Editor’s Letter: Ronda Rousey cover issue

When it comes to global sporting superstars, they don’t come much bigger than Ronda Rousey right now. The first lady of mixed martial arts has transcended the sport to become an action movie star, celebrity and role model for women around the world.

The clamor for media time with the UFC women’s bantamweight champion eclipses any other athlete in UFC history. Mainstream magazine interviews, late-night chat shows, red-carpet events; outside of her obligatory fightweek commitments, the MMA media is generally pasted at the bottom of a very long list of requests. Except for when Fighters Only comes calling, of course.

Rousey may have become the Octagon’s biggest star, but she still finds time for her favorite fight publication, so she sat down with consultant editor Gareth A Davies for this month’s cover story.

Joined by mum and mentor, AnnMaria De Mars, ‘Rowdy’ discusses the impact of her celebrity status on her career, how she views herself as a dark Sith Lord rather than goody-two-shoes Jedi Knight, and what drives her to dominate the sport so ruthlessly.

There’s also exclusive interviews with Carlos Condit, Urijah Faber, Jeremy Stephens and actor Dolph Lundgren, and we investigate how fighters, officials and coaches prepare in the final 48 hours before a fight. Plus, we review the career of Pride legend Fedor Emelianenko, and compare him to today’s top dogs to ask: who is the greatest heavyweight of all time?