Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey has the first defense of her title coming up in August, but first she gets the grace the cover of ESPN the magazine.
Rousey is featured in the 2012 ESPN Body Issue along with a number of other athletes from sports all over the world.
The newest edition of the magazine will feature six special edition covers, one of which features Rousey ‘artistically nude’ as the champion said herself via Twitter.
“We had an overwhelming number of truly amazing photographs to choose from this year, which is why there are six covers. We wanted to have as many as we could get because whittling the photographs down to the best of the best isn’t easy. When making the final call, we paid attention to diversity — we like to have a good mix of men and women, a good mix of different body types represented, different sports, etc,” said Neely Lohmann, ESPN the magazine’s deputy editor.
Rousey joins New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, the Toronto Blue Jay’s Jose Bautista, New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler, tennis player Daniela Hantuchova, and WNBA player Candace Parker as the six cover athletes for this year’s edition.
To view the full gallery of photos including Rousey’s shots visit ESPN.com
(Photos and cover courtesy of ESPN.com)