When you look at an NFL cheerleader dancing on the sidelines at a football game, the last thing you think of is any of them as a MMA fighter.
That is, unless you're Rachel Wray. Last year former NFL cheerleader turned in her pom-poms for a pair of mixed martial arts gloves.
The stunning blond from Arkansas who had been a cheerleader or dancer her entire life, moved to Kansas City after landing a spot on the Chiefs dance squad.
She began taking some private MMA lessons at a local gym, and after enjoying the workout as much as she did, she realized a decision had to be made.
Continue being cheerleader, or leave it all behind to enter the Octagon.
She choose the Octagon.
In a KCMMA.com interview, Wray said: "I was nervous about someone actually punching me in the face, but I did it...I was absolutely horrible. This drove me to want it even more."
Now she is looking to fight in the Octagon four or five times a year.
She has been training two hours a day, five nights a week at Jason High and LC Davis' HDMMA gym in Kansas City, working on her Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai skills. She is also taking other private lessons to further increase her skills.
Her last scheduled match never took place, because her opponent never showed.
I believe it was because the possibility of getting beaten by a former NFL cheerleader could have lead to a bruised ego and of endless line of jeers.
Wray did win her amateur debut with a second round TKO and her next fight is scheduled for January 25th at Harrah's Casino in Kansas City.
Her opponent has not yet been named.
Wray's happy with what she's doing, but what do her parents think about her decision?
"Mom hates it and Dad loves it. My mom just doesn’t understand it. She will be there at my first fight, but I think she is really nervous." Wray said in an interview with KCMMA.com
Women with interesting back stories will be a common theme in the coming months as many begin making the jump into the Octagon after UFC president Dana White made a historic announcement in November allowing women to compete in the UFC.
We will definitely have to keep our eye on Rachel Wray, because one day she may squaring off against the likes of Rhonda Rhousey.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!