• Ronda Rousey, celebrates after defeating Cat Zingano in a UFC 184 mixed martial arts bantamweight title bout, (AAP)Source: AAP
Now we know why UFC President Dana White reversed course and gave Holly Holm the thumbs-up to face Miesha Tate in March. He had wanted Holm to wait until July, all the better to face Ronda Rousey in a mega-rematch at UFC 200, but the latter has asked for some more time off.
Des Bieler

The Washington Post
18 Jan 2016 - 12:14 PM  UPDATED 18 Jan 2016 - 12:15 PM

And why did Rousey ask for that? So she could complete filming of a remake of “Road House.”

In fairness, the filming of that movie was delayed, likely affecting whatever schedule Rousey had mapped out to do that while also getting back into fighting shape after her knockout loss to Holm at UFC 193 in November. Also, the mixed martial arts star is set to step into Patrick Swayze’s shoes as the star of the new “Road House,” a major opportunity many would find impossible to pass up.

Still, the news that arrived Tuesday won’t do much to allay criticism by some MMA fans that Rousey hasn’t been paying enough attention to the thing that made her an international icon in the first place. And it deprives the company of what would have been its headline bout at UFC 200, already set to be an extravaganza at a brand new arena in Las Vegas.

“The filming of the movie got pushed back,” White told Yahoo Sports. “She could do both, but the question is, should she do both? She could do both, but why should she? The filming is in a time frame where she’d finish before [UFC] 200, but it would be cutting it too close.”

White made it clear that he was more than willing to let Rousey take her time returning to the Octagon. Her explosion over the past year has vaulted not just women’s MMA, but the entire sport, far more into public consciousness than it had ever been before.

“The way I look at this one is, Ronda has worked her ass off for us for the last three years,” White told Yahoo Sports. “She’s been fighting, promoting and building the sport. If anyone deserves the time off, it’s her. The night [of UFC 193], Holly said she’d do the rematch and that Ronda deserved it and everything else. So we were holding it for her if she wanted to do it.”

“Anything we needed, [Rousey] didn’t say no to anything; said no to nothing,” White added. “She even took over responsibilities somebody else was supposed to have. So when she tells me she wants more time, you know what? She’s got it.”

In the meantime, Holm will take on Tate at UFC 197 in March. That event promises to be a blockbuster in its own right, partly because it will mark Holm’s first match since handing Rousey her first MMA defeat, but also because emerging superstar Conor McGregor will attempt to add an unprecedented lightweight belt to the one he holds in the featherweight division, when he takes on Rafael dos Anjos.

A rematch with Rousey still figures to be Holm’s next match after facing Tate, and even if the latter gets the win at UFC 197, Rousey-Holm 2 — whenever it occurs — will undoubtedly generate major interest. MMA fans can only hope that it will also feature a fully focused and prepared “Road House” star.