ByRyan Matsunaga, writer at
MMA fan, BJJ enthusiast, and Executive Publisher at Creators Media.
Ryan Matsunaga

At the beginning of 2015, Ronda Rousey was the undisputed star of the UFC. She was 10-0, had finished nearly all of her UFC fights in the opening seconds of the first round, and was fantastic at navigating the media circus surrounding her popularity.

The Conor McGregor train moves quickly though, and he spent last year picking up two KO wins against some of the featherweight division's best, before toppling one of the P4P greats in just 13 seconds to capture the title. Rousey meanwhile, suffered a huge defeat at the hands of Holly Holm.

So has McGregor finally caught up to Rousey in terms of paychecks?

Surprisingly, no.

Dana White confirmed to Sports Illustrated that while McGregor is "nipping at her heels," Rousey is still the highest paid athlete in the UFC.

"It would still be true [that Rousey is the highest paid]," White said. "Yes. Without a doubt. Holly Holm is now facing Miesha Tate, which is a very dangerous fight, but if the Holly Holm-Ronda Rousey rematch happens I think it's the biggest fight in UFC history."

"I think Ronda Rousey is the biggest star in the UFC," White said. "But let me tell you what, Conor McGregor is nipping at her heels."

While McGregor is the fighter everyone is watching right now, with his attempt to become the first champion of two divisions simultaneously on the horizon, there's little doubt that Holm-Rousey II will be a landmark cultural event, for both hardcore and casual fans.

As for when that will happen, if Holm can best Miesha Tate in her first title defense, a late 2016 return seems very likely for Ronda Rousey.

"[Rousey will] fight in 2016," said White. "100 percent. That's all we've got. Obviously we were looking for her to fight at UFC 200, but that's not going to happen. After 200 happens we'll look and see what went on, what she's got going on. If there's any human being that deserves some time off it's Ronda Rousey."


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