When Ronda Rousey arrived on the mixed martial arts scene, she made quite a splash, earning fans with her match winning moves and her affable, nerdy personality. Rousey has parlayed this success in the cage into appearances in movies and on talk shows, which seemingly convinced UFC publisher EA to select the media savvy fighter as one of the cover start for the upcoming EA Sports UFC 2, the follow-up to the well received EA Sports UFC released last year.
But in a serious case of bad timing, Rousey’s cover announcement hit on Friday, just a day before her next major fight. The heavily favored fighter entered her match with Holly Holm with an impressive 12-win streak, only to catch a brutal kick to the side of the head that sent her tumbling to the mat and concluded with Holm raising her arm in victory.
Rousey’s loss to the bantamweight boxer has lead to many questioning whether the martial artist will retain her position on UFC 2’s cover, or if her now broken streak will lead to EA replacing her with someone else. Others have even questioned if the infamous “EA Sport Cover Curse” was perhaps responsible for Rousey’s shocking loss.
The Monday following the loss, EA took to the media to let everyone know they stood behind Rousey, and that the fighter would still appear on the cover of the highly anticipated game. In a prepared announcement, EA Sports spokesman Brad Hilderbrand confirmed that Rousey’s loss will not affect the cover of the game, and that she will be joined by a to-be-announced male fighter.
The day after Rousey’s upset, EA Sports president Peter Moore weighed in on the loss on Twitter, explaining that sports are “unpredictable” and that the company celebrates this “anything can happen” ethos, stating:
While EA Sports has been vocal in their support of the popular fighter, the company has not responded to calls to remove Rousey and replace her with her opponent Holly Holm, who has assumed the position of Women’s Bantamweight Champion.
UFC President Dana White has stated that a rematch between the two talented fighters will likely happen, which has left many wondering how Rousey will fare on the second go-around. But while Rousey may have been dethroned as champion, she has committed to bettering herself for future fights, and EA Sports is sure to continue to back the fighter, undefeated or not.