The UFC women’s bantamweight champ has been named to Time magazine’s list of “30 People Under 30 Changing the World.”
And while there is likely to be a little backlash over just how much a fighter can change the world, there is no denying that Rousey certainly changed the face of the MMA world when she became the first woman to sign with the UFC. And from that, her mainstream appeal and how she is helping change women’s sports as a whole is what Time appears to have had its eye on.
“Rousey is updating the face of female athletics through her tough skills and commercial successes,” the magazine posted online with its story about the 30 individuals on the list.
The list includes honorees in 11 different categories, ranging from Culture to Sports, Media to Politics and Education to Science.
Rousey debuted in the UFC in February after moving over from Strikeforce and defended her new UFC title against Liz Carmouche in the first women’s fight in the promotion’s history – not long after UFC President Dana White had admitted there never would be women fighting in the promotion. But soon, as White reiterates often, Rousey got him to change his mind.
The champ defends her title later this month at UFC 168 in Las Vegas against heated rival and former champ Miesha Tate, whom she took the belt from in Strikeforce in March 2012. The two just wrapped a coaching stint opposite each other on Season 18 of “The Ultimate Fighter” on FOX Sports 1, the first edition of the show to feature female fighters. From a ratings standpoint, the women’s bouts on the show did better numbers than the men’s fights over the course of the season.
Rousey vs. Tate will be the co-main event to another rematch when middleweight champion Chris Weidman defends his title against longtime pound-for-pound great Anderson Silva. The combination of the two fights has the UFC already thinking about records, and more than a month before the fight, White said the live gate already was at $6 million. The UFC recently released more tickets due to the demand. The card is expected to be one of the biggest in the promotion’s history from a pay-per-view standpoint, as well.