According to a July 7 post from Bleacher Report, UFC bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey will be sidelined for an extended period of time due to a hand injury and knee surgery. Rousey, 27, needed just 16 seconds to knock out Alexis Davis at UFC 175, but her vicious strikes came at a price. The star judoka busted her knuckle open when she threw an overhand right that landed on Davis' face.
Rousey needed several stitches to close up the wound, but Yahoo! Sports reporter Kevin Iole broke the news just days later that she also broke her hand during the fight. Additionally, Rousey mentioned at the UFC 175 post-fight press conference that she needed knee surgery to repair an injury that has been nagging her for months. She said she feels her knee locking up now and then, so she's going in for corrective surgery before it gets worse.
No word yet on how long Rousey will be sidelined for. The UFC obviously knows that she is their biggest draw, so they'll want to get her back in action sooner rather than later. However, it makes sense in the long run to give her the rest she needed, in order to properly heal up. UFC President Dana White squashed the rumor that Rousey would be filling in for Jose Aldo in the main event of UFC 176, as that event has been completely scrapped.
Rousey stated at the UFC 175 post-fight presser that she would be interested in competing at the UFC's year-end show in December, but a five-month layoff now seems like a stretch. She may very well need more time off than just five months. The combination of the broken hand with the knee issues likely means she'll be sidelined for six months or more, so Rousey is likely done for 2014. Unfortunately, UFC fans probably won't see Rousey inside the Octagon again this year.
The hope is that Rousey will be back in early-2015, for a fight against Cat Zingano or Cris Santos. If the UFC higher-ups were smart, they could set up a Zingano vs. Santos bout for November or December, with the winner getting Rousey in the beginning of next year. Currently, Zingano is coming back from knee surgery, and Santos isn't on the UFC's roster. Time will tell how the situation plays out, but fight fans are hoping Rousey makes a speedy recovery.