Las Vegas.

But what about Holm? That's what she is wondering as well. No one is sure who wanted Nunes rather than a Holm rematch, thought the UFC and Tate are pointing fingers at each other. It doesn't matter at this point, though. Nunes is the opponent and Holm is the odd woman out.

And that could leave Holm right back where this rollercoaster started: against Ronda Rousey. "The Preacher's Daughter" told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour that she would not be surprised if the UFC waited to book her again until Rousey's comeback in November or December.

"It's very possible," Holm said. "I don't know what their real thinking is, but they're obviously a successful business for a reason. They're a successful promotion. They usually have their reasons behind everything."

Holm still wants to fight Tate next for the belt, which is why she she's rooting for Tate to beat Nunes in July. But it'll be a while before Holm gets that fight, if she does. So she's reassessing her options at the moment.

"I'll be ready either way," Holm said. "If I rematch with Ronda, I'm gonna train my butt off. If I rematch with Tate, I'm gonna train my butt off. If they give me one of the other top girls in the meantime, I'm gonna train my butt off.

"I feel like at this point, not having the rematch, which is what I really wanted, I kind of just changed my train of thought to just be open to whatever. I don't want to be so focused on that that if something else comes my way that I don't take advantage of the opportunity."

If Tate does beat Nunes, she probably wouldn't be ready to fight again until the fall at the earliest. Rousey will be back relatively around the same time. Holm doesn't wait to wait, but at this point she's resigned herself to it. A Holm-Rousey rematch is still one of the biggest fights the UFC can do -- maybe the biggest? -- even if there's no title in play.

"Who knows?" Holm said. "Maybe they'll put Ronda and I together and the winner of that goes for the belt."

That very well could be the UFC's current plan. Cat Zingano and Julianna Pena will fight at UFC 200 and the winner of that matchup would also have a case for a title shot against the Tate-Nunes winner. Things have heated up in the women's bantamweight division in Rousey's absence and her return will only push things to a boil.

Maybe the UFC will get Holm vs. Rousey 2 this year after all.

"And that could be it," Holm said. "They could be waiting for that."

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