Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
Strikeforce women's MMA champ Ronda Rousey is featured in the current issue of Sports Illustrated, making her the first mixed martial artist to be covered as a solo feature in the magazine.
Dave Meltzer commented at the Wrestling Observer (subscription only):
There was nothing special about the article, only that it was the first one the magazine has ever done on an MMA fighter. Amazing that after all these years, they've only done three articles (one on Greg Jackson, one on MMA itself and this one) and never anything on Anderson Silva, GSP or Brock Lesnar. Rousey was also featured on the Sports Illustrated TV show this week.
This is a classic illustration of the way Ronda Rousey is breaking down barriers to media coverage for the sport.
The SI article proper is not online because they are geniuses but here are some outtakes that they saw fit to post online:
As outlined in this week's SI, Ronda and her family moved from Rialto, Calif. to Minot, N.D., in part, because of Minot State University's lauded speech therapy program agreed to treat Rousey for free. A lack of oxygen to her brain at birth rendered the future fighter's speech incoherent, even to family members. Years of treatment, however, helped Ronda overcome the impediment and issue some of the MMA's most famous verbal smackdowns. But when did her mother, Dr. DeMars, know Ronda's speech improved enough to leave the Minot State program? One day, before Ronda's eighth birthday, when AnnMaria asked Ronda after therapy how the session went, little Ronda lowered her eyes and said, "It was terrible. That talking teacher, she hit me and she slapped me."
The mother listened closely as her daughter continued.
"And she made me eat broken glass and then she took her hair off and it was all covered with blood and she took me the top of a building, and she turned into a vampire and she threw me off."
AnnMaria, amused, wrote an email detailing her daughter's fiction to the head of the speech department. The equally entertained department head, who knew Ronda still struggled pronouncing V's, wrote back, "I just want to know, when she said vampire, did she get the 'V' sound right?"
It will be very interesting to see if the media attention for Rousey ever translates into truly big ratings or potentially pay-per-view sales.