Before we even settled down with the UFC’s choice of Holly Holm as Ronda Rousey’s next opponent, the Rousey-Holm saga took another turn when it was moved up from UFC 195 to UFC 193.
Robbie’s Loss, Ronda’s Gain
Following a thumb injury suffered by UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler, which forced him to pull out from his title defense against Carlos Condit at the main event of UFC 193, UFC President Dana White announced last Friday that the UFC 195 headliner between Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm will replace the Lawler-Condit tussle. The reason, said White, is because they will attempt to break the UFC’s attendance record of 55,724 which was set at UFC 129 in Canada and was headlined by Georges St. Pierre against Jake Shields.
First Big Stadium Show
White considers UFC 193, which is scheduled for November 15th, as the promotion’s first Big Stadium show. It will be held at Australia’s Etihad Stadium in Melbourne which sits a capacity crowd of 56,000. But with the stadium designed as a playing field, the UFC may bring in more seats with just the Octagon at the center of the stadium. According to White, Rousey’s rousing success in Brazil at UFC 190 where she was well received even though she was fighting against a Brazilian opponent was a testament to her superstar status. He says that Rousey will “definitely” pack the Melbourne Stadium and break the All-Time attendance record.
Big Fight Card
Aside from Rousey, who will be without a doubt the top draw for the event, a heavyweight fight between former title challengers Mark Hunt and Antonio Silva will serve as appetizer as well as a middleweight showdown between the charismatic Michael Bisping against Robert Whitaker. A heavyweight bout between Stefan Struve and Jared Rosholt has also been added to beef up the fight card which is undoubtedly the biggest one put up in Australia, which the UFC considers as one of its most important international markets. The event will be shown via PPV on November 14th in the United States due to time zone difference. Rousey also proved her PPV worth as UFC 190 drew well over 900K buys, the UFC’s largest since UFC 168: Weidman-Silva 2, where Rousey co-headlined and topping Conor McGregor’s estimated 850K buys at UFC 189 earlier this year.
Rousey opened as a 12.5-1 favorite when the bout was announced. From that -1250, the odds have further climbed to -1400 when the bout was moved forward. Holm wasn’t expecting to get the next crack at Rousey, as it was supposedly going to Miesha Tate. The former champion boxer was already about to sign up for a fight against another opponent when the Rousey fight came by. So if she wasn’t prepared to fight Rousey on January 2nd, she will have to adjust further to a shorter training camp with the fight now scheduled for November 12. It’s not easy to have a shortened camp much more an abbreviated one against the most dominating champion the sport has ever seen.