Ultimate Blue Corner Battles at the Voodoo Lounge at Harrah's Casino in Kansas City, MO. We recently caught up with this MMA beauty prior to her fight for the interview below.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
-I was born and raised in Springdale, AR and I graduated from the University of Arkansas with a BA in Political Science. I've been a gymnast, dancer and cheerleader my entire life and after I graduated I auditioned for KC Chiefs Cheerleaders and made the team. When I moved up to KC I discovered boxing and mixed martial arts, so after one season with the Chiefs I retired from cheer leading and began training MMA.
What made you make the transition from cheer leading and dancing to MMA?
-The end of football season was approaching and I had completely fallen in love with fighting. I knew I had to make a choice between auditioning for Chiefs again, or to pursue my dream of becoming a cage fighter. It was impossible to do both, as both consume your entire life. So I talked to my coach LC Davis and he told me I had the athleticism and work ethic to be a fighter and that he would love to have me on the fight team. So I went with my heart and made the switch.
How long have you been training in MMA?
-Boxing for a year and a half, MMA for a year.
Where are you currently training, and what's a typical training week like for you?
-I train at HD MMA in Leawood, KS. This gym is owned by Jason High and LC Davis and is without a doubt the best MMA gym in the KC area. A typically week for me is sparring Monday and Wednesday, grappling Tuesday and Thursday, along with some wrestling, mitt work and gi Jiu Jitsu. I really like rolling in my gi and I do that three times a week. I also do some private mitt work with my boxing coach Melvin Wesley at least twice a week and I try to run 3-4 times a week to keep my cardio up.
Tell us about your upcoming fight, who you're fighting and where?
-This is my third fight. I am 1-0, because my opponent at my last fight no showed. I am fighting Katelyn Radtka from St. Joseph, MO at 115lbs. The fight is Ultimate Blue Corner Battles at Voodoo Lounge in Harrah's Casino in Kansas City, MO Friday, January 25th. Tickets can be bought on Ticketmaster.com.
What advice would you give to other women who are reading this interview and want to get started in MMA?
-At HD we always say "You chose this life" because being a fighter it isn't easy. Fighting is not just about beating people up and getting a bunch of attention. It is a lifestyle. You have to want it more than anything in the entire world, and it has to be a major priority in your life. To the women who want to become fighters, don't ever let anyone tell you that you can't do it. All it takes is hard work and dedication. Dedicate yourself to the sport and stay disciplined and you will be successful.
What or who are your inspirations in MMA and life?
-My dad is my inspiration to fight. Whenever I began training he was going through a major battle in his life. The way that he fought and won his battle was my inspiration to become a fighter.
Who are your favorite MMA fighters?
-Ronda Rousey and Gina Carano.
How do you enjoy your free time when not training or fighting?
-If I ever have any free time I love to play the piano. It relaxes me.
Of course we have a few questions for the male readership as well.
Are you single?
What do you look for in a guy?
-Smart, mature, good morals, disciplined, athletic, and funny.
What are your turn-ons?
-Tattoos, tall socks, and thick muscular legs.
What are your turnoffs?
What would you say is your best feature?
Any future plans or dreams?
-To go pro in two sports, cheer leading and MMA.
Any shout outs you would like to make?
- Shout out to my coaches Jason High, LC Davis, Travis Conley and Melvin Wesley, and to my teammates at HD MMA for training me, believing in me, and getting me ready for all my fights. I also want to make a special shout out to my teammate Molly Magness for being the best female training partner, and toughest boxer I've ever met!
Thank you very much for your time Rachel and we look forward to your fight and continued success in MMA. For more on MMA babe Rachel Wray stop by her Facebook and Twitter pages.