Ring Girls: The Glittering Icons of Tradition and Controversy

June 2, 2023
From: Spartacus
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Roll out the red carpet and turn up the spotlight! We’re about to take a captivating journey into the world of MMA Ring Girls. From the traditional to the controversial, to the emerging trends, we’ll unpack the significance of these glamorous figures in the fast-paced world of MMA. If you’re a fan using the Spartacus MMA app, you’ll know how the Ring Girls’ radiant presence sets the stage for the battles about to unfold in the cage. Their charisma contributes significantly to the exhilarating experience that has made Spartacus MMA such a fan favourite.

History of Ring Girls

You might be surprised to learn that the role of Ring Girls extends beyond the realm of MMA, and their origins are steeped in traditions that date back several decades! To uncover the roots of Ring Girls, we need to rewind to the 1960s, in the adrenaline-infused world of boxing. This era marked the birth of the Ring Girl tradition when promoters started to hire attractive women to parade around the ring holding signs, indicating the upcoming round. They were seen as an exciting addition, a spectacle adding glamour and entertainment to the often gritty and brutal showdowns between boxers.

As Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) took form and grew in popularity during the late 90s and early 2000s, it borrowed several traditions from boxing, including the concept of Ring Girls. They were adopted as an essential spice to the explosive MMA mix, their vivid presence acting as a sort of palette cleanser between the intense bouts of high-octane action.

Over the years, the role of Ring Girls in MMA evolved beyond merely announcing rounds. They became ambassadors of the sport, participating in promotional events, fan meet-and-greets, and charity fundraisers, thereby playing a crucial part in boosting the sport’s image and reach.

Tradition vs. Controversy

The MMA universe isn’t merely about power-packed punches and swift kicks; it’s also about the glitter and glamour brought in by Ring Girls. These beauties strutting around the cage with round cards are as synonymous with MMA as the fighters themselves. Their role, however, is a cocktail of tradition and controversy.


Ring Girls, in the MMA events, serve a dual function. Firstly, they keep the crowd engaged between rounds, adding a dash of spectacle and charm to the proceedings. Secondly, they act as timekeepers, signalling the commencement of a new round, thus maintaining the flow of the fight. 

They are not just eye candy but significant contributors to the event’s atmosphere. They’ve evolved into iconic symbols, each holding a unique blend of glamour, charisma, and resilience that has come to represent the spirit of MMA.

Their contributions extend beyond the cage, too. Ring Girls have often used their visibility to drive empowering narratives. Many, like Arianny Celeste and Brittney Palmer, have seized their platform to break into mainstream modelling, entrepreneurship, or acting, making a case for the tradition of Ring Girls as a springboard for success and empowerment.


While Ring Girls have historically been a vital part of MMA, they’ve not been free from controversy. Critics argue that the tradition objectifies women, reducing them to mere accessories in a male-dominated sport. Some even question whether the practice of parading women around the ring aligns with modern societal values.

The objectification critique runs deep. There are concerns that Ring Girls perpetuate harmful stereotypes about women, emphasising their physical appearance over their skills or intelligence. This scrutiny has sparked heated debates and has put both the Ring Girls and the sport itself under the microscope.

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Impact of Controversy on Ring Girls and MMA

The controversy surrounding Ring Girls has had a notable impact on the sport. Some organisations have started rethinking their approach, experimenting with gender-neutral alternatives like ‘Ring Boys’ or even scrapping the tradition entirely.

As for the Ring Girls, the debate presents a paradox. On the one hand, the controversy offers an opportunity for these women to raise their voices and challenge the status quo. On the other, it places them at the centre of a controversy that questions their role and relevance.

The tradition of Ring Girls in MMA is a thrilling balancing act, teetering between historical significance and modern sensibilities. It’s clear that their role, while traditionally revered, is increasingly questioned. Regardless, these women continue to grace the MMA events, their presence reminding us of a tradition that has, for better or worse, become a part of the sport’s fabric.

