UFC RING GIRL: JENNIFER NGUYEN

Hi Jenn. What a shoot! Was it fun?

If fun means awesome, amazing and perfect, then yeah, I definitely had fun.

Tell us about yourself, you’re from Canada, but based in Hong Kong?

I was born in Canada, Regina Sask to be exact. One day I just decided to head over to Asia, it was supposed to be a year maximum, but I ended up staying much longer. Asia has been super good to me and I have a really strong feeling that this year is going to be even bigger.

UFC Macau was your first MMA event, how did that come about?

I was recommended to join a ring girl search with The Venetian. I placed first and got a contract and from there I was introduced to the UFC. Being the first Canadian UFC ring girl, I had nothing but a big smile on my face the whole time.

You get the best seat in the house at every single fight – that must be a pretty good perk?

I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty good. Watching it live and up close is a hundred times better than TV. They are so much faster and it really makes you appreciate the sport a lot more. Everyone needs to go to a MMA or even a boxing fight at least once in their lives. It’s a great experience.

Do you see this as an opportunity to branch out into other areas such as media or fitness and health?

Definitely. I am actually in the process of launching a healthy meal preparation company. I’m much more aware of those things now and have learned a lot as well.

Jennifer Nguyen ROUGH MAGAZINE MMA

Lady Killer Jennifer Nguyen. Photography by Simon J Nicol.

What’s going through your mind when you are on stage at the weigh-ins?

Honestly, I just try to keep smiling and not move too much. I have a problem staying still so if you do watch the weigh-ins I’m sure you will see me moving around in the back. I try not to pick my nose too, I have a nasty habit of that, just kidding!

Being around ultra-fit athletes must be quite inspirational or intimidating – how do you stay motivated to keep in shape?

Tell me about it. I would be training for like a few weeks and I’m feeling good, like great even, then I get to the event and wished I worked out even harder. Fitness is a lifestyle and the results depend on how much work you put into it. It does make me want to work out harder and get in better shape.

What advice would you give to someone looking to get fit, but is facing a mental roadblock?

I get roadblocks all the time. What helps me is the right music and the right motivation. Being fit isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle change for real. Once you start to see the results it becomes an addiction to keep getting better. I know you can do it!

Photography: Simon J Nicol
Location: Lanson Place Hotel