They are ubiquitous, and present at every UFC and Bellator and regional show no matter where they take place. Like the fighters banging it out in the cage, they seem to be an intrinsic value in the equation, a vital moving part that ensures that the engine of an MMA event runs smoothly. They are… the ring card girls.
And for some strange reason, people care whether they come or go. For the UFC’s recent foray into Macau, it was noteworthy that the new locale prompted a guest ring card girl. But why do fans care? Why, when there are Playboy spreads of Brittney Palmer on newsstands and hot photos of Arianny Celeste all over the web, does it matter to anyone when the UFC recruits a fresh face into the mix?
The answer, it seems, are that ring card girls are as necessary to an MMA event as fighters squaring up and throwing down.
“Good ring card girls are necessary,” says Carl Mascarenhas. Mascarenhas is the promoter of the Aslyum Fight League in New Jersey, and has organized over 60 fights shows. He’s employed ring card girls at every single one of them.
“There are two kinds of ring card girls,” he says. “Some are just there for eye-candy. Then there are those who maybe aren’t as pretty, but they’ve got great personality and they really connect with the crowd. Those are the ones you really want. The ones that are just eye-candy but don’t do anything else, they’re worthless.”
And there you have it. If the fighting and violence fails to do it, a good ring card girl helps the promotion connect with the fans.