It’s just one more in a string of accomplishments for UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey. Now she’s made history in Australia as the first woman to grace the cover of the country’s “Men’s Fitness” magazine.
The issue featuring the mixed martial artist and judoka champion will hit newsstands on Thursday. It’s being touted as a ‘Hardcore Fight Special’ edition of the publication. The eye-catching cover shows Rousey staring fiercely down the camera lens under the headline “How Ronda Rousey Will Make You Tougher”.
“Men’s Fitness” posted a sneak peak of the cover on their Facebook page Sunday. It generated a mixed response from the magazine’s readers. Some praised the editorial staff for featuring the ‘inspirational’ athlete, while others questioned their groundbreaking decision to make a woman the face of a male publication.
“What an amazing role model & athlete! Here’s to all the young girls looking up to this one and smashing through the male-esque boundaries,” one person wrote. But another reader called it a “questionable appearance for a men’s fitness magazine”.
Rousey appears in a fitted Reebok singlet, with her blonde hair worn in loose curls over her shoulders.
“Thank you @mensfitnessau for making me the first woman on your cover!! #UFCMelbourne,” she wrote.
Some Facebook users criticized the image, saying the magazine was “pushing her breasts up to enhance her look”. But the visually stunning Rousey is a far cry from the often bikini-clad models that pop up routinely in fitness magazines. Earlier this month, Rousey struck back at online bullies who called her “disgustingly manly” and “too muscular”.
On the vlog series UFC 190 Embedded, Rousey said: “Listen, just because my body was developed for a purpose other than f***ing millionaires doesn’t mean it’s masculine.”
The 28-year-old beauty has previously posed nude for the cover of ESPN’s “The Magazine 2012 Body Issue” and has been featured on the cover of “Maxim” magazine. She has also appeared in a number of high-profile films, including “The Expendables 3”, “Fast & Furious 7” and “Entourage”. While Rousey has made history in Australia, the US version of the publication has previously featured women on the cover, including professional wrestlers Stacy Keibler and Maria Menounos.
Rousey is the current UFC and Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion. The 28-year-old visited Australia last month to promote her upcoming fight against American boxing champion Holly Holm. It will be Rousey’s seventh title defense. A record crowd of up to 70,000 is expected for the November 15 fight at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium.