Dana White: Holly Holm needs at least one non-title UFC fight before challenging Ronda Rousey

Photo via Bellator MMA

Gotta' get your feet wet, before jumping into the deep end.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White recently announced that the world's largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion had finally come to terms on a deal with Holly Holm.

A process that proved easier said than done.

The signing not only added more depth to the UFC's women's bantamweight division, it also gave 135-pound champion Ronda Rousey another tough challenger to look forward to.

Holm, a former pro boxer, made her MMA debut in 2011 and has racked up seven consecutive wins on the regional circuit, six of them by knockout/technical knockout.

Holly, however, will not be getting an immediate title shot against "Rowdy," as UFC President Dana White told LA Times that he plans on giving "The Preacher's Daughter" another opponent for her debut. While no date is set at the moment, Dana's plan actually works out well for both Holm and Rousey.

After a busy year, "Rowdy" will take some time off to deal with her injuries, which means she could be riding the pine for the remainder of the year. She recently revealed that she'd like to fight at the year-end event, which is tentatively scheduled to go down on Jan 3, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

That's more than enough time for her to heal up and for Holm to try and get her first UFC win. That is, of course, if she herself has fully recovered from her surgically-repaired arm.

If everything falls into place, that UFC 182 pay-per-view (PPV) event could be a box office hit, as it is expected to serve host to a lightweight title fight between division kingpin Anthony Pettis and Gilbert Melendez. Add Rousey vs. Holm as co-headliner, and you have a sure-fire recipe for success.

Of course, UFC could decide to have the women's 135-pound title fight headline another PPV card. First things first, Holm still has to win her debut fight.

But against who?

Cat Zingano, the current No. 1 contender, is set to take on No. 8 ranked Amanda Nunes (details) at UFC 178 on Sept. 27, while Miesha Tate (No. 3) is booked to swing leather against Rin Nakai at UFC Fight Night 52 the same month.

Alexis Davis will likely need some time to heal from her recent beatdown at the hands of Rousey, which brings us to Sarah Kaufman, a fight that is unlikely to happen as Holm and Kaufman are teammates at Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA.

Jessica Eye and Liz Carmouche are both coming off losses, so the chances of either of those two women getting first dibs at the former boxer is unlikely to happen.

An interesting first fight that would have made sense for Holly would have been one pitting her against undefeated (8-0, 2-0 UFC) Brazilian bomber, Bethe Correia. But she already has plans to tango with Shayna Baszler next month at UFC 177.

That brings us to Jessica Andrade, the person I believe will have the privilege of welcoming Holm into the Octagon.

Winner of two straight, Andrade currently has her dance card empty and hasn't fought since March of this year. Proving she is no stranger to letting a fight play out on the feet, Andrade's style would match up pretty well with that of Holm's.

Anyway, that's my hunch, what's yours?

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