In case you missed it: UFC champion Ronda Rousey has landed the SI Swimsuit 2016 cover wearing nothing but body paint.
That's right—all of your dreams have finally come true! In a historic moment in SI Swimsuit history, we crowned not one, not two, but three individual cover models last night during SI Swimsuit 2016 Revealed on TNT. And since the news broke, many of you have been asking, why Ronda? That answer is easy.
"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."
Our editor went on to explain that a second body-painting photo shoot, which produced her unbelievable cover image, was essential to displaying the power and core of who Ronda is as a fighter and woman.
"We always want to keep surprises for our reader, but we realized with Ronda, more is more, so if we could try to catch the lightening in the bottle a second time, we had to do it."
BONUS: See exclusive photos of our cover models from SI Swimsuit 2016!