When switching jobs, people tend to stay in the same industry. But Rachel Wray, the former NFL cheerleader, is now an MMA fighter, fighting local amateur fights in Kansas City.
Rachel Wray was a National Football League cheerleader for the Kansas City Chiefs during the 2011 season, notes New England Sports Network. Wray was introduced to Mixed Martial Arts as an alternative to normal workout programs. She, along with her fellow cheerleaders, signed up for boxing and Wray was hooked. What became a way to stay fit soon became a passion for Wray, and now a calling.
In an interview with KCMMA.com, Wray tells how she at first joined a boxing club in Kansas City but soon joined a MMA gym. “I was absolutely horrible," she said. "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.”
As part of her training, Wray works on her jiu jitsu skills, muay thai techniques and wrestling.
Don't expect Wray to be competing in the Ultimate Fighting Championship anytime soon. The home to Ronda Rousey, Liz Carmouche -- and possibly Cris Cyborg, Meisha Tate and Sarah Kaufman if the UFC brings them over after Strikeforce closes in January -- would be tough for any female MMA fighter, let alone someone as inexperienced as Wray.
Wray understands that and is not looking for immediate fame and fortune in the UFC. Instead, she is looking to train hard and do amateur fights throughout the year. According to Wray, “Right now, I am just going with it. I hope to fight four to five times over the next year. Of course, I would like to be good enough to be professional, but that just seems away right now.”
A video of Wray's amateur fight from September, which she won by a knockout, is below.
Charles Poladian joined IBTimes in October 2012 and, when not reporting on all things topical, can be found reading or photographing concerts.