Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2016 Cover Girls Revealed: Ronda Rousey, Ashley Graham & Hailey Clauson | NBC Connecticut

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2016 Cover Girls Revealed: Ronda Rousey, Ashley Graham & Hailey Clauson

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    (L-R) Ronda Rousey, Hailey Clauson, and Ashley Graham.

    Not one, but three women will be gracing the cover of the 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, each with a very different body type.

    The three separate covers will each feature a solo shot of either MMA star Ronda Rousey, 29, or models Ashley Graham, 28, and Hailey Clauson, 20.

    "It's a nod to female empowerment," a source told E! News.

    The annual edition with photos was officially revealed Saturday night on TNT after the NBA Slam Dunk Contest.

    Rousey is one of several models in the issue who does not wear a swimsuit, but rather body paint, a tactic used before, appearing as though she is wearing a one-piece, colorful, printed swimsuit while sitting on the sand with her knees bended.

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    She and the magazine had teased her racy photo shoot last month. Rousey, who is on a hiatus from fighting after losing her the Women's Bantamweight championship title at UFC 193 to Holly Holm in November, made her debut in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue last year.

    Clauson appears topless, sitting in the ocean while wearing a tie-die printed bikini bottom.

    Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Billboard Magazine

    Clauson, a high fashion model, appeared in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 2015 wearing body paint.

    Graham, a curvy model who has said she hates being labelled "plus-size," is one of the magazine's "rookies" this year. She appears on the cover wearing a skimpy purple and yellow string bikini while posing in shallow waves.

    Graham appeared in last year's edition in an ad for a swimwear company.

    "I've got plenty of friends [of all sizes] and different shapes and everything," she recently told E! News. "And I don't want any of them to feel like they aren't 'real women.'"

    In addition to her official Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition photo shoot, Graham also appears in another swimwear ad inside the magazine this year, as does 56-year-old Nicole Griffin, the oldest model to be featured in the annual edition.

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    Gigi Hadid, 20, who made her debut in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 2014, also appears in the 2016 edition.

    TMZ was first to reveal the cover girls.