With hard work and determination you can push yourself towards any goal in life and geordie girl Georgia