Ronda Rousey magazine cover sparks controversy

For its November cover, Australian Men’s Fitness opted to feature UFC-champion-turned-mainstream-celeb Ronda Rousey. It marks the first time the men’s mag has featured a woman on its cover, and when the new cover was announced on Facebook, some of the magazine’s readers were less than thrilled.

Some users expressed disappointment that the magazine had decided to feature a female athlete.

“Shouldn't men be on men's fitness?” one user commented. Another wrote, “Makes no sense. She is a woman. Plain and simple.”

One commenter wrote a lengthy post criticizing the decision.

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“Ok , I am a fan of Ronda [Rousey] and admire and respect her very much. I've been reading Men's Fitness for years but this is a mens (sic) magazine, no other great woman champion be it a tennis player, swimmer have made the cover of a Men's Fitness magazine or male make the cover of a Women's Fitness… May I say it's absurd [?] Now we have a Woman on a mens (sic) mag, maybe if she was with a male as a duo on the cover I'd find acceptable...”

Other commenters were simply unhappy with the decision to select Rousey as the first female to appear, as opposed to other popular female athletes.

“Serena Williams isn't on the cover why? She is way better than Ronda, more accomplished,” one commenter complained.

But plenty of Rousey fans stepped in to defend her and laud the mag for its decision to feature a female.

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“Ronda Rousey is an inspiration to YOUNG PEOPLE and OLDER ALL OVER!!!! She is The BEST in the [octagon] and an all around GREAT, REAL, PERSON,” one fan wrote.

Another added, “… [It’s] a Perfect way to sell a mens (sic) fitness magazine… So well done Mens (sic) Fitness and [looking] awesome Ronda!!”

For her part, Rousey steered clear of the backlash and simply shared a snapshot of the cover on her Instagram account.

She proudly wrote, “Thank you @mensfitnessau for making me the first woman on your cover!! #UFCMelbourne”