Strikeforce 135 pound women’s champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey is not only featured nude in the ESPN Magazine Body Issue, but is one of the cover models for the magazine. ESPN unveiled it’s lineup and a round of pictures of their featured athletes via their website, today, with Rousey featured prominently on the cover. Rousey is the second female mixed martial artist to make the Body Issue, coming in behind Gina Carano a few years prior. However, while Carano was air brushed to the point of looking like a cartoon character, Rousey appears to be on the pages with minimal glamor and editing.
The Body Issue of ESPN is a series of nude photos of famous athletes done once a year as a study of the athletic form. Much of the writing in and around the issue focuses on glamorizing an athletic figure, where in the past it was often looked at as too extreme. In a quote from Rousey in the magazine pages, she mentioned that she, now considered a sex symbol, was mocked for her physique when she was younger.
“When I was in school, martial arts made you a dork, and I became self-conscious that I was too masculine,” said Rousey. “I was a 16-year-old girl with ringworm and cauliflower ears. People made fun of my arms and called me “Miss Man.” It wasn’t until I got older that I realized: These people are idiots. I’m fabulous.”
See the video of the nude photo shoot after the jump.