UFC boss Dana White believes Holly Holm will pose far more of a threat to women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey at UFC 195 than number one contender Miesha Tate would have done.
Holm was confirmed as Rousey's opponent in Las Vegas on January 2 on Friday night much to the surprise of many, as Tate was expected to be announced as the title challenger for a third time.
"We were talking about Miesha from the start, then as we started sitting around we were saying, ‘Everyone has seen the Miesha fight already,' " White said to the Los Angeles Times.
"A third fight in a rivalry usually comes after the stuff we'd see in (Arturo) Gatti-(Micky) Ward. With Miesha, the result has been the same twice. Everyone's already seen that fight."
The 33-year-old Holm is an expert striker with a background in boxing and kickboxing, but is relatively new to UFC, having only signed a deal with the company in 2014.
"Everyone has jitters in their first fight. Holly came back from that and destroyed a woman who'd looked damn good in her previous fights," White added.
"When you talk about the possibilities of what Holly can do … she's a world-class boxer … the Holly Holm fight for Ronda is way more intriguing."
Rousey admitted her excitement for the fight and labelled it her "biggest challenge to date."
"I prepare for a five-round war every time I get in there," Rousey said.
"No one's easy until after you beat them, and with Holly Holm, she's the type that is ready to go 12 boxing rounds. She's not the average chick that I fight.
"She's the best striker I've ever fought, and striking is something I learned much later in my career. So I don't ever expect fights to be easy and fast. No one knows exactly how the fights are going to go, and that's why everybody buys them."