Ronda Rousey is on a magazine cover. That’s nothing new.
What is new is that Rousey is the first female to ever be on the cover of Men’s Fitness Australia.
Her issue will be on newsstands on Thursday in Australia (sorry U.S. fans) which will be hosting UFC 193 where she will defend her title against Holly Holm in the promotions biggest stadium event.
For as much as Rousey has already done this year, she is showing no signs of slowing down.
Despite essentially carrying the show single-handedly in her last outing at UFC 190, the show was the most successful of the year and nearly topped 1 million pay-per-view buys.
The context of the number is astonishing considering that the event prior (UFC 189) featured the UFC’s second most talked about star in Conor McGregor and was heavily promoted.
It was also bolstered by an incredible undercard.
Fans are aware that Rousey finishes fights in under a minute and that she was overmatched against her opponent and her event still s0ld amazing numbers.
That in itself is proof enough of the star power Rousey currently holds.
She is the UFC’s undisputed biggest star and it’s highest paid fighter, a fact she spoke candidly about with Ellen Degeneres earlier this summer.
In the time since UFC 190 she’s also become the latest Carl’s Jr model, providing the fast-food chain with her own sizzling tv spot.
All of this has made Rousey one of the biggest stars in sports and ESPN is recognizing that. Rousey will be guest-hosting SportsCenter on Wednesday night alongside Lindsay Czarniak.
She will be the first female athlete to ever guest anchor the landmark show.
The event comes ahead of another Rousey pay-per-view, but the fact that she is able to make history as part of promotion lends itself to her level of celebrity.
The UFC has full faith in their star as she is headlining their biggest stadium show.
UFC 193 is expected to break the all-time attendance record in the promotions history.
The current record is held by UFC 129 at the Rogers Centre and was headlined by former welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre.
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This still leaves Rousey with a considerable task ahead of her in “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holly Holm.
The former boxing world champion is the most accomplished challenger to step into the cage with Rousey.
She defeated Racquel Pennington in her UFC debut in February and recently defeated Marion Reneau.
In the latter, Holm displayed a more aggressive style and precise striking.
While Holm has remains undefeated in mixed martial arts, she has also never faced anyone of Rousey’s caliber.
The reigning champion hasn’t seen the second minute of fight in more than a year.
Holm is expected to be more durable than Correia, but she isn’t expected to be the one to finally dethrone the queen of the UFC.
A win over Holm would mean that Rousey has essentially cleaned out the bantamweight division.
As the standings currently are, the only competition left would be with fourth ranked Amanda Nunes who has only one win over a top-ten opponent or a rematch with number one contender Miesha Tate whom Rousey has already defeated twice.
There is also the shadow of Brazilian powerhouse Cris “Cyborg” who could finally make her way to bantamweight for a collision with the champion.
The UFC is seemingly preparing for their biggest show this upcoming summer at UFC 200 which is scheduled to take place at the MGM Grands new arena that is being built on the strip in Las Vegas.
If Rousey is healthy following her bout with Holm then it is hard to imagine not seeing her headline the card.
Rousey will appear on SportsCenter at 6:00pm E.T on ESPN on Wednesday, October 07.
UFC 193: Rousey vs. Holm will be on November 14, live on pay-per-view from Australia.