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Ronda Rousey's return to fighting is 'up to her,' says UFC president Dana White

Esther Lin photo

Speculation on when Ronda Rousey will return to mixed martial arts has become the sport's biggest guessing game.

For awhile, it was assumed the former UFC women's bantamweight champion would return in time for UFC 200. When that didn't come to pass, the UFC's debut event in Madison Square Garden in November became the next logical landing point.

As of now, however, Rousey, who hasn't been seen in the Octagon since her knockout loss to Holly Holm at UFC 193 last November, has yet to indicate when she wants to return. And while UFC president Dana White hopes that time will come at some point in 2016, he says the decision is all Rousey's to make.

"I would really like her to fight this year," White said Wednesday on The Dan Patrick Show. "I hope she does. That's up to Ronda, Ronda is coming to come out and let us know when she's going to fight again. That's up to her."

Rousey most recently made news by signing a three-movie deal with the Lifetime network. For his part, White says, given all the work she's done to help fuel the UFC's latest boom period, he's not going to begrudge Rousey her free time.

"If you look at, from when I decided to bring fighters into the UFC, no fighter has worked harder than Ronda Rousey over the last three years, other than probably Conor McGregor. So, she deserves the time off," White said.

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