Ronda Rousey to host 'Saturday Night Live' on Jan. 23

ByBrett Okamoto ESPN logo
Tuesday, January 5, 2016

UFC star Ronda Rousey has signed on to host NBC's "Saturday Night Live" on Jan. 23 in New York.

Network officials announced the lineup for the show, which also includes musical guest Selena Gomez, on Tuesday. Rousey, 28, adds her name to a list of iconic athletes who have hosted SNL that includes Michael Jordan,Derek Jeter,LeBron James,Tom Brady, Wayne Gretzky and Peyton Manning.

Rousey will be the first mixed martial artist to serve as host. The fight game has been represented previously by boxing's heavyweight champion George Foreman and middleweight champion Marvin Hagler.

A former U.S. Olympian in judo, in 2012, Rousey (12-1) became the first female athlete to sign a UFC contract. UFC president Dana White has repeatedly stated that Rousey alone changed his mind on women fighting in the world's largest MMA promotion. Rousey, who fights out of southern California, recorded six consecutive 135-pound title defenses before she suffered the first loss of her career, a stunning second-round knockout to Holly Holm at UFC 193 on Nov. 14. The UFC has not yet announced her next fight.

The SNL appearance will add to Rousey's ever-growing list of mainstream appearances. She has appeared in the Hollywood films Expendables 3, Furious 7 and Entourage. In March, she made an appearance at WWE's "WrestleMania 31." In October, she became the first female athlete to guest host ESPN's SportsCenter.