Former NFL cheerleader finds new passion as MMA fighter

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Last year, she was a professional NFL Cheerleader, this year, she is a Mixed Martial
Artist.  Why would a Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader want to become a fighter?  KCMMA sits down with aspiring MMA fighter Rachel Wray to find out.  

Dave Jackson:  Obvious first question Rachel.  How and Why did you get in this sport?  I think we both know that you don’t exactly fit the bill for the stereotypical MMA fighter.

Rachel Wray:  Last year, I was a Chiefs Cheerleader.  I have been a cheerleader or dancer my whole life and I moved here from arkansas to Cheer for the Kansas City Chiefs.  I started working out at Title Boxing Club with some of the girls for an alternative workout.  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. 

I was absolutely horrible.  This drove me to want it even more.  I knew I had to make a choice between fighting and cheerleading.  I chose fighting.  I trained harder and took more private lessons.  In the same shopping center was HDMMA and I wandered in there to see what was going on.  Everyone was so nice and just not what I expected from a MMA gym.  So, I started training there too.  One thing led to another, and now I feel comfortable enough to compete in the cage. 

DJ:  What do your parents think about you fighting?

RW:  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. 

DJ:  What are you wanting to do with this sport?

RW:  Right now, I am just going with it.  I hope to fight 4-5 times over the next year.  Of course, I would like to be good enough to be professional, but that just seems away right now. 

DJ:  What does it mean for you to be a fighter? 

RW:  Everyone says “I would never expect you to be a fighter.  Being a cheerleader fits you more – Why would you give up cheerleading to roll around with sweaty boys?”  Well, I have never enjoyed working out so much in my life.  I love fighting and am having so much fun with it.  I want to be an inspiration to other girls out there that want to fight but don’t think they can.   

DJ:  Who inspires you? 

RW:  Well, my idol is Rhonda Rousey, but I would say my mom is who really inspires me.  She is really successful at her job, she is beautiful, and she can still come home and be a great mom. Sometimes I think “she is just too good to be real”.  Also, my coach Jason High, really inspires to me.  He is such a great fighter and has taught me everything.  He always eats healthy, trains, and is just someone I really admire. 

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