She’s a lean, mean, money making machine.
Arianny Celeste – UFC’s most tenured ring girl, with 11 years under her belt is worth more than a million dollars. An astonishing amount considering that a source told the New York Post that ring girls make between $30,000 and around $75,000 a year. (The UFC had no comment on this.)
“There’s this misconception that [ring girls are] talentless, no brains, and I think I’ve paved the way for girls in my position to see this is a great opportunity,” Celeste, who is based in Los Angeles told the newspaper.
“I saw an opportunity to be more than a ring girl,” she added. “I’ve built it into a business.”
The 31-year-old has leveraged the high-profile gig into side jobs as a model, TV host and brand ambassador with more than 2.9 million Instagram followers. She has sponsorships with 1st Phorm muscle supplements and Fit Tea, and she’s starred in a Bud Light Lime ad. In the next year, she plans to launch a music career, a T-shirt line and a fitness Web site.
One person who’s not impressed? UFC fighter Ronda Rousey.
“I don’t know if the ring girls get paid too much or the fighters don’t get paid enough,” the fighter said at a 2015 event. “But yeah, there’s definitely a lot more in what the fighters do than what they [ring girls] do. So I think that’s one thing that’s unfair.” (Entry-level fighters are reportedly paid around $8,000 per match.)
But Celeste disagrees arguing that ring girls work hard for their money, telling the Post that she regularly puts in 13 hours on fight days due to meet-and-greets and autograph signings.
“You’re there to make light of sometimes really scary situations and be full of energy,” she said, adding that the biggest part of her job is connecting with the audience.
Celeste has received flowers, pizza and even marriage proposals but she’s also had men following her which is a “creepy thing.”
She’s also not afraid of standing up to Rousey, reportedly called her a “big bully” and saying, “I don’t really like the way she carries herself. I don’t think she’s a good role model for women.”
Although their feud isn’t completely over Celeste claims to have “no ill will” towards the UFC champ.
Celeste was studying fitness management and nutrition at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas when she was picked at a UFC casting call in 2006 at age 21.
The league showed its confidence in her in 2012, when Celeste
and then boyfriend Praveen Chandra were both arrested on domestic violence charges. (All charges were later dropped.) At the time, UFC president Dana White said, “Arianny is our baby . . . We have her back and support her 100 percent.”
Right now, Celeste is single.
“I recently went through a breakup and it’s hard,” she said. But she knows what she wants — and what she doesn’t. “I’ve been seeing a lot of guys out there who try to put on a show. I’m looking for someone genuine.”