On January 24th, 2016, Ronda Rousey because the first mixed martial arts fighter to host Saturday Night Live.
The opening monologue started off with Ronda giving a sincere shoutout to Holly Holm, before going on to punch “Justin Bieber” in the face and to score a gig as a backup dancer for Selena Gomez. If you didn’t watch the episode, you probably don’t care about what else happened, so we’ll fast-forward to a Tweet sent out by Cris Cyborg:
Saturday Night Live is about as divisive as Ronda Rousey herself, so this match-up made a lot of sense. You have to give Ronda huge props for putting herself out there like that because this was her first big appearance since her loss to Holly Holm, save for the ESPN interview following her last fight.
She became the first MMA fighter to host Saturday Night Live, and continues to blaze new trails and gain more mainstream recognition for the sport. She’s not a comedian, she has appeared in movies but she’s not an experienced (or highly trained) actress, and she was totally out of her comfort zone but still went up there to face the challenge and that’s something we can all respect her for.
Not all of the feedback from other fighters was bad, for the most part it was positive. Here’s what boxing champ GGG had to say: