It’s no question that women’s bantamweight champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey is one of the UFC’s biggest stars if not the company’s biggest star, but she is without a doubt the biggest crossover star in UFC history. Rousey’s star power has transferred over into major movie roles, books, commercials, and even modeling, proving how big she has become.
And for some reason, it seems as if her stock has drastically risen after her latest win, a 34-second knockout of Bethe Correia at August 1’s UFC 190. After this win, it seemed as if everyone was talking about the bantamweight champ including people and outlets that don’t usually associate with mixed martial arts (MMA).
UFC CEO Lorenzo Feritta spoke on the topic during a recent interview with CNBC, noting that Rousey’s crossover appeal has definitely been noticed. Fertitta stated that the champion is breaking down barriers, and bringing new fans to the sport including even teenage girls:
“We’re already seeing it. We’re getting exposure now, or she’s getting exposure now, in magazines like Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Vogue. Those aren’t the typical news outlets that would necessarily cover the Ultimate Fighting Championship. So she’s breaking down those barriers and bringing a whole new group of fans that want to watch her fight. We’ve heard of 14-year-old girls getting together and having UFC parties to watch her fight.”
As far as her in-cage skills, Fertitta said that every time Rousey goes out there that she breaks records, and in closing, the UFC CEO stated that the “Rowdy” one has become a major star for not only the UFC, but sports in general:
“At the end of the day, the events that she participates in break records. Seems like she breaks a new record every time she performs, whether it be in the Octagon or whether we talk about pay-per-view sales or ticket sales. I mean, she has become a legitimate star for the UFC and just in sports in general.”
Is Rousey the biggest star in sports today?