White: Rousey first in line for title shot

Ronda Rousey has not fought since she lost her women’s bantamweight title in November last year, but should she decide to make her comeback later this year, UFC president Dana White has confirmed that it will be against newly-crowned champion Amanda Nunes.

Rousey was handed her first professional loss when she was knocked out by Holly Holm during their bout at UFC 193. Since then, the 29-year-old has taken a step back from the sport in order to fulfill movie commitments, and her return has been further delayed after she underwent knee surgery last month.

Even though it has been eight months since Rousey lost to Holm, White reiterated that the California native is still the number one contender for the title.

“Ronda’s going to make that decision,” White said on the UFC 200 post-fight show. “Hopefully, I would like to see her fight this year, but it could be early next year, too.

“Whoever the champion is at the time is who Ronda will fight.”

It is still unclear when Rousey plans to return, but should it not be by the end of the year, White admitted that Holm is likely to be Nunes’ first opponent as champion.

Holm lost the title to Miesha Tate via submission in the fifth round at UFC 196 in March, but White confirmed that the 34-year-old could cement her spot in second on the list of title contenders if she beats Valentina Shevchenko at UFC on FOX 20 on July 23.

“If Ronda comes back, Ronda will get the shot. We’ll see what happens with Holly Holm in her next fight, she’s fighting on FOX. It’s all good stuff,” White said.