Rachel Wray has thrown aside her pom-pons for four-ounce gloves. The former Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader is trying MMA.
Wray was a cheerleader and dancer through high school and at Arkansas before heading to Kansas City to cheer for the Chiefs. She originally started working out at Title Boxing as a way to keep in shape for dancing, then started training at High-Davis MMA. There, she worked with WEC veteran L.C. Davis and Strikeforce fighter Jason High.
Wray says she knows people are surprised that she would give up cheerleading for fighting, but she loves it.
Everyone says "I would never expect you to be a fighter. Being a cheerleader fits you more," or "Why would you give up cheerleading to roll around with sweaty boys?" Well, I have never enjoyed working out so much in my life. I love fighting and am having so much fun with it. I want to be an inspiration to other girls out there that want to fight but don't
think they can.
Wray won her amateur debut with a second-round TKO. As the UFC's women's bantamweight division shows, opportunities for female athletes are growing. MMA will continue to see more unexpected women get in the cage.