For the first time in the magazine’s history, Sports Illustrated will have three different covers. As if that wasn’t historic enough, one of the models is Ronda Rousey, joining Hailey Clauson and Ashley Graham.
“Ronda Rousey is a cultural phenomenon,” SI assistant managing editor MJ Day said during Saturday night’s reveal. “She is the perfect combination of beauty, brains, brawn and humility. She possesses a spirit bigger than the space around her, and it is both infectious and inspiring. She’s a Phoenix, as fiery and beautiful as any mythical creature ever depicted.”
Rousey is the first athlete to appear on the cover of the issue since it began 1952. “Leaked” photos of her bodypaint shoot appeared online Feb. 1. Lindsey Vonn and Caroline Wozniacki also wear body paint in the special edition.
Despite suffering the first loss of her career to Holly Holm, Rousey’s marketability has not taken a hit. If anything, it’s actually improved. She hosted Saturday Night Live on Jan. 23 and will star in Road House and a twohander with Tina Fey in the coming years.
Holm is still waiting on similar offers.
Image via Sports Illustrated