We still don’t know yet when former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey is going to return to the Octagon, but UFC president Dana White is sure that she will be back. And we she does return, White is adamant that it will be a blockbuster event.
“I think Ronda Rousey’s return will be the biggest pay-per-view we’ve ever done,” White said on Thursday’s edition of The Herd on FS1, when asked if Rousey’s return could be bigger than Conor McGregor’s recent rematch with Nate Diaz. MMAFighting.com’s Dave Meltzer, considered the foremost expert on UFC pay-per-view numbers, reports early estimates for UFC 202 at 1.2 to 1.5 million buys, etching it among the top three pay-per-views in UFC history.
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That certainly says something about Rousey’s current star power, as well as the progression of female athletes in mixed martial arts in general. There once was a time when White never would have imagined women in the Octagon, let alone a woman being the biggest draw in the promotion’s history.
“If you’d told me 15 years ago that women would be fighting in the UFC, and if you told me that women would be as technically sound as the men and the fights would be loved by millions of people all over the world and it would be the hottest thing going on in the UFC, I would have never believed it,” said White.
Although we don’t know when Rousey will return to the Octagon, we do know when she won’t be back. Early targets were locked on UFC 205 in New York in November, the promotion’s first event in the state since it approved sanctioning, but White has nixed that date.
Without Rousey’s return scheduled, many have questioned whether she’ll ever be back, but White said it has simply been a matter of the former champ’s ongoing medical issues.
“Ronda had a bunch of minor surgeries and they’re healing up, and when they are, I’m assuming she’s gonna fight.”
White has guaranteed that Rousey gets an immediate title shot when she comes back, but for now, we’ll have to sit back and wait for Rousey to determine when that might happen.