UFC is one of the most popular and prolific sports promotions that are currently active today. They're doing big things right now, getting bigger as we speak, and it looks like they're not slowing down anytime soon. From the looks of the way business is going for the company right about now, everyone's coming to see a local UFC show. We can argue that the UFC is striving right now because everybody's attending these two shows for two very specific (and vastly different) reasons. The first, of course, being the smashmouth fighting matches between the skilled fighters. The second -- and perhaps most titillating of them all -- is to see the ring girls.
We only see the ring girls once every couple minutes whenever they step into the octagon to remind us which round we're about to watch. However, to be perfectly satisfied, all some viewers need is to see those few seconds of eye candy interspersed between high-octane octagon action between two ugly dudes slugging it out. It's almost as if the viewers come for the fighters but stay for the ring girls that show up in between fights. Let's not take these women for granted, though. We don't know much about these ring girls, but we know enough to understand that these girls are much more than just beautiful faces. As proof of the matter, here are a few facts and reasons why we love these ring girls in the UFC so much.
16 They're Daring
As trained martial artists and heavy hitters, the UFC fighters are taking a big risk whenever they step into the octagon. The UFC girls aren't that different. They may not be putting their lives on the line or busting each other's faces in, but they're making big decisions that can either make or break their careers. Take Chrissy Blair, for example. Prior to being a model, she was, as she once put it, a girl who "never did [her] hair... never understood fashion." Then, one day during her college years, while on the beach with some girlfriends, a girlfriend took some notice of her alarming looks and advised Blair to take part in some modeling contest. Feeling like she was dared to do it, Blair took the risk, entered, and won first place. She decided to go into modeling from there and is now one of UFC's most recognizable octagon girls.
15 They're Not Afraid to Bare It All
Above the many characteristics and qualities shared by all of the ring girls of the UFC, these girls are fearless. They're not afraid of taking risks, especially if those risks call for them to bare their skin. A few UFC ladies have done so for Playboy magazine. Arianny Celeste is one ring girl who posed for Playboy and, to date, has the most popular Playboy cover of any UFC girl, considering that the year that her issue was released, it was one of the hottest-selling issues the magazine sold that year. Another girl who modeled for the famous magazine was Rachelle Leah. When Leah first received the offer from Playboy, she called her parents to see if they were okay with it. When she learned they were 110% behind her, she hopped on a plane to LA and started shooting. Others include Jade Bryce and Brittany Palmer.
14 They Bounce Back from L's
Just like how the Big Sean song "Bounce Back" goes, the ring girls of the UFC have proven time and time again that they know how to take an "L" (also known as a loss) one night, only to bounce right back up again the next night. They have the tenacity and the willpower of any other UFC fighter. Just look at Chandela Powell. While she's no longer employed by the company, she was one of the more recognizable UFC ring girls once upon a time ago. Then, once she had a child, that stalled her career for a bit. Then, when it was revealed that she had spent some time in the adult entertainment industry--something that the UFC themselves never knew--they kicked her to the curb. However, she didn't let these setbacks deter her. She's since moved on to work on bigger projects and is currently happily residing in the Bahamas, last we heard.
13 They Know How to Triumph from Tragedy
Just like how the UFC girls know how to bounce back from taking big L's, they also know how to bounce back from tragedy. Carly Baker is an example of the rule, as her boyfriend, world-renowned cricket player Tom Maynard, passed away in 2012 following an all-too-awful accident. While high on cocaine, alcohol, and ecstasy, the man tried to flee police when the authorities found him driving erratically on the road. They lost his trail, but they found his body later near train tracks after he was hit by a London Underground District line train. He was also electrocuted. Baker was shaken up by the altercation and, even to this day, rarely talks about him. Still, she's been able to move on to become one of the most popular UFC ring girls in the company.
12 They Know How to Squash Beef
Former UFC ring girl Amber Nichole Miller has been dating UFC legend and freshly retired (by freshly, we mean he still fights on and off, with his most recent fight being in January 2017) Tito Ortiz for the last year or so. The couple seems to be happy together, but the man's former spouse, Jenna Jameson, seemed to try to stir some drama in their path late 2016. The former adult-entertainment actress publicly accused Miller on Twitter of stealing a purse from her. Miller's response was short, sweet, to the point, and passive aggressive to boot: "It must be physically exhausting to have such resentment and jealousy." With one simple response, Miller squashed their beef, as there hasn't been a snappy comeback from either party since then.
11 They Remind Us Dreams Can Come True
Before she was offered an illustrious contract with UFC, Jessica Cambensy was a huge fan of the MMA product that UFC was peddling and continues to peddle. She always had dreams to see it live, up close, and personal. She found the opportunity to get closer to the action than she ever would've imagined when she was offered by UFC a chance to work as an octagon girl for a Macao show. Needless to say, she quickly jumped on the chance to work with UFC. It managed to change her career for the better and help launch a platform that allowed her to act and model. She's currently married to actor/martial artist Andy On, and the two had their first child in 2016. It goes to show that dreams do come true; it's an inspiring fact.
10 They Started from the Bottom
These models didn't just pop up in the UFC out of the blue and were handed signs to lug around every round as ring girls. None of the ring girls are doing anything in the UFC that they don't deserve. All of these girls started from the bottom and worked their way, ground up. A key example is Red Dela Cruz. She started off by working as a ring girl in her town's very small organization. From there, she slowly started to gain a following on social media and became one of the more well-known ring girls from the Philippines. Then, when UFC held an Octagon Girl Search, fans voted for her to win, and she became the first Asian winner of the contest. After years of hard work, she earned a job in the company.
