Many people think the UFC is just a sport, but it’s much more. At the end of the day, the organization is in the entertainment business, which means they put on a show for the fans. One way the UFC does this is with ring girls, who walk around the cage holding placards. But they actually do much more than that. Here are eight facts you didn’t know about UFC ring girls.
1. There are hazards to the job
Being ringside may be a great view for fans, but UFC ring girls always sit very close to the cage. As a result, it’s not uncommon for blood and sweat to get on them. On top of that, because one of their jobs is to look beautiful, many fans send unwanted advances their way.
2. They use the UFC to get other gigs
The UFC isn’t the most popular sport in the world, but some ring girls have managed to use their time with the organization as a launchpad for better-paying jobs. The more popular girls have posed for Playboy, and some have even landed reality show gigs.
3. UFC ring girls can fight
Like many people who work in the UFC, many ring girls are also a big fan of MMA. Some ring girls, like Brittney Palmer, train in MMA. They may not be world-class athletes who can compete inside the cage, but they certainly know how to fight.
4. They’re fitness junkies
Like UFC fighters, a ring girl’s body is their main medium for their job. If a UFC fighter doesn’t train properly, then they can’t do their job properly — it’s the same for ring girls. Because of this, they take their diet and fitness seriously. They may not be the most shredded women in the world, but they don’t slack off at the gym.
5. UFC ring girls make bank
Ring girls don’t make Conor McGregor levels of money, but they actually get paid better than most new UFC fighters. A ring girl can make anywhere from $30,000 to $75,000 a year according to The Things. For reference, Nate Diaz made $12,000 to show up and fight Michael Johnson in 2015.
6. They practice their job
Being a ring girl may seem easy, as most of the work is standing or sitting around and then walking around with a placard. However, it only seems easy because they make it look easy. They get a lot of practice in before the show starts.
7. UFC ring girls have a love/hate relationship with fighters
On one hand, ring girls work for the UFC — same as any fighter. As a result, many ring girls befriend fighters and sometimes they’ll even date fighters. However, some fighters are critical of ring girls. For example, Ronda Rousey thought that fighters should always be paid more than ring girls since fighters do more than ring girls.
8. UFC ring girls do fight
Knowing how to fight is one thing, but putting it into practice is another. Unfortunately, some ring girls have gotten into physical domestic altercations with their significant others. For example, UFC ring girl Arianny Celeste was arrested in 2012 along with her boyfriend, who claimed she kicked him in the nose. After posting bail, she was able to do her job at the next UFC event. Dana White, the president of the UFC, fully supports her. That’s why Celeste still works with the UFC today.