Whether seen as glamorous symbols of tradition or controversial figures under scrutiny, one thing is certain: Ring Girls have and will continue to leave their mark on the MMA world. The future, however, might demand a nuanced perspective, one that can balance the scales of tradition and controversy, ensuring the sport of MMA continues to evolve with the times.

The Voice of the Ring Girls

Behind the glitz of MMA Ring Girls is a saga of resilience. These women navigate a demanding, exhilarating world of rehearsals, fan interactions, and event pacing. They thrive in the thrill of live events, enjoying backstage camaraderie, and embracing their place in MMA tradition.

The Ring Girls’ role sparks debate: do they symbolise empowerment or objectification? Many, like Arianny Celeste and Rachelle Leah, debunk stereotypes, arguing they’re entertainers and ambassadors, integral to the MMA fabric.

Facing criticism, Ring Girls stand firm, engaging in dialogue with honesty. They see the future as not about eradicating their roles, but evolving them. They advocate for respect and equality in MMA, pushing for initiatives to broaden their roles.

In a nutshell, Ring Girls’ realm is as dynamic as MMA itself. Their stories reveal resilient women balancing varied roles and contributing to a sport they cherish. The MMA world is not just about fighters; it’s also about these women, asserting their unique presence round after round.

Notable Ring Girls

In the high-octane world of MMA, a handful of Ring Girls have left indelible marks on the sport, not just through their vibrant presence in the ring, but through their larger-than-life personas and significant impacts.

Arianny Celeste, arguably the most recognizable face among Ring Girls, has been a beacon in the UFC since 2006. Her charismatic presence has helped elevate the role beyond mere eye candy to an integral part of the fight night experience.


Brittney Palmer, another UFC stalwart, has added her own unique flair to the sport. Not just a Ring Girl, she’s a renowned artist and has used her platform to showcase her talent, further breaking down stereotypes associated with the role.


Rachelle Leah, one of the original UFC Ring Girls, transitioned from holding cards to hosting UFC shows, proving that there’s much more to Ring Girls than just their glamorous ringside appearances.


These luminaries and more have added depth to the role of Ring Girls, setting new benchmarks, breaking stereotypes, and making their mark on the sport they represent with such grace and vigour. They’re a testament to the diverse paths and profound impacts Ring Girls can have within the MMA world.

As conversations around MMA Ring Girls evolve, fresh perspectives and trends are surfacing, reshaping the sport’s landscape.

In the world traditionally dominated by female Ring Girls, ‘Ring Boys’ mark a thrilling shift. Sporting shorts and displaying scorecards, these men bring a gender-neutral dynamic to MMA, challenging stereotypes and diversifying the scene. Their presence highlights an evolving emphasis on inclusivity in combat sports.

Elias Theodorou, UFC middleweight, exemplifies this shift. Breaking the mould, he made a triumphant debut as an InvictaFC 28 ‘Ring Boy’, sharing the spotlight with Ring Girls to a roaring applause. His display underscores MMA’s evolution towards diversity.


The winds of change also blow in other combat sports, reevaluating traditions. Formula 1 swapped ‘Grid Girls’ for ‘Grid Kids’, while boxing grappled with debates around ‘Ring Card Girls’. This reflects a growing consciousness about gender representation in sports.

These shifts have deep implications for MMA, spurring debates around tradition versus progress and promoting inclusivity in a tradition-rich sport.


As the final bell tolls on our exploration, it’s evident that Ring Girls bring a blend of glamour and grit to the MMA arena, enhancing the overall experience for fans, both live and those following via the Spartacus MMA app. They’re not just holders of round cards, they’re powerful symbols of resilience, tradition, and change. They face controversies head-on and adapt to emerging trends. And let’s not forget – they light up the ring, one round at a time. So, the next time you tune into a fight on the Spartacus MMA app, take a moment to appreciate these women, who contribute so much to the spectacle we all love. Because, without them, the MMA world just wouldn’t be the same.


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