9 They're Real Fans
One thing that the UFC ring girls don't get enough credit for is the fact that most of them are big fans of the MMA sport. After all, they're just models at the end of the day, meaning that they're not obligated to be fans. They can just hold up their card, get a paycheck, and leave. However, many of these ladies have professed to be longtime fans of the sport of MMA, as well as the UFC promotion that promotes it. One of those ladies happens to be Logan Stanton. She's mentioned in a previous interview that when her modeling agency told her that UFC wanted to meet with her, she was ecstatic because she had been a fan of UFC since "forever." She jumped at the chance to become one of their ring girls when the offer was on the table.
8 They Love to Party
Everyone loves a good party once in a while, and everyone loves those types of people who party hard -- those who are the epitome of the life of the party. Some of the UFC girls fit that description to a tee, particularly, Edith Labelle, who partied so hard one night that she lost her job with the UFC as a ring girl. Labelle made her debut at UFC 78, but just a few pay-per-views later, she was sent home after UFC 100 and fired. It was reported that she was fired because she arrived at the event way too hungover from a party the previous night. However, Labelle has clarified herself that she merely suffered from food poisoning after she had eaten something bad at a prior party. Whatever the case may be, maybe there's such a thing as partying too hard.
7 They're Smart
Don't let their beauty fool you. These aren't a bevy of bimbos, and they're worth more than just holding cards in the octagon for a living. In fact, a lot of the UFC girls are actually really smart. Take Luciana Andrade, for example, who has her own law degree to her name. Prior to becoming a full-time model and ring girl for the UFC, Andrade ground hard for nine years straight in order to receive her degree in the judicial area from law school. When she isn't modeling for the cameras, Andrade continues to work as a legal counsel in Brazil for international and domestic clients. Even if she ever decides to step away from the UFC, she still has something to fall back on.
6 They're Businesswomen
In addition to being bodacious beauties with a dash of brains, these UFC ring girls also happen to be making smart, calculated moves as businesswomen. Plenty of these women are making big strides in the business world as esteemed entrepreneurs. One perfect example of such a woman is Chrissy Blair. Alongside Australian model Jayla Harnwell, Blair co-founded Kalumi, and together, the two produce Kalumi BeautyFood Bars. These are protein snacks that are promoted as the very first marine collagen bar ever created. The collagen is supposed to improve the skin condition, as well as help the hair growth, of whoever's eating it. The product is still a fairly new one, but business already seems to be booming for these two.
5 They're Not Afraid to Get Dirty With the Fighters
Most of us are so enamored with ogling the UFC ring girls in their bikinis that we tend to forget the true gravitas of what they're doing. They're not just getting in the octagon to hold up signs and sit at ringside in between rounds; they're also stepping into a lion's den with some of the toughest men on the planet. They may not be competing, but the experience of just getting up close and personal with some of the deadliest fighters is enough to leave anyone traumatized. Some ring girls have attested to getting blood and spit from the other fighters splatted on them just for getting too close to the line of fire. We have to give these girls props for sticking through such horrific conditions.
4 They Take Advantage of Big Opportunities
Above anything else, getting a gig as a UFC ring girl is a huge opportunity for any girl lucky enough to be given the offer. With that said, no girl can realistically make a career out of it. These girls bring in the big bucks -- but not enough that they don't have to work ever again. Even Arianny Celeste has been willing to admit that, and she's been working as a UFC ring girl for over a decade. Celeste has also admitted that being a ring girl's a good opportunity to grow a business. Celeste has used the UFC as a launching pad to pursue new opportunities. In 2018, she hopes to pursue a singing career, start a t-shirt line, and launch a business website -- sounds like someone who took a big opportunity and profited big off of it.
3 They Grind Hard
Not like that! Keep your mind out of the gutter! Obviously, when we talk about grinding, we're talking about the grind that refers to working hard. One of the hardest workers to ever work in the UFC as a ring girl is Carly Baker. Baker has worked extremely hard for everything that she has today starting from her earliest days as a model. She started modeling at the age of 14. It was then when she won the opportunity to be the cover girl for Shout. She also quickly found herself on the cover of other magazines and in the windows of several shops, all before the age of 15. After feeling like she quickly dominated the modeling world, she tried music out and was in a girl group called "Mynxsters," then another one called "Holla." Eventually, she went back into modeling, found herself working for top agencies, and even did some acting on the side. There's no question that she worked hard to climb up the pedestal she's on now.
2 They Have an Eye for Art
When they're not in front of a camera waving a sign around to remind us which round we're about to watch, the UFC ring girls dedicate their time to the unique talents that they possess -- especially Brittney Palmer, who happens to be a heavily skilled artist and painter. Her artwork is available to purchase on her personal website. On her website, she charges as high as $1,500 for one of her art prints. To some, that may seem like a high price, but looking at some of the gorgeous prints she's crafted, the price is definitely worth it. Even the UFC itself took notice of Palmer's impeccable painting skills, as the company recently used one of her designs for the fighters to sport on their weigh-in t-shirts.
1 They're Jacks of Many Trades
For most of these entries, we've pointed out a single talent or skill that one UFC ring girl may possess in her daily life, but up until this point, we've neglected to point out just how multi-faceted some of these girls truly are. Many of these girls are jacks of all trades. Not only do they excel in one field; they also excel in several different and unique endeavors. Jhenny Andrade is a prime example of such a feat. In addition to being a UFC girl ever since 2012 and being a model, Andrade has worked as a magazine columnist, she's a TV presenter on SBT's Sunday Legal Program, she runs her own beauty product business, and she was even a body double on the set of Blade: Trinity. Keep in mind that she's only 29 years old. At this young age, she still has a bright future ahead of her to move on to even bigger things.
Sources: mmafighting.com; kalumihealth.com; cagepotato.com