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In Ronda Rousey's book tour a lot of interesting things are coming out. One of these is an article about the specialness of Ronda's Sports Illustrated cover, only the 2nd time a UFC fighter has made the cover. And as is pointed out, it is really only the first time that they have done so AS the story. One of the notable things is where the author mentions that Ronda Rousey threatens to take over Serena Williams as the most talked about female athlete in the world: The former Olympic judoka now duels tennis star Serena Williams as the most-talked about female athlete in the country. As far as domination, her last three title defenses, against Sara McMann, Alexis Davis and Cat Zingano, have lasted a total of 96 seconds. and it goes on... With the exception of iconic boxing figures, a Sports Illustrated cover is a rarity for combat sports athletes. Rousey would be the first judoka ever to make the cover. Nobody from the jiu-jitsu world has ever made a cover, and the lone amateur wrestler, Danny Hodge, did so back in 1957. Still, the other part of the cover is the jinx. The lone female combat sport athlete to make the cover was boxer Christy Martin in 1996. While Martin didn't lose a fight until 1998, her career never really advanced past that point. Martin is best known as a nostalgia figure from the 90s when for a brief period of time, people talked about women boxing. Like Huerta, she is probably best known as the answer to a trivia question about the cover. As a sports figure, Rousey is almost assuredly going to be remembered as something far more significant. read the rest of the article here Personally, I was intrigued about this battle between Serena Williams and Ronda, as I don't follow tennis much and I wasn't aware of just how much Serena has been in the public conversation over the years - it's a great deal. I'm a numbers and graphs guy, and an analyst of digital footprints, so I thought I'd turn to the Google Trends tool and see what the was case. If you are not a numbers person you'll find this boring, no doubt, but maybe the conclusions of interest. Google Trends reports an index of presence of a search term compared to total searches, something that makes it easy to see a rough picture of how much a topic is on the public's finger tips. So I ran a few trend pictures of four different female athletes to see where Ronda has stacked up: 2005 - 2015 - Index of Google Searches above, Ronda Rousey (blue), Serene Williams (red), Gina Carano (yellow) and Danica Patrick (green) since 2005 - you can see that Serena (red) has had a very strong footing for almost 10 years. below the same selections since Ronda came on the scene in 2011. 2011-2015 Index of Google Searches Jan 2013 - May 2015 - Index of Google Searches and then above, the same selection since January 2013. In the last year and a half Serena (red) and Ronda (blue) have been searched roughly at about the same frequency. This is worldwide Google data. If you run this for just searches done in the United States Ronda has indeed passed Serena as the most talked about female athlete in the country. As a point of comparison I also ran the trends of Ronda Rousey and Jon Jones as search terms since Ronda came into the UFC. As Jon Jones has had his share of controversies, this too has stimulated searches. It is just amazing that the budding male star vying for the title of the "best fighter in the world" or Best MMA fighter ever, has caught the public eye perhaps to a lesser degree that Ronda has: 2011-2015 Index of Google Searches Now of course this data is snap-shot, and if we were really to break it down we would provide more caveats and analysis. All these numbers are telling us is that Ronda is really standing somewhere special in terms of reach and public consciousness, both among female athletes and in her own sport as well. This is something we already knew, right? But seeing the numbers puts things into a certain perspective. Why? Because these kinds of numbers are the things that money looks to, the things that drive decisions. The important thing is that in our fast changing world we really forget that there was a time when things we take for granted today were unthinkable a short time ago. 10-11 years ago there was no such thing as YouTube or Facebook. They were a murmur. Now we can't imagine a world without them. And before Ronda it was simply unimaginable that a female FIGHTER, could outstrip male fighters in one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Evey single thing that Ronda does. Every image the media takes up of her. Every motif and story arc is a new thing. Something that never existed before. It is cutting forth a path for female fighting that will shape the fighting imaginations and expectations of both men and women for decades, if not longer.
Excerpt on Jezebel from Ronda Rousey's new book MY FIGHT/YOUR FIGHT. I have mixed feelings about Ronda but this article is awesome and makes me want to read the rest of the book. How a One-Armed Ronda Rousey Grappled With the World in Rio.