A starring role in The Expendables 3 is one thing. Appearances in commercials and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition are another. But we’d argue that an athlete hasn’t topped the pop culture totem pole until he or she has come to us “live from New York” on a Saturday night. In a few weeks, on Jan. 23, Ronda Rousey will make that leap, becoming just the fourth female athlete ever to do so (and she could beat the tar out of Chris Evert, Nancy Kerrigan, or Kerri Strug).
This has been quite the past few months for Rousey, who will star alongside musical guest Selena Gomez. Still considered the top bantamweight female MMA fighter in the world by UFC, her knockout at the hands (foot?) of Holly Holm in November made worldwide headlines and may actually have increased her fame. Expect it to be touched upon when she makes her appearance at 30 Rock, whether it be in her monologue or in one of the sketches.
A week earlier, SNL will return from its holiday hiatus with host Adam Driver, musical guest Chris Stapleton, and probably enough Star Wars jokes for the whole year.