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UFC ring girls overworked during long fight weekend?

According to a July 6 post from Bleacher Report, Las Vegas hosted back-to-back UFC fight cards this weekend, as part of the UFC's annual International Fight Week. UFC 175, held July 5 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, featured a star-studded lineup, including appearances by UFC middleweight champ Chris Weidman and women's bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey. The following night, the UFC held the finale of the "TUF 19" reality show, with Frankie Edgar vs. BJ Penn in the main event.

UFC ring girl Arianny Celeste worked at UFC 175
Photo by Jason Merritt

With stacked cards on back-to-back nights, fight fans were left to wonder if the UFC's employees were getting enough rest. Dana White and Bruce Buffer were in attendance both at UFC 175 and the TUF 19 Finale. However, Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg had the night off for the TUF 19 Finale, after calling the action at UFC 175. The fighters only had to compete once, not on both cards. As for the UFC ring girls, it seems they were a bit overworked during the long fight weekend.

With just eight ring girls on its roster, the UFC had several of them pulling double duty when it came to International Fight Week. Some in the MMA community might think its easy to hold up a ring card and walk around a cage a couple times a night, and they might be correct.However, there's a lot more that goes into being a ring card girl.

Besides walking around the cage between rounds, ring card girls are expected to attend weigh-in events, along with fan meet-and-greets. Ring card girls help take some of the "fan experience" burden off the fighters' shoulders, by appearing at photo and autograph sessions. Arianny Celeste and Brittney Palmer, two of the UFC's most popular ring girls, are essentially brand ambassadors for the promotion.

With the UFC holding cards on back-to-back nights, that means two weigh-in events plus fan meet-and-greets, photo ops and media obligations. UFC 175 featured 10 fights, and the TUF 19 Finale had 11 on the card. With 21 fights going down in just one weekend, that means UFC ring girls potentially had to cover over 60 rounds of action. Think its easy? Try walking around a cage 60 times and see if you're feeling overworked and tired by the end.

Luckily, the UFC did what it could to give its ring girls some rest. Celeste and Palmer worked the UFC 175 weigh-in, while Chrissy Blair hopped into action for the TUF 19 Finale. The next UFC event goes down in just 10 days, at Revel in Atlantic City. No word yet on which ring girls the UFC will be calling into action. Celeste and Palmer should have enough recovery time between events, but Blair could get the call if they aren't ready to go.

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