Interviews November 2008

Arianny Celeste, Octagon Girl

David Samuels has a chat with one of Ultimate Fighting's bikini-clad ring-card-carrying girls
Arianny Celeste
Arianny Celeste in her
Octagon outfit

Arianny Celeste is one of the UFC’s two “Octagon Girls” who stroll around in red bikinis carrying ring-cards before each round of every UFC fight. The Octagon Girls are wildly popular with fight fans, male and female, and they attract as much attention as the fighters. There have been a total of 11 Octagon girls since the beginning of the sport.

Arianny grew up in Las Vegas, and now lives in Los Angeles, where she is pursuing a career in the entertainment business. David Samuels interviewed her in her dressing room before Rampage Jackson’s last fight. 

David Samuels: Did you grow up as a fight fan?

Arianny Celeste: No. I started modeling when I was 16, and I happened to go to a casting for a ring card girl. I didn’t even know what it was. I was just paying my way through college. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

DS: Is there a big difference between doing this and a photo shoot?

AC: Definitely different. I’m naturally a shy person, so it was kind of hard. The first show, I was obviously very nervous, but then they asked me to stay, and now it’s been two years. I do every single fight.  For what I do, I get paid very well.

Also see:

In the ring with Quinton Jackson: a profile of an ultimate fighter. By David Samuels.

Interview: Heart of a Samurai
David Samuels talks about spending time with one of Ultimate Fighting's most vicious, and haunted, practitioners. By Conor Clarke.

Interview: BJ Penn
David Samuels interviews Ultimate Fighting Champion BJ Penn.

Interview: Lorenzo Fertitta
A conversation with Lorenzo Fertitta, the billionaire majority owner of the UFC.

DS: On a day like today, when you know you’re gonna be walking around the octagon in a red bikini in front of 12,000 screaming fight fans, what do you do?

AC: I don’t eat a whole lot of carbs. I always work out, and I always eat healthy. My job is to look good, you know? A lot of people try to get ready for bikini season. I like to say I have bikini season all year. 

DS: Did your facial expression when you walk around take a lot of practice?

AC: No.

DS: It’s a very distinctive expression.

AC: Really? What do you mean? I’m a very hard to read kind of person.

DS: I guess it’s just your personality coming through, then. You look totally blank.

AC: Yes. I’m actually very introverted. I keep to myself. But when I walk around, I usually try to make eye contact with the fans, just to make their night, you know?

DS: Have you become a fan of the sport?

AC: Definitely. I have my favorite fighters, I have my favorite events, I have my favorite venues. I’m not supposed to be biased, and I’m not supposed to say it, but of course I will. I like Anderson Silva. Very humble, very nice. George St. Pierre, I saw him win the title. The emotion he had when he won it was just amazing. 

DS: Will at least one fighter on each card ask you out?

Presented by

David Samuels is the author of Only Love Can Break Your Heart, a collection of essays and reporting, and The Runner: A True Account of the Amazing Adventures and Fantastical Lies of the Ivy League Imposter James Hogue.

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