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Why Ronda Rousey Belongs On The Cover Of EA Sports UFC Video Game

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Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Miesha Tate recently made headlines for racking up more votes than UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey in the race for the EA Sports UFC video game.

Tate credited the voting going her way to Rousey getting “exposed” on “The Ultimate Fighter” show. That may be true, but at a time when women’s MMA is one of the fastest-growing elements in MMA, Rousey should be on the cover, alongside pound-for-pound great Jon Jones.

Women’s MMA has several pioneers, including Gina Carano and Julie Kedzie, but Rousey has arguably surpassed those legends. One of the UFC’s bright spots this year has been the rise of women’s MMA and Rousey’s emergence as a full-fledged MMA superstar.

Her debut in the UFC in February drew more than 425,000 Pay-Per-View buys. She’s been on the covers of national magazines and the focus of mainstream media interviews.

If it wasn’t for Ronda Rousey, the UFC would not have women’s MMA.. UFC President Dana White has said multiple times that Rousey is why women fight inside the Octagon.

Unfortunately, the cover of the game is a popularity contest. The fans of MMA, however, should recognize that breaking barriers, as Rousey has done, oftentimes requires women to appear over the top and abrasive in order to get noticed.

Rousey comes across sometimes as self-absorbed and insulting of some of her peers, but at the same time she has revolutionized MMA.

Like Mike Tyson did in the 1980s, she has created buzz and turned the eyes of the mainstream on women’s MMA and MMA in general. She’s done what Cain Velasquez, Jon Jones and Georges St-Pierre can’t even always do; Rousey finishes fights, and finishes them quickly. All seven of her victories have come by first round armbar submission.

Rousey also has a legitimate competitive sports skills. She won the Olympic Bronze medial in Judo in the 2008 Olympics. Rousey is a good role model for all mixed martial artists and young female and male athletes.

Women’s MMA must survive beyond Rousey, who might one day walk away from the cage and turn to Hollywood. The more successful Rousey is for the UFC, the more successful all women will be down the road.

For the future of the sport, young people who play video games would benefit form seeing Rousey on the cover of the box. Women can see themselves in a major spotlight and such a prominent display would help motivate future generations of female athletes.

Women’s MMA must survive beyond Rousey, who might one day walk away from the cage and turn to Hollywood. The more successful Rousey is for the UFC, the more successful all women will be down the road.