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Dana White: Knee surgery could delay Ronda Rousey's UFC return until 2017

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey is expected to miss more than a year of mixed martial arts (MMA) action after getting knocked out by Holly Holm at UFC 193 last November in Australia.

First it was her wonky jaw, then it was her endeavors outside the world of combat sports. Now, it could be knee surgery that keeps her riding the pine until 2017, though promotion president Dana White is hoping for a return at the end of the year.

"I'm hoping we're going to get Ronda back this year," White told ESPN's SportsCenter earlier today (transcribed by MMA Junkie). "She actually just had surgery on her knee. Nothing serious, just get in there, scope it and clean it out a little bit. She feels great, her spirits are great, and she's been training. So if she fights, I'm hoping that she either fights in December. Or if not, she'd probably fight on the New Year's show or beginning of the year or something."

Bad news for the "Big Apple."

During her absence, Holm coughed up the 135-pound strap to newly-crowned bantamweight queenpin Miesha Tate. "Cupcake" moves on for her first title defense at the UFC 200 pay-per-view (PPV) in July, meaning the title could potentially change hands three times in less than a year.

Maybe four, depend how fast we get the winner of this.

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