UFC President Dana White announced this Wednesday that bantamweight champion Holly Holm will have her first title defense with a opponent other than Ronda Rousey.
Holm has expressed the desire of fighting before the imagined date for the rematch with Rousey, at UFC 200, this coming July.
So, after much speculation, Dana confirmed Holm will fight sooner than July:“Holly Holm will fight before she fights Ronda.”
With that, we ask: who do you think Holm’s opponent should be?
Looking at the bantamweight rankings, three names stand out.
Miesha Tate, number 2 in the ranking, was supposed to fight Ronda for a third time back in November, when the UFC decided to call on Holm instead. Tate did not hide her disappointment for being put aside, but then celebrated vigorously Holm’s victory. With a 17-5 record and undefeated in her last four fights, Tate is the preferred name. Will she make it to the billboard this time?
Cat Zingano, number 3 in the ranking, hasn’t fought since February 2015, when she lost to Rousey in 14s. As a matter of fact, that was the only defeat in her professional career. Zingano has said in recent interviews that she is ready to come back after almost a year on the shelf and that she is healthy and mentally ready to fight. Oh, and she did beat both Tate and Nunes. Can she jump the line and have a crack at Holly’s belt?
Amanda Nunes, number 4 in the ranking, had her last appearance on August, when she caught Sara McMann via rear-naked choke. With a 11-4 record and undefeated on her last two fights, the Brazilian is the dark horse in the race for a immediate title shot, but it can happen if the UFC makes a move to please one of it’s major regional markets.
Other names could also make the list, like Julianna Pena or Bethe Correa, but it’s very unlikly any fighter other than the three listed above will be called for the mission.
Anyway, who do you think has the best chance to get the gig and also who has the best chance to beat Holm?