news from the octagon

The real story of the hot NFL cheerleader turned fierce MMA cage fighter

The real story of the hot NFL cheerleader turned fierce MMA cage fighter

Through the decades, professional cheerleading has proved to be a wonderful starting point for anyone looking to break into the entertainment biz.

Teri Hatcher cheered for the San Francisco 49ers before winning a Golden Globe for Desperate Housewives. Paula Abdul was a Laker Girl, of course. Even Phyllis from The Office had a successful run cheering for the St. Louis Cardinals in the late '70s.

"I knew I had to make a choice between fighting and cheerleading. I chose fighting."

But it wasn't music or television that drew cheerleader Rachel Wray from her spot on the Kansas City Chiefs dance squad . . . It was a love of beating up fighters in the mixed martial arts cage.

"I started working out at Title Boxing Club with some of the [K.C. Chiefs] girls for an alternative workout," Wray told a Kansas City blog on mixed martial arts (MMA).

"I really enjoyed it and started taking private lessons after a little while. One day, I came in and they wanted me to spar. I was nervous about someone actually punching me in the face, but I did it."

After the bout, she was surprised to find herself even more interested in fighting and decided to work with both a boxing and marital arts trainer.

"I knew I had to make a choice between fighting and cheerleading. I chose fighting," she said. "One thing led to another, and now I feel comfortable enough to compete in the cage."

For inspiration, Wray said she looks to bantamweight fighter Rhonda Rouse, who signed with the UFC in November to become the organization's first female MMA competitor.

Wray won her recent amateur debut with a technical knockout in the second round. While an opponents has yet to be announced, her next fight is scheduled for Jan. 25 at Harrah's in Kansas City.

Rachel Wray, NFL cheerleader, MMA, punching bag, December 2012
Former Kansas City cheerleader has traded the football field for the Octagon. MixedMartialArts.com
Rachel Ray, NFL cheerleader, Kansas City Chiefs, December 2012
 
After more a year of training, Wray is ready for the cage.

 

TheBigLead.com