Ronda Rousey lands Sports Illustrated cover, labeled 'World's Most Dominant Athlete'

Ryan McKinnell

There have been plenty of titles used to describe Ronda Rousey, but few carry as much weight as this: World’s Most Dominant Athlete.

The cover of the May 13 issue of Sports Illustrated features Rousey and her signature no-frills glare. Rousey was part of the S.I. swimsuit issue in late-2014; however, this honor highlights her accomplishments inside the cage.

(Credit: Sports Illustrated)
(Credit: Sports Illustrated)
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Rousey is the second MMA fighter in the sport's history to grace the cover of the magazine – lightweight contender Roger Huerta was the first, in 2007. But Huerta’s cover was an impromptu action shot, with an accompanying story about the rise of the sport; this cover is all about Ronda Rousey and her utter dominance.

In a year filled with record-breaking performances and a meteoric rise to pop culture superstardom, Rousey is enjoying unprecedented levels of success in 2015.

Inside the cage, “Rowdy” has had a year for the record books. After a 16-second annihilation of Alexis Davis last July, she upped the ante with a 14-second whirlwind finish via her signature arm-bar over Cat Zingano at UFC 184 in February. Rousey talks about the Zingano finish in her SI cover story, ““I’m dropping all modesty here,” she said to the magazine. “That’s the most brilliant [expletive] ninja [expletive] I ever saw. Every single millisecond of that fight was something that has never been done before in MMA.”

As if having your last two fights end in 30 seconds wasn’t enough, Rousey is starring in summer blockbusters “Fast 7” and “Entourage.” Never one to have her momentum stall out, Rousey’s memoir “My Fight/Your Fight” was released Tuesday in bookstores nationwide.

The 28-year-old media darling decided to dabble in some pro wrestling in 2015, too, making an in-ring cameo with her “Fast 7” co-star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson at Wrestlemania 32 back in April.

Now, with Tuesday’s SI cover announcement, Rousey’s stock has never been higher. For her next feat, Rousey aims to stay undefeated when she meets Brazilian Bethe Correia at UFC 190 on Aug. 1 in Rio de Janeiro.

If Rousey can handle business against Correia in the same signature fashion as fans have grown accustomed to, then Sports Illustrated and everybody else better start thinking of some new words in 2016 – because we aren’t sure “Dominant” and the accompanying adjectives are going to be enough.

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