KANSAS CITY, Mo. — MMA fighter and former Chiefs cheerleader Rachel Wray is more than just a pretty face. And we have a picture to prove it:
(Photo Courtesy: FIGHT! Magazine/ Rachel Wray via Twitter)
And if you thought this shot was sassy, you should’ve heard about the ones Wray turned down.
“Legs open, topless, and like hands-on-knees,” Wray tells FOX Sports Kansas City. “Those were the main ones (where) I said, ‘No, sorry.’”
A photo spread featuring Wray, which includes the picture above, appears in the May issue of FIGHT! magazine, a monthly periodical dedicated to mixed martial arts. Wray and her mother were flown to Atlanta for the shoot in March.
“There were several times where I said ‘no’ to certain things, because I didn’t want to come off like a ring girl,” says the 23-year-old fighter, who recently left Kansas City to return to her native Arkansas in order to train while working full-time. “But it was fun. I think the pictures turned out great.”
While Wray has posed for pictures wearing far less, back in her Chiefs cheerleading days, she worries about what some family members will say about some of the more, shall we say, provocative poses in the magazine.
“As far as my mom having a heart attack, that (photo above) was probably the worst one,” she says with a laugh. “They’re very conservative, southern people.”
Wray (3-1) doesn’t have a firm date scheduled for her next fight, but she’s hoping to get something arranged before July. She’d suffered her first MMA loss — by decision to Nadia Nixon — on March 22.
“Both of us were just drenched in blood,” says Wray, who’s now training at Inferno Fitness & MMA in Bentonville, Ark. “It was crazy.”
Still, any publicity is good publicity when you’re starting out; Wray says NBC’s “Today” show recently flew a crew down to put together a feature on the female fighter that she’s been told will run later this month.
“As a fighter, it’s impossible for us to be entertaining people all the time, because you can only fight so often,” Wray says. “So you kind of have to do other things.”
Even if those ‘other things’ sometimes make mama blush.
You can follow Sean Keeler on Twitter @seankeeler or email him at email@example.com