When the UFC first announced that they would be starting a women’s division in the promotion, the whole situation was received with mixed feelings by many. The first problem with was that, aside from the folks who were already hard-core mixed martial arts fans and followed every single promotion out there, not many people had seen female mixed martial artists in action. With that, not many folks knew how entertaining, or if it would be entertaining at all, to watch these women punching each other inside an octagon. Watching any two people hitting the hell out of each other or trying to make an opponent tap out inside an octagon should be entertaining, but you get our point. It is not like people first thought that they would see powerful and technical masters who could entertain audiences like Anderson Silva and George St. Pierre did. And even though Dana White assured everyone that the women they would sign knew very well what they were doing, there was always the doubt floating in the air.
The other concern a few fans had was how these women would look. Whether anyone likes to admit it or not, a good portion of the opposite sex is attracted to guys like the ones who fight in the UFC. Strong, lean, and powerful are a lot of girl’s favorite types. The other way around, however, was always met with a stigma. Luckily, not only did the women’s division in the UFC proved that ladies could fight and fight well, it showed that female mixed martial artists could also look hot as hell. And no one embodied that better than Ronda Rousey.
18 Outside: Rolling Stone
Magazine shoots are the bread and butter for instances in which athletes look stunning outside of their field of expertise. At this point, however, we could say that Ronda Rousey has turned into an expert when it comes to magazine photo shoots. Nevertheless, the time she posed for Rolling Stone was one fans will never forget. It might not have been the most revealing of Ronda’s photo shoots, but it certainly was one of the most entertaining, exactly because of pictures like this.
This shows not only how hot she is, but imagine how skilled and strong she has to be in order to maintain balance in a pose like that. In other words, this was the kind of photo shoot that only someone who dedicates a lot of time to developing their body strength would be able to pull off.
17 Inside: Reality Check
Here is a reality check for everyone. A women’s MMA fight is not the same thing as a catfight. While watching two girls roughing each other up on television or at a bar can float some guys' boats, a mixed martial arts fight is not an attractive happening. That is, of course, unless you are someone who simply enjoys watching it for the beauty of the sport. However, for most people, as soon as blood and teeth start flowing and falling as a legitimate battle happens inside that octagon, would likely turn to cringing rather than smiling.
Still, there are a few women who manage to pull off looking good while still in the octagon, which is not very easy to do. Thankfully, Ronda Rousey is one of these rare gals.
16 Outside: SI
The pictures Ronda Rousey took for Sports Illustrated have pretty much created a few cult followings around the Internet. It is impossible for you to Google Ronda Rousey without seeing at least one of the photos she posed for in a Sports Illustrated swimsuit photo shoot. And there is a good reason for that since her 2015 SI swimsuit outtake was absolutely out of this world.
She was at the peak of her form inside the octagon, and outside of it, Ronda looked just as stunning as she was devastating during a fight. Put that all together with a beach photo shoot and the idea that she should take such steamy pictures proved she was on top of the world and was making her fame count for everything it was worth. Now we just have to wonder when will be the next time she does an SI shoot.
15 Inside: Still Counts
Okay, Ronda is not in the middle of a fight in this picture, but hang on a second before you start hating. For all intents and purposes, Rousey is wearing her fighting gear in the photo, and she is inside an octagon as you can see from that cage behind her. One way or the other, we are sure not many of you would complain, as long as she looks as hot as she does in this pic.
The only thing we are left wondering is what could she possibly be looking at? Maybe she was just sparring with somebody and dropped them. That surely would not be such a pleasant look to see if you were the person with their back to the canvas and she was looking down at you.
14 Outside: Unorthodox
This is a very unorthodox picture when we analyze it closely. The first thing you will notice if you are an avid MMA fan who has followed Ronda Rousey’s career is that a pair of boxing gloves is not exactly something we would expect to see her wearing. After all, this is a woman who has made her octagon legend on the canvas. Ronda is far from being an expert striker, and the majority of her career fights was won by submission.
The second interesting part is that we see jeans so much these days that it’s hard to think of them as something hot. But leave it to Ronda Rousey to pull that one off as well. At the end of the day, this very unlikely of combinations is one that we most definitely approve.
12 Inside: Advertising
If there is one place the inside and the outside of the octagon intersect for most mixed martial, artists it is when they are signed to do advertisement campaigns. These are professional photo shoots, but at the same time, they happen inside the octagon with the fighter wearing the same thing they wear during a fight or during practice. It is literally, the best of both worlds.
And as you could probably guess, one of the best mixed martial artists to bring these two worlds together was Ronda Rousey. It doesn’t matter what she was advertising, Ronda always seems to look good inside that octagon. But the question we have to ask ourselves after this is: how many other female mixed martial artists do you think would look this good even in a photo shoot?
11 Outside: Surfing
All right guys, it is time to go surfing. What? You don’t know how to surf? We bet you'll want to learn after seeing this picture, right?
She started off fighting judo and went all the way to become an Olympic medalist. After that, Ronda Rousey decided to try her luck in MMA, which turned out to be far from the idea of trying her luck since she was as dominant as MMA legends ever came. But as all things come to an end, her MMA reign eventually expired. There are rumors of her coming back, but wouldn’t it be entertaining to see her trying a third sport just for the hell of it?
