NFL Cheerleader: MMA Is Her New PassionBy: Amanda Crum - December 14, 2012
NFL cheerleaders don’t seem like the kind of girls who want to be punched in the face, so when one dons gloves and gets into fights willingly, it’s a bit of a shock.
But that’s what former Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader Rachel Wray is doing, and she says that although it was a difficult choice, she knows it was the right one.
“Last year, I was a Chiefs cheerleader,” she said. “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.”
Wray says she was “absolutely horrible” when she first started, but it only drove her will to succeed. She now works out five times a week for two hours at a time and has learned that sometimes, when you want something bad enough, you have to make it a top priority…even over your day job.
“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.”
Wray says her best move is striking and is working on getting more comfortable in front of an audience, and as you can see in the video below, she seems to be getting that down. She hopes to fight 4-5 times in the coming year.