Many sports fans were introduced to Ronda Rousey this week.
That isn’t an insult. It’s just that, outside of MMA fans, the ESPN Body issue is likely the first time a solid chunk of the sports world has heard her name. Rousey must ignore her new-found fame, though, and not let the bright lights blind her from her Strikeforce domination.
According to Marc Raimondi of the New York Post, Rowdy had about 76,000 Twitter followers before the issue was released. Today, she’s approaching 86,000. While that isn’t a Charlie Sheen-like rise, Rousey is tapping into a new fan base.
As an admitted Twitter addict, Rousey must resist the temptation to fall in love with her ever-growing popularity. Just recently, she called out Kim Kardashian. With her diss, Rousey garnered praise from every Kardashian hater on the planet (and there are many).
At this moment, Rousey is one of the hottest names in the world of sports. Sarah Kaufman is one person hoping that the notoriety gets to her head.
Rousey and Kaufman are scheduled to fight on August 18th. While Rowdy has been a force to be reckoned with over the course of her career, Kaufman isn’t a pushover. Rousey boasts just five professional wins compared to Kaufman's career record of 15-1.
The average sports fan may never heard of Kaufman—she doesn’t have 16,000 followers on Twitter, but that means nothing in the Octagon. While the fight will highlight Rousey, it’ll be a match between the two best pound-for-pound fighters in the MMA.
Kaufman talked to MMAjunkie in late June about the matchup. She said:
“Ronda hasn't fought someone like me yet. It's going to be a shock for her. I definitely want to test [Ronda's] chin, for sure.”
If Rousey’s focus wavers next month, her undefeated record will be no more.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.