UFC fighter Ronda Rousey "has signed with" William Morris Endeavor for representation, according to Borys Kit of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. While male fighters and athletes “have a long tradition of crossing over from sport to screen, women are less known for making the transition” (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 2/27). MMAJUNKIE.com writes while it is not as if Rousey is "jumping headfirst into Hollywood, signing with WME has her positioned for those possibilities in the future.” Reports surfaced earlier this week that Rousey “already had a movie offer" for a part in the upcoming sequel to "The Hunger Games." The “mere fact she has signed with WME means she's officially on Hollywood's radar for commercials, for big-ticket sponsors, and yes, for movies.” UFC fighter Jon Jones' Nike deal was “negotiated by WME, so the agency has plenty of history dealing with sports stars, and recent history dealing with MMA stars.” Still, "it's not likely that Rousey would ditch MMA to make movies.” But the fact Hollywood “has its collective eye on her is yet another vote of confidence in her direction” (MMAJUNKIE.com, 3/1). MMAWEEKLY.com wrote Rousey is “a natural when you put a camera and microphone in front of her, but has stated that she is a fighter first and isn’t seeking out a movie career until she feels like her fighting career has run its course.” WME has “done more for MMA than taking its stars and putting them in the movies." It also has "helped the UFC to broker its groundbreaking deal with the Fox family of networks” (MMAWEEKLY.com, 2/28).
MONUMENTAL MOMENT: The GLOBE & MAIL’s Hayley Mick writes Rousey’s win over Liz Carmouche last Saturday “has been widely characterized as a win for all women.” MMA fighters Sarah Kaufman and Alexis Davis said that the response to the bout “has proven what female fighters have been saying for years: They belong on MMA’s biggest stage.” The increase in exposure for female fighters “means better appearance fees and more sponsorship opportunities, money they can use to train full-time and afford elite coaches and support staff.” The hype around Rousey also has been a “stark reminder of the realities of their profession” -- that UFC is “definitely a show.” Davis said, “It’s almost like we’re products. ... It’s not the way we like to see ourselves, but that’s how you get more sponsors, that’s how you get recognized more, you get bigger fights. That’s what Ronda did. She sold herself. She got the media attention and it pushed her to where she is today” (GLOBE & MAIL, 3/1).