Should Ronda Rousey consider sitting out in 2016 before returning to the UFC?

BY Damon Martin • January 11, 2016

There's still no official word on Holly Holm's next title defense, but UFC president Dana White did reveal recently that she would fight again before potentially facing former champion Ronda Rousey in a rematch.

Holm is likely expected to face Miesha Tate at UFC 197. But that still leaves questions about what Rousey does next and when she might return to the sport.

White guaranteed that Rousey would fight this year, but given her current schedule after just wrapping a Sports Illustrated photo shoot, two movies that are filming back-to-back as well as an appearance hosting "Saturday Night Live" later this month, it's clear she's got a busy schedule that probably won't leave much room for training.

On the latest episode of the Great MMA Debate podcast, UFC welterweight Matt Brown, Damon Martin and Jeremy Loper discuss the prospect of Rousey taking some extended time off to get her mind back into the game and possibly working with new coaches to prepare her for a potential rematch with Holm.

"We all know that fighting's a mental sport," Brown said. "This is a mind game, especially once you're in the cage and I don't see her mind being in the right place at least from the outside looking in. I never try to assume that I know more than I actually know and what I actually know from what I see."

Rousey hasn't voiced much about her return to action other than an interview where she stated that she wanted a rematch with Holm but right now there's no actual time line on when that could possibly occur.

Most believed Rousey would come back at UFC 200 on July 9 at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, but with Holm already expected to fight within the next few months that could potentially derail a rematch.

There's also Rousey's schedule, which is virtually packed with obligations between now and at least May with the filming of her acting roles in "Mile 22" opposite Mark Wahlberg as well as the upcoming "Road House" remake.

As devastating to the UFC's bottom line in 2016 as it might be, would Rousey sitting out the majority of the year or maybe the entire year be the worst idea in the world?

Rousey deserves to take as much time as she needs to feel ready to step back in the Octagon, but it's hard to imagine she's going to have that much space available over the next five months to truly improve on the mistakes she made in the first fight with Holm. Add to that, Rousey suffered a vicious knockout in her first loss — to Holm in November — and there's little doubt that a concussion was a likely result from the second-round finish.

Rousey's best interest might be to sit out, get better and then return when her mind and body are on the right track to where she has the best possible chance to beat Holm and reclaim the women's bantamweight title.

"She needs to be in the gym training," Brown said. "Everybody else is getting one step closer every day and she's getting one step further behind."

Listen to the rest of the show via Soundcloud or download and subscribe via iTunes to hear the Rousey debate, Conor McGregor's star power and much more. 

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