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Ronda Rousey Unveiled as 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover Model

American mixed martial artist Ronda Rousey arrives at the ESPY Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Richard Shotwell/Associated Press
Mike NorrisFeatured ColumnistFebruary 14, 2016

On Saturday, Sports Illustrated announced UFC champion Ronda Rousey will be one of three cover models for its Swimsuit Edition, per Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com. The 29-year-old is accustomed to the spotlight outside of fighting. She is an actress, has hosted SportsCenter and even appeared on the cover of ESPN The Magazine's 2012 Body Issue.

Rousey, Ashley Graham and Hailey Clauson found out they were chosen during a special on TNT (via TBS):

The UFC congratulated its star via Twitter on the cover appearance, shown here by SI Swimsuit:

This could be another big step in the healing process for Rousey, who barely showed her face in the days following her first career defeat at UFC 193 to Holly Holm in November. However, since then, she has hosted Saturday Night Live and started training for her next fight, per TMZ (via Scott Rafferty of Rolling Stone). It appears as though she has moved on and is embracing the spotlight again.

She won't finish her career undefeated, and it remains to be seen whether she will go down as the greatest female MMA fighter of all time, but Rousey has never been one to shy away from being part of the entertainment world.

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