(That makes two of us who went commando today. Pic Props: Playboy)
By Jason Moles
After the post-fight press conference for Bellator 82, I was lucky enough to catch up with one of our all-time favorite MMA ring girls, Jade Bryce. When you’ve been around the business for any significant amount of time, you are rarely blown away during an interview — especially when you’re talking with the hired eye candy. Wouldn’t you know it, that’s exactly what happened Saturday night.
Ms. Bryce is one of the most knowledgeable and genuinely caring people in the MMA industry. During our conversation, we touched on topics ranging from her favorite fighters to her weakness for chocolate chip cookies. But it’s only when we broached the subject of what she wants for Christmas that her passion was truly enkindled. Check out the highlights of our little one-on-one below.
CagePotato: Hi, Jade, thanks for making time to speak with us. We have a few quick questions for you, which should help our readers get to know you a bit better. For starters, who is your favorite fighter?
Jade Bryce: Since I began with Bellator, I’ve always really loved Michael Chandler and the “Pitbull” brothers a lot, as well as Alexander Shlemenko. I also really like Douglas Lima and Ben Saunders, but yeah, my favorites have always been Shlemenko, “Pitbull” brothers, and Chandler. Oh! [Pat] Curran too. Which is weird because him and [Patricio] “Pitbull” are going to fight soon, so it’ll be a hard fight for me.
CP: For sure. Watching two of your favorite fighters punch each other in the face must be like torture to you. What about Ben Askren, do you think he’s going to defend his title successfully against Karl Amoussou?
CP: Wait, what?! You’re kidding, right? You might be the only person not from France to say that.
JB: I know, but I’m always the one to say, “I told you so.” Everyone else thought Eddie Alvarez was going to win against Chandler, but I had been saying for a year that Chandler was going to win. And no one believed me when it came to “Pitbull” or Chandler, and he has the belt now. I think Amoussou is going to do really well [in his fight against Askren.]
CP: Looks like we should start taking gambling advice from you. Speaking of gambling, you kind of rolled the dice choosing the career of a model/ring girl. What’s the best part of your job?
JB: The best part is that I have the best seat in the house. I’m an avid fan of MMA and have been since before I had the job. To be able to sit that close and see that much action is just so awesome for me. I’ve learned so much and become so close with the Bellator family that when one person leaves it breaks my heart. I’m with them more than I am at home, really. So, that’s the best part — that I have a new family and I get to travel.
CP: Sounds like a pretty sweet gig. What about the worst?
JB: The worst part is…you know, I love chocolate chip cookies. (laughing) So the worst part is self-discipline and staying in shape because in modeling there’s all these different looks and body shapes, but with being a ring girl, you have to have a gym body. You’ve always gotta be in shape, work out when you’re tired, and stuff like that. But I’m a very healthy person so at least that helps keep me in check. But even that isn’t really that big of a con because it’s stuff I would want in my life anyways.
CP: Not long ago, Brittney Palmer shed some light on her weight cutting routine before the fights. Is this something that you incorporate into your schedule as well?
JB: I’d be interested to know what she does for weight cutting because I am actually trying to drop like six pounds. (laughing) I’m an avid hiker. I have a steam room in my house. And I even have protein shakes for breakfast and lunch every day, so I feel really healthy, but I’d be interested in knowing what other healthy things you can do for weight cutting. I do try to limit liquids and similar things two days before the fights or any photo shoot. I don’t really have any routine besides hiking and eating super healthy. I don’t drink any soda or eat fried foods.
CP: That must be hard around the holidays.
JB: (laughing) It is! I let myself have one free day, which is Sunday — but I still don’t eat any fried foods. For me, I’m more into bbq ribs in my back yard.
CP: Sounds delicious. Just a couple more questions and we’ll let you get out of here. What does the future hold for women’s MMA in your opinion?
JB: I think we have so much amazing talent out there, but we just need more of it to be able to have tournaments. I love Jessica Aguilar and of course Ronda Rousey is stronger than dynamite. There’s just not enough women but the ones that we have are amazing. I say give it another year or two and it’ll be just as popular as men’s MMA.
CP: Our final question is of the utmost importance, what does Jade Bryce want for Christmas?
JB: I want all of your readers to go to my YouTube channel and watch my video of what I want for my birthday, which is in two weeks. I want to adopt a school and it costs $4,000. What happens is, approved kids who have free lunches are sent home with food so they have something to eat at dinner and on the weekends. Growing up, I didn’t have much and I know others that didn’t either. Starvation is so painful; it’s my mission to put a stop to it. Blessing in a Backpack is going to make that happen. Check out my video [Ed. Note: This one is nice too.] and it’ll explain what to do. I want to match everyone dollar for dollar — so $2,000 and $2,000 — and so far I’m half-way there. But I’ve only got two weeks left.
CP: That is one of the best causes to support and one of the most selfless things on any Christmas wish list this year. Thank you for being so gracious with your time and happy early birthday.
JB: Thank you!