Originally posted on ProMMANews.com  |  Last updated 6/16/13
Ronda Rousey is the first female UFC champ and highest paid female UFC fighter — a milestone in athletics and sponsorships for female MMA. It wasn’t too long ago that UFC President Dana White said women would never fight in the UFC. Dana is now eating his words as Ronda pulls in a new fan base to the most expensive ticket in sports — 40% of UFC tickets are now being bought by women. UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey has yet to score a knockout blow in the cage, but she’s landed several outside of it. The latest is a return trip to the cover of ESPN The Magazine. Rousey is one of four athletes selected for four special individual covers of the magazine’s 15th Anniversary edition, which is slated to hit newsstands on May 3. The other athletes selected include Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, baseball player Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals, and Los Angeles Clipper Blake Griffin. That places Rousey, a mixed martial artist, among athletes from the three major sports leagues in the United States, further advancing the sport into the consciousness of the mainstream American sports fan. This marks the second time that Rousey has been featured on ESPN The Magazine’s cover. The first time was when she was selected as one of the athletes to appear nude on the cover of the magazine’s 2012 Body Issue. Rousey is the reason that UFC president Dana White finally decided to take a chance on women’s MMA in the Octagon, and it has paid off beyond his wildest dreams. The media attention alone has been greater than that of any other athlete in the company’s history, and the latest ESPN The Magazine cover is just the latest feature as Rousey and the UFC’s other women establish themselves.
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