When UFC President Dana White announced the creation of the women's featherweight division last month, some thought the promotion already had a double-champion in mind.
"Ronda Rousey," wrote Matt Connolly for Forbes last month, assuming that the 29-year-old would regain the women's bantamweight strap with a win over Amanda Nunes at UFC 207.
"Rousey could then meet [predicted 145-pound champion Holly] Holm at featherweight not just for revenge, but for the chance to join Conor McGregor as the UFC's only simultaneous two-division champion," Connolly continued. "A dream scenario would see Rousey achieve that feat before finally challenging [Cris Justino] Cyborg, her longtime rival, for the right to be called the greatest female fighter in MMA history."
But Rousey lost to Nunes last month, leaving that dream out of reach. Rousey will not be the first women's double-champion, but that doesn't mean someone else can't achieve that feat this year.
In what might be an ironic twist of fate now, Nunes, who beat Rousey with ease, has her eye on that goal.
"I really look forward to this 145-pound belt," Nunes told TMZ Sports (via Fox Sports) this week. "Maybe I'll go up to fight for the 145-pound belt. We'll see. Maybe I'm going to have two belts like Conor McGregor."
If UFC is interested, she'll end up pitted against Holm, who is the heavy favorite to win the inaugural featherweight title at UFC 208 in Brooklyn, N.Y., or Germaine De Randamie, who Nunes once beat via TKO in 2013.
Holm, whose boxing background allowed her to make swift work of Rousey at UFC 193, would likely pose the biggest challenge, as De Randamie remains unranked.
Whether Nunes would get dibs after the title is awarded on Feb. 11 will be up to UFC's matchmakers, who may find Rousey's big foe Cyborg petitioning for a shot.
After that, who knows.
"I think they'll be more hyped for Amanda Nunes versus Cris Cyborg," Cyborg's coach, Jason Parillo, recently said on "The Extra Rounds" podcast.
Should Nunes ever accomplish her dream of holding the two titles simultaneously, she'd likely quickly be forced to give one up. That's what happened to McGregor last year after he beat Jose Aldo for the featherweight title and shelved it while training to eventually beat Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight strap.
McGregor is officially just the lightweight champion. Meanwhile, UFC awarded the featherweight title back to Aldo, who will fight interim champion Max Holloway to unify the belt early this year.