FEAR THE RETURN.
It's been almost a year since Ronda Rousey last entered the Octagon, and at last, the wait for her return is over. That's right folks—Ronda is back.
The former UFC champion will return to action against Brazilian star Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 on December 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. UFC president Dana White announced the comeback on The Herd with Colin Cowherd, in turn making all of our hopes and dreams come true.
A photo posted by rondarousey (@rondarousey) on
Despite not fighting since her first-ever loss to Holly Holm at UFC 193 in November, this year has been a busy one for Ronda. During her break, Ronda took time to focus on her movie and entertainment career, posing for and landing the cover of SI Swimsuit in NOTHING BUT BODY PAINT, as well as becoming the first face of Reebok's #PerfectNever campaign to empower women. In fact, it was just a few months ago in said Reebok ad that Ronda first hinted at her return by saying, "Perfect never gets a shot at redemption. So, yeah, I'm fine not being perfect."
"If they ask me who I want to fight, I’m going to say I want to fight Ronda," Nunes previously told Combate. "I’m not running from anyone. I’m the champion and I can choose who I’m going to fight.
"I will choose what’s best for me and Ronda would be ‘the’ main fight; that’s why it has to be against her, it has to be with Ronda.”
So how better to celebrate Ronda's epic comeback than with a look at some never-before seen BODY PAINT photos from her shoot in Great Exuma?! This day just keeps getting better and better.
Covered in colorful body paint, the UFC fighter posed seductively on the beach, immediately wowing our own editor and fans alike.
"This was my first time working with Ronda and I truly did not know what to expect," explained Assistant Managing Editor MJ Day. "I was honesty really nervous going into it. Her public persona is that she’s a fighter. She’s tough and brutal in the ring. Outwardly there’s an assumption that she’s closed off and hard to reach.
"The reality is that once you get to know her, she’s fascinating. She’s mesmerizing. And she’s also equally feminine, warm and relatable. After you shoot with her for a day, you realize where the worldwide frenzy comes from. People want to see her and know where she is at all times. It’s 'Rondamania' and it’s overtaken the general population. It’s wild to witness, so much so, that I don’t even think she was aware to what lengths people would go to catch a glimpse of her in body paint."
Cheers to us all getting to see an even more fierce, tough and brutal fighter when Ronda shuts down Sin City in December. We can't wait to watch our girl get back to doing what she does best.
BONUS: See some of Ronda's hottest moments from SI Swimsuit!