UFC fighter and aspiring actress Ronda Rousey has gained 15 pounds — and she’s told Cosmopolitan magazine that she couldn’t be happier.
Although Rousey, like other bantamweight female fighters, has to weigh 135 pounds to participate in Ultimate Fighting Championship tournaments, the undefeated champ tells Cosmo she put on some weight to boost her own self confidence.
Why the change? Rousey told Cosmo she was inspired to make the change when she was picked to pose in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.
“I felt like I was much too small for a magazine that is supposed to be celebrating the epitome of a woman,” she commented. “I wanted to be at my most feminine shape, and I don’t feel my most attractive at 135 pounds, which is the weight I fight at.”
While many women find the idea of deliberately putting on weight uncomfortable, Rousey said she wasn’t fazed. “At 150 pounds, I feel like I’m at my healthiest and my strongest and my most beautiful.”
Now the fighter, who also appeared in films like The Expendables 3 and Furious 7, said that she’s just maintaining 135 before weigh-ins.
Rousey recently commented on criticism of her body — specifically how others have said that she looks too masculine. She defended her femininity, saying, “There’s not a single muscle on my body that isn’t for a purpose.”
As a child, Rousey was one of 18.1 million Americans who participate in karate or another form of martial arts at least once per year.
“I grew up as an athlete doing judo, so I didn’t really have a conventional, feminine body type,” Rousey said in her Cosmo interview.
That wasn’t something the champion fighter was proud of, though, when she was younger.
“I grew up thinking that because my body type was uncommon [i.e., athletic], it was a bad thing,” Rousey told the magazine. “Now that I’m older, I’ve really begun to realize that I’m really proud that my body has developed for a purpose and not just to be looked at.”
Will Rousey inspire a whole new group of young women to buy MMA gear online and sign up for some martial arts classes?
She is certainly supportive of other women in sports. After Jen Welter was hired as an assistant coach for the Arizona Cardinals — the first woman to be named to such a position in the NFL — Rousey called the move an “advantage” for the team.
“[The Arizona Cardinals] have an entirely new and innovative perspective that everybody else doesn’t have,” Rousey said in a press conference last week. “If they think about it, it’s a huge advantage.”