Ronda Rousey Fires Back at Arianny Celeste for Questioning Her as Role Model

Steven RondinaFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2014

AP Images

The war of words between the UFC's most identifiable women, bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and Octagon girl Arianny Celeste, is heating up further. Speaking with the MMA media (h/t ahead of UFC 171, Rousey was asked about Celeste's recent claims that she was a bad role model for girls. 

"Those comments from the Maxim thing were from 12 months ago," she said. "Does it take her a year to come up with a comeback?"

Rousey left no room for doubt over how she felt about her out-of-the-cage rival, pointing out that her comments "made grammatical sense, which is good for her."


The feud between the two began with a 2012 interview in Maxim by Rousey. When discussing Maxim's "Hot 100" list, which ranks celebrity females by attractiveness, Rousey was asked, "As someone who’s so competitive, do you feel there are any women who outranked you who don’t deserve it?"

She said, "It would have been really funny if I’d beaten Arianny Celeste... Like, ‘Ha-ha, it’s your job to show your t-----s—I do that better than you!’ Maybe next year. She’s only getting older, and I’m reaching my prime." Rousey was referring to Celeste's 2010 nude photo shoot with Playboy magazine.

Dec 29, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Arianny Celeste during UFC 155 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Celeste remained quiet on this until last month. She criticized Rousey in an appearance on MMA Junkie Radio, saying, "I don’t really like the way she carries herself, I don’t think she’s a good role model for women. I think that women should empower each other and give each other a little pat on the back." She wound up taking a great deal of criticism from Rousey supporters for those statements but, to her credit, refused to back down from them.

This isn't the first time Celeste has come under fire from a fighter, though. Former middleweight and light heavyweight contender Chael Sonnen famously took swipes at her in 2011, questioning her intelligence in between barbs directed at then-middleweight champion Anderson Silva and various other prominent Brazilian fighters.

Celeste has been with the UFC since 2006 and has lasted seven years with the promotion while numerous other Octagon girls have been released. Her time with the promotion has made her a highly sought-after model, appearing in Playboy, Maxim, Sports Illustrated and FHM.

There's no telling how long Rousey and Celeste will be at odds, but the UFC gets no benefit from having the two of them feud. While they haven't had many direct exchanges, it's unlikely things will get too heated before promotional brass has them break it up.