After a year out of the Octagon, Ronda Rousey will make her return at UFC 207 on Dec. 30. UFC President Dana White made the announcement on Fox Sports 1’s “The Herd” on Wednesday afternoon, noting Rousey will immediately get a title shot against Amanda Nunes, who beat Miesha Tate at UFC 200 for the women’s bantamweight title that Rousey lost last November to Holly Holm.
“Ronda Rousey is back,” White said. “Ronda had a bad loss and lost her title, but she’s still Ronda Rousey at the end of the day.”
Rousey last appeared in the Octagon at UFC 193 on Nov. 15, when she lost to Holm via a stunning second-round knockout upset. Rousey laid low immediately after the fight, but has been hinting at an eventual comeback for months.
The rumors ramped up last month when Rousey’s trainer revealed the 29-year-old had been training again after undergoing minor knee surgery. He didn’t promise she’d be back by the end of the year, but he did promise when she did return she’d be better than ever.
“We promise the best Ronda Rousey that anyone has ever seen,” Edmond Tarverdyan told ESPN.
On Wednesday, White agreed Rousey is “100 percent” ready psychologically for her comeback, although in his view and despite reports to the contrary, her mentality wasn’t a factor in her extended break.
“The thing with Ronda is that she wanted time off,” White said. “This girl worked hard for us for three years, nonstop.”
White said he supported Rousey’s extended break because “you gotta be all in, in this sport, you gotta be a killer, you gotta want it.”
White said that Rousey, who he refers to as a “mega star,” does indeed want it.
“Ronda Rousey has been the biggest, baddest fighter on the planet since we got into women’s fighting,” White said.
The 47-year-old White wouldn’t make any predictions about who would win between Rousey, a martial arts specialist, and Nunes, a talented boxer, but he said if Rousey does manage to regain her title, her next opponent could be longtime foe Cris “Cyborg” Justino.
“The Cyborg fight will definitely happen,” he said.
Shortly after White made the announcement about Rousey’s comeback on Wednesday, Rousey posted a promotional flyer for UFC 207 on her Instagram account.
Justino will no doubt notice the hashtag “Fear the Return.”
Correction: This post was updated to correct an incorrect fact regarding in which round Rousey lost to Holm in November.