Like her or not, Ronda Rousey is still the UFC’s biggest mainstream force.
Rousey, the first woman to ever sign with the UFC, was named to TIME Magazine’s list of the 30 people under 30 changing the world. That’s a pretty significant honor for a fighter — she’s being put in the same category as young CEOs, health pioneers and digital millionaires.
"Rousey is updating the face of female athletics through her tough skills and commercial successes," Time wrote.
Just this past week, Rousey was on "Jimmy Kimmel Live." She’s filmed two blockbuster movies — "Fast & Furious 7" and "The Expendables 3" — in recent months. She was on the cover of ESPN The Magazine’s 15th anniversary issue earlier this year. Rousey is a bonafide crossover star — more so than any of her male counterparts.
Rousey is updating the face of female athletics through her tough skills and commercial successes.
Hardcore MMA fans might be tiring of her. Maybe it’s oversaturation or more likely the very raw portrayal as a coach on "The Ultimate Fighter" this past season. But the mainstream press and casual followers still view Rousey as a celebrity.
She’s still a media darling. And there’s little arguing she’s a pioneer for women’s sports in general, not just MMA. Rousey remains one of the best things the UFC has going for it today.