UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey has never shied away from media attention. In fact, she’s a magnet for it and has embraced it, perhaps better than any other fighter on the UFC roster.
As such, Rousey has taken a spot in the 2015 edition of Sports Illustrated’s coveted Swimsuit Issue, which hit newsstands this week. She is one of several athletes to grace the pages of SI’s annual swimsuit special.
— USA TODAY Sports (@USATODAYsports) February 9, 2015
This is far from the first time that Rousey has appeared in such a shoot. She has also posed for ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue. In that issue, which celebrates that human form at its athletic peak, she appeared fully nude.
Rousey sees a distinct difference between the two magazines.
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“The ESPN Body Issue is about celebrating the peak of human potential and the kind of form the human body, when specialized, can really look like. The Swimsuit Issue has a lot more [of a] sexual side to it, while I don’t think the Body Issue is overtly sexual whereas Sports Illustrated is,” Rousey said in an interview with USA Today.
“The difference in how I approached it is when I posed for ESPN Body, I really tried to be a lot more cut and a lot more close to my prime fighting shape because I was being photographed as a fighter and trying to look more like a fighter, ” she continued.
“I purposely tried to get a little bit heavier for the SI issue so I was a little bit curvier and not in top fight shape look but the look at which I feel I’m the most attractive. It’s very natural for a person’s body to go through seasons.”
The 2015 edition of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue is on newsstands now.
Rousey is scheduled to return to the Octagon to defend her belt against Cat Zingano on Feb. 28 at UFC 184 in Los Angeles.