Well, if we were asked for an opinion on a sport she could take on next, a very high option on our list would be surfing, and you certainly don’t need an explanation for that, right?
9 Inside: Fight Promo
One of the best things surrounding combat sports is the hype before a fight. Boxing has done it for as long as the sport has existed, and since mixed martial arts started picking up steam, the UFC and other promotions have excelled in selling their fights. While the bouts on the male side of things are mostly hyped up because of rivalries and smack talk, there is one aspect in promoting a fight that female martial artists do way better than their male counterparts.
That is using their looks to sell a fight. The promos are made with fighters wearing their competitive gear as if they were ready to go and knock some heads up right out of the photo shoot. During her reign as the female bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey drew a lot of fans to fights because of how beautiful she looked in these promos.
7 Outside: Almost
Although there have been several times in which Ronda Rousey posed nude for the cameras, there is one thing fans around the Internet have never and probably will never be able to see. Actually two things, and those are Ronda’s assets. Despite not having any problem in appearing for a photo shoot wearing nothing but body paint, or a tiny swimsuit, or even the time when she posed for the ESPN The Magazine the Body Issue, Ronda has never allowed anyone to take a picture of her twins.
And while that might piss off a few fans here and there, it is something that everyone should respect. She has no problem showing it all, but there are still things she likes to leave to people’s imaginations. At the same time, pictures like this one just look mean.
6 Inside: Wrestling Time
There has been a lot of talk over these past few months about the possibility of Ronda Rousey joining the wrestling world. She has already made an appearance during an event, and perhaps it is not too far-fetched of an idea to see her competing in the WWE sometime soon.
We highly doubt anyone would deny that she has the physical ability to compete with professional wrestlers. She also has the looks to be one of the hottest women in the WWE should she choose to join the promotion. The only thing we would be worried about is if at some point she forgot to hold back and actually hurt somebody in a wrestling ring. But hey, that is one risk we are sure Vince McMahon would be willing to take.
5 Outside: SI
One thing many outsiders might not know is that balance is something that is vital for a mixed martial artist. Literally, one false step or a slight loss of balance could mean the difference between winning a fight and getting knocked out. UFC fighters are specially trained in the art of analyzing their opponent and recognizing even the slightest bit of hesitation and loss of balance. Just take a closer look at any fight you watched that ended in a knockout, there is a good chance that you might be able to pinpoint the moment in which the fighter who ended up winning recognized his opponent was losing balance. That is when you strike.
As you can see, however, Ronda Rousey has no problem keeping her balance, nor does she have a problem with looking good while doing it.
4 Inside: The Transformation
Leave it to Ronda herself to choose one of the best pictures of her wearing her traditional UFC fighting attire. From the time she started competing in the UFC, we have been used to seeing Rousey in peak physical condition, at least compared to the competition. This picture, however, should serve as nothing less than motivation for people to realize that you can always get better.
You would hardly find people who could claim that Ronda was out of shape when she took the picture on the left for Sports Illustrated. Still, the former UFC bantamweight champion put it on herself to work as hard as she possibly could in order to turn that already perfect body into something else. Unfortunately, she lost the fight, but the picture is still worth 1,000 words.
3 Outside: Wow
Well, ladies and gentlemen, the number one spot on our list for the hottest photo of Ronda Rousey outside of the octagon was one that could not be denied. But we will be damned if this picture did not make us think twice about that.
It seems like this particular picture came from a September 2013 Maxim piece that Rousey was a part of. And seriously, we have a hard time deciding what is hottest about this picture, and that entire photo shoot for that matter. Of course, anything Ronda wears near a beach is going to look amazing. But the white top with those black bottoms seems to have been the perfect choice by whoever was in charge of her wardrobe that day. And who knows, maybe we’ll get a chance to see her pose for Maxim again. There certainly would be no complaints from the MMA crowd.
2 Inside: Weigh-In
Say whatever you want to say, but we deemed that weigh-ins count towards inside the octagon moments. The idea behind this is very simple. The weigh-in is part of the fight. We can make the argument that a fight between two mixed martial artists starts as soon as they sign a contract, but we are not going to go that far since that could spark a lot of discussions. Nevertheless, no one can deny that the weigh-in is as much as part of a fight as is the moment two women step into an octagon. People even pay good money to go to these events. Either way, this essential part of a fight weekend is also one aspect of the life of a mixed martial artist in which Ronda Rousey truly excels.
1 Outside: ESPN
You can try to come up with other pictures and other photo shoots, but it if we are to be honest with each other, it is nearly impossible to find a time when Ronda Rousey looked better outside of the octagon than when she decided to pose for ESPN The Magazine the Body Edition.
Since the dawn of this special edition of the ESPN Magazine, sports fans have waited to see their favorite athletes bare it all for a very artistic photo shoot. It was no surprise that MMA fans went insane when Ronda took the plunge on this one. And let us just say it was not a bad idea for anybody. The fans got what they always wanted, and Ronda got to show what it means to work hard every day to keep up a body like that primed for competition.