The current card only has one official title fight between Zhang Weili and Yan Xiaonan for the strawweight belt. But as we have reported previously, the ceremonial BMF Title will be contested with Gaethje vs Holloway. That has left White with plenty to ponder, but the big three won’t make a return.
Rousey’s last UFC fight was in 2016, where she was TKOed in less than a minute. She departed for WWE after consecutive defeats against Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes. Her wrestling contract expired, increasing speculation she could return, only for White to dismiss those rumors.
GSP’s last fight was in 2017 against Michael Bisping. A victory followed, but at 42, GSP has ruled out a return professionally. The same has been said for the 47-year-old Lesnar. His 2016 win over Mark Hunt was overturned following a positive test.
“Ronda’s not coming back. GSP’s not coming back. Brock Lesnar’s like 45 years old or pushing 50. None of those calls were made,” White said
There was an attempt to get Jon Jones in the octagon following his surgery. Bones pulled out of his heavyweight title defense against Stipe Miocic at UFC 295 after injuring his pectoral muscle in sparring. A further surgery on his elbow followed, making a return very unlikely. But the UFC still held out hope after contacting the heavyweight champion.
I was actually called and offered to fight on the event. The guys said they just wanted to give me the option. We both knew I wouldn’t be ready. My relationship with UFC is better now than it’s ever been. https://t.co/iLHvJ0f6vg
— BONY (@JonnyBones) January 18, 2024