Holly Holm may want to fight sooner than a rematch against Ronda Rousey in July, but her wishes rank behind those of the Ultimate Fighting Championship leadership.
UFC President Dana White told The Times Wednesday that “it’s Rousey” next for Holm, with a date cleared for July 9 at the new arena in Las Vegas.
Holm’s manager, Lenny Fresquez, told The Times Tuesday that he met with UFC officials Monday and received a proposal for that fight, but expressed concerns that Rousey wouldn’t be ready following her second-round knockout loss Nov. 14 in Australia.
“I’m not sure Ronda will be ready for a July fight,” Fresquez said. “She took a severe beating and I don’t think it’s in her best interest to take the next fight so fast. They told me she’s been ready and cleared, but … .”
Fresquez said he’d like Holm to defend her belt in the interim against top-ranked contender Miesha Tate.
“Holly’s used to staying active,” Fresquez said. “We’re from the old school and we believe the No. 1 contender is there for a reason. … [Tate] deserves a shot, but it’s not for me to decide.”
Fresquez did not immediately return messages left him by The Times on Wednesday.
“We’re real concerned with his opinion,” White said in a sarcastic tone.
White said he’s maintained frequent contact with Rousey since her loss, saying they talk “every day, seven times a day.
“I’ve made no secret about it. She’s one of my very close friends,” White said.
He expressed no concerns with Rousey’s ability to rebound from the defeat, iced by Holm’s vicious kick to Rousey’s head.
“Ronda is the fiercest competitor I have ever met in my life and she’s also very proud,” White said. “What made the world love Ronda is that Ronda absolutely 100% knew she was not going to lose. … People rallied around this powerful female figure.
“Ronda’s never lost a fight. She will overcome it and be back.
“She got clipped, stayed in there and tried to fight through it. She told me she was in there, she was rocked, and she’d never been rocked like that before. And the things that were going on in her head – what she was doing – she’d never been in that situation.”