When Ronda Rousey gets back into the Octagon for UFC 207, the first time since her shocking knockout loss against Holly Holm in 2015, she'll have some major supporters in her corner.
Superstar fighter Conor McGregor—who will be headlining UFC 205 in New York City on November 5—and November 2016 Men’s Fitness cover star Dana White have both expressed support for the former bantamweight champion.
The Irish fighter, who isn't exactly known for holding back his opinion, gave some advice to Rousey as she prepares to step on the mat again.
“I'd tell her to go shut them all up now. Shut them all up. Go and stake your claim again," McGregor said in an interview with SI.com. "I wish Ronda nothing but the best. It's good to see her back. Some people take defeat and losses a certain way. You see how some fighters take losses. I'm happy she is ready to go again and I wish her well. Go and shut these people up now. Go and get what you began back. I'm excited to see how it unfolds."
Preparing to make history. Once again pic.twitter.com/Fj6eNgMaFb
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) October 13, 2016
Getting those words of encouragement from the biggest star in the sport should be helpful to Rousey, but she also has the backing of the man at the top of the UFC. White spoke out against some of Rousey's critics, who have insisted that she shouldn’t get a title fight coming off of a loss.
"It's one of those things you can never win with people anyway,” White said to Fox Sports. "If you start listening to Twitter and people on Twitter, good luck to you. Ronda lost one fight, but Ronda is still one of the best fighters on Earth. So she will fight one of the other best fighters on Earth."
Rousey has been out of the spotlight since that surprising loss to Holm, but by all appearances, she’s ready to return. She's also entering at a time of chaos in the UFC women's bantamweight division: Since her loss to Holm, there have been three different titleholders. Rousey will have a shot to retake her belt from Amanda Nunes, who won the title from Miesha Tate, who in turn previously defeated Holm.
White and McGregor have been keeping themselves busy with preparations for UFC 205, which marks the return of mixed martial arts to New York after a long battle to legalize the sport in the state after a previous ban dating back to 1997. White spent a lot of time working to get that done, and now this event could end up being the biggest pay-per-view money-maker in the history of the sport.
McGregor is taking on Eddie Alvarez in the headliner fight following his five-round rematch victory over Nate Diaz in UFC 202. The outspoken McGregor is trying to become the first fighter to simultaneously hold two titles—he has the featherweight title and is fighting Alvarez for the lightweight crown. If he does, win, however, that accomplishment may be short-lived: White said that McGregor will have to give up one if he wins.
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