(Image via Rachel’s Facebook page. Click for full-size version.)
Rachel Wray‘s unlikely transition from NFL eye-candy to aspiring cage-fighter started with a fateful trip to a boxing gym. As she explained to KCMMA:
“I have been a cheerleader or dancer my whole life and I moved [to Kansas City] 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 [Jason High and LC Davis's gym] 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…I hope to fight 4-5 times over the next year.”
Though Rachel’s last scheduled match didn’t take place due to her opponent not showing up — gotta love regional MMA! — she won her amateur debut by second-round TKO. (You can watch it here and here.) Rachel’s next fight is slated for January 25th at Harrah’s Casino in Kansas City, against an opponent to be named later.
Get to know Rachel better by checking out her photo gallery after the jump, as well as our short-’n'-sweet interview with the lady herself…