Ronda Rousey to appear in body paint swimsuit in Sports Illustrated’s annual swimsuit issue

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Ronda Rousey (photo credit Jayne Kamin-Oncea © USA Today Sports)

Ronda Rousey will be appearing once again in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, though they’re hyping her second appearance in the issue with a second hook: she’ll be in nothing but body paint.

The former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion hasn’t lost her mainstream appeal since the loss to Holly Holm at UFC 193 in November. Now, she’s joining a long list of models and athletes to appear in the issue with painted on swimsuits in a near-nude photo shoot.

Photographer MJ Day posted a photo to Instagram this week of a woman set up in her body paint swimsuit, and fans on the internet identified Rousey based on her wrist tattoos. Sports Illustrated then officially announced her participation in the issue on Thursday.

The annual swimsuit issue hits newsstands in February.

Penick’s Analysis: Rousey’s continuing to move forward outside of the cage, and with Holm indeed getting another fight before she returns, it seems at least plausible that her appearing on UFC 200 may no longer be the plan. She’s putting herself out in a bunch of different venues that will take her away from the necessary training and improvement to come back to beat Holm, and who knows how long that’s going to take? Instead, it might be smart for her to keep herself in the public eye like this in different areas, because if she can keep her image high out of the cage, it might not matter for her star power whether she continues to compete or not.

[Photo (c) Jayne Kamin-Oncea via USA Today Sports]

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