LOS ANGELES: Mixed martial arts phenomenon Ronda Rousey’s next title defense will take place in Australia with the star bidding to set a record atten¬dance for an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) event, officials said.
Rousey had initially been due to fight Holly Holm in Las Vegas on January 2 but the contest has now been brought forward two months in a bid to spread the fighter’s appeal to another corner of the globe.
The fight is to be held at Melbourne’s Docklands Stadium on November 15.
UFC President Dana White told ESPN’s SportsCenter that the decision to move the fight to Australia followed the success of Rousey’s last explosive title defence in Brazil earlier this month.
“Ronda Rousey was huge for us in Brazil,” White said.
“She was well received there and it was just a phenomenal event.It did very well on Pay-Per-View here in the United States, and she’s obviously a huge superstar for us.
“Australia’s an important market for us, so we’re gonna bring her out there in our first real big stadium show, and we know she’ll break the (all-time MMA attendance) record out there.”
Rousey, a former Olympic judoka, has helped push mixed martial arts into the mainstream of US sports with a series of dynamic knockout victories that have earned her comparisons to Mike Tyson’s rise in the heavyweight boxing division during the 1980s.