Ronda Rousey’s star is shining bright as the biggest name in mixed martial arts (MMA), and it’s translating into some massive financial success for the transcendent ‘Rowdy.’
That resulted in a spot on list of the world’s highest-paid female athletes, with Rousey’s $6.5 million in earnings coming in at No. 8. The dominant undefeated women’s bantamweight champion has been on a meteoric rise ever since she came into the UFC as their first female champion in early 2013.
She undoubtedly deserves a spot on the exclusive list that includes names like Maria Sharapova, who topped the list at $29.7 million, and Serena Williams, who came in second at $24.6 million. Rousey was only one of three non-tennis athletes to make the list, joining racing superstar Danica Patrick and golfer Stacy Lewis.
Overall, it’s a momentous accomplishment for an MMA fighter, as the sport is still yet to truly crack through to the mainstream. Yet based on the numbers for Rousey’s recent blockbuster knockout over Bethe Correia in the main event of UFC 190, the sport has certainly taken a huge step towards become universally watched and discussed, and it’s all thanks to Rousey and to a lesser extent, Conor McGregor.
Rousey took eighth on the list of top female moneymakers by appearing in several movies, most notably ‘Entourage’ earlier this summer, and she has several more roles on the way. She also dominated the endorsement arena similar to how she demolished everyone in the octagon, signing big-dollar endorsement deals with Reebok, Metro PCS, Monster headphones, Buffalo David Button, and most recently, fast food company Carl’s Jr.
Following her three recent wins that have lasted a grand total of 94 seconds, Rousey has of course been linked to a ‘superfight’ with longtime rival Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Justino. Talks have stalled with Invicta FC featherweight champ Justino seemingly unwilling to attempt a cut down to 135 pounds, while Rousey remains steadfast in her stance that she would never move up in weight to fight a known steroid user.
While that bout remains just an ongoing dialogue of rumors and trash talk, Rousey will reportedly fight her ‘other’ rival, top-ranked former Strikeforce champion Miesha Tate, in their third matchup, perhaps in early 2016.
As commercial and competitive success mounts to a head for ‘Rowdy,’ the generational fighter will bring the most momentum she’s ever had into her trilogy bout with Tate. Will anyone ever knock her off the golden throne of MMA’s pioneering queen?