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Rumors swirling of possible Ronda Rousey vs. Gina Carano or Cris Cyborg UFC bout in July

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UFC announcer Joe Rogan is teasing a "huge announcement" in women's MMA. Journalist Dave Meltzer is talking up a potential Ronda Rousey vs. Gina Carano bout.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Following Ronda Rousey's quick destruction of Sara McMann at UFC 170, most analysis has agreed that there's no one currently in the UFC's women's Bantamweight division who is both a credible threat to beat Rousey and a legitimate PPV draw.

Dave Meltzer wrote about it at length in the last Wrestling Observer (subsription required):

It takes a fight, which means a champion and a challenger, and a dynamic to draw on PPV, and this lacked a challenger that anybody knew and a dynamic. It's sole drawing aspect is that Rousey was fighting, two months after her previous fight.

During the week, to promote the fight, Dana White was constantly pushing that Rousey was the company's biggest star. It all depends on what you mean by biggest star. She is the most in-demand for interviews and media appearances. She is obviously the most in-demand in Hollywood. With Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre gone, she most likely, on her own against a broom, so to speak, can draw as much as anyone, perhaps more than anyone. But her contenders list is a broom closet, as compared to the lineup of contenders that Jon Jones and Chris Weidman have at light heavyweight and middleweight.

McMann is out of the running. Tate, who has lost twice via armbar, is out of the running right now. Sarah Kaufman, who lost in seconds to an armbar, is coming off a loss. Jessica Eye just lost. Carmouche just lost. Julianna Pena, who had the most exposure of anyone who isn't coming off a loss, is out until 2015 after a horrible knee injury.

Rousey has two potential opponents, both of which would draw huge for different reasons. The first is Gina Carano. Carano hasn't fought in four-and-a-half years. There would be hell to pay in criticism for UFC if they were to make that fight, if Carano would even have interest in it. But it would draw far more, perhaps nearly double, of what anyone else available would do, and would easily be the biggest woman's combat sports fight of modern times. There's also a chance it would be a first round armbar and all the criticism coming in would be the same going out. But this is the kind of thinking out of the box that put UFC on the PPV map in 2006.

The other is Cris Cyborg Justino which is a whole different round of criticism.

UFC commentator Joe Rogan guested on KROQ's Kevin & Bean Show Friday morning in Los Angeles and he was quick to reject their arguments that the UFC has no more foes for Rousey. Give it a listen:


MMA Fighting's David St. Martin took the time to transcribe Rogan's comments:

"I wish I could tell you what I know. I wish I could tell you. I know some secret stuff. I know some secret stuff, but I can't tell you. You might actually know, but I can't tell you. I can say no more than I've already said. I will tell you this ... within the next probably week or so a huge announcement will come about women's fighting... It's going to be crazy. Madness. I wish I could [talk about it now], but I would betray the confidence of my friend and employer."

The one other possibility is former pro boxer Holly Holm who's been fighting MMA for a while and has run up a pretty impressive undefeated record, but frankly Holm's profile isn't nearly as high as Carano or Cyborg's.

Couple of splashes of cold water on the Carano possibility: first off Gina is pretty busy in Hollywood and hasn't fought professionally since getting crushed by Cyborg in 2009; secondly she only fought at 135 pounds once in her career and repeatedly failed to make 140 pounds.

The UFC certainly needs to do something dramatic if it's going to put on a big show in July. Time will tell what rabbit they can pull out of the hat.

Here's Ariel Helwani and the gang talking about a possible Ronda Rousey vs. Cris Cyborg bout on the MMA Beat: