UFC RING GIRL: RED DELA CRUZ

Thanks for taking the time to speak to ROUGH, tell us about yourself, you were born and bred in Philippines?
Sure was! I was born in Quezon City and raised in the Province of Zambales and now call Manila and Sydney home. I’m 24 and love all things relating to health and fitness.

How much fun are you having working for UFC in Asia?
A lot of fun. It’s an amazing experience and I am truly blessed to have had the opportunity to be the first Filipina and Asia’s first UFC Octagon Girl. Working along some of the biggest names in sports entertainment is a real honour and the perks of travelling around the world and meeting new people, is also something that I really love.

I can see by your social media that you love to travel, what’s some of your favourite spots?
Most definitely. I love Singapore, Europe and most of all, Australia.

You get the best seat in the house at every single fight – that must be a pretty good perk?
Indeed, UFC Octagon Girls definitely have the best seat in the house. That’s a seat no amount of money can buy.

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Do you see this as an opportunity to branch out into other areas like media or fitness and health?
Being one of my biggest passions, the UFC has definitely given me the exposure to branch out into other areas of health and fitness. Thanks to working with the UFC, I have been able to do shoots with multiple fitness magazines, like Men’s Health for example.

Is there anyone in particular you look to for inspiration about you role as a ring girl?
One name, Arianny Celeste. She has achieved so much in her career and has received the ultimate in accolades, like being the Ring Girl of the Year many times. She’s also successfully branched out into other areas of business.

A lot of people when they see MMA for the first time can be quite shocked, was that the case for you?
Being introduced to the sport before it really went main stream, I did feel quite shocked. I mean, I was only 18, so watching first hand, a combat sport was pretty intense. Saying that though, it’s now very exciting to watch two professionals, battle it out in the cage. It’s really something when you understand just what these athletes go through to pursue their dreams. The vigorous training, the maintaining strict dietary habits and just overall being as diligent as they are in their pursuit of becoming a champion.

What’s going through your mind when you are on stage at the weigh-ins?
Nerves and excitement are really the only two things that go through my head during weigh in’s. Having all the media’s cameras and lights is always a little bit nerve recking.

RED DELA CRUZ UFC ROUGH MMA ASIA

Being around ultra fit athletes must be quite inspirational or intimidating… how do you stay motivated to keep in shape?
I’d say inspirational more than anything. Being fit and healthy really is a great passion of mine and I am always motivated to train, eat healthy and be active. Although having a genuine passion to remain fit, being a UFC Octagon Girl is enough to keep anyone on the right path to remain fit and healthy.

What advice would you give to someone looking to get fit, but is facing a mental roadblock?
If you study anyone successful in their field, they all carry similar traits. They are diligent, they push themselves hard every day and they always find solutions, not excuses. I really believe that anyone can achieve anything if they put their mind to it.