Red Dela Cruz burst onto the scene when she won the UFC Octagon Girl search in the Philippines. Since then, she has been part of the UFC experience and has sat ringside for several of the biggest events in the sport. MMAUncaged had a chance to speak with Red about her unique UFC career.
Hello Red, thank you for speaking with us at MMAUncaged. First off, where are you originally from?
I am from Philippines but currently living in Sydney Australia! Been staying here for almost a year now and I am loving it!
You originally entered the UFC by winning their Octagon Girl Search in the Philllipines. That must be so exciting and flattering to have been voted in by the fans! For a competition like that, what do you think it is about yourself that charmed them into choosing you?
I think it’s the Pinay Power! Hehe!
The UFC, compared to boxing and other sports, is famous for branding their Octagon Girls and making them small celebrities in the sport as well. We’ve seen Arianny Celeste and Brittney Palmer have gone on to become more familiar names during their time with the UFC. For yourself, how has being with the UFC changed your career and what has changed most from having all of the added attention?
UFC changed my life and my career in so many ways. I get to travel around the world and meet new people. More modelling jobs came, more people notice me.
You have worked larger events but you most often work as a regional Octagon girl. What are some of the responsibilities you have in growing the UFC and the sport outside the United States?
Of course one of the responsibilities as UFC Octagon Girl is to stay Fit! You need to look good on the camera.
So far, what has been your favorite fight to be ringside for?
My favourite fight was UFC Manila! 🙂 Especially when Mark Munoz said goodbye to the UFC fans, that was very emotional. Aside from that it was also my first time to working with the UFC crew and I’ll never forget that first time experience!
We obviously see you between rounds, but what goes on behind the scenes during events? What do you do and who do you hang out with between fights?
What do I do? Hhmm. I usually go to the fans and take photos and sign autographs for them or sometimes I eat! hehehe!
Your bio says you were a big fan of Arianny Celeste and you’ve worked events with her in the past. Who has been your favorite MMA celebrity to meet in person and why?
Yes I am a very big fan of Arianny Celeste, she is a very nice person and very pretty too! As far as my favourite MMA celebrity fighter, I think it would be Stephen Thompson. He is a very gentle man, very religious and very kind person.
You’re with the UFC at easily the most exciting time as both Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey are currently the biggest stars the sport has ever had. I’d like your take on what’s next for both of them. First, we know Rousey was unsuccessful against Amanda Nunes, but what do you think is next for her? Do you think she will be back?
After seeing the last fight of her and Amanda, I don’t thinks she will be back in the ring, I think the best for her is to retire. I mean you know, she already got the fame and is already earning good money! 🙂
Right now, Conor McGregor is drawing a lot of attention for a fight with boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather. There are obviously a lot of terms that have to be met on both sides, but do you think that fight will eventually be made? (NOTE: Interview Conducted Before Announcement of Mayweather vs McGregor)
Hhmm I hope it happens! I am actually very excited about it!
Finally, what do you see next for yourself going forward with the UFC? Do you see a day where you will be one of the main Octagon Girls who works the big pay per view events in the US?
Well, it’s been two years since i have been working with the UFC, who knows maybe one day ill be one of their main Octagon Girls. Just have to work hard for it and do the best you can and never give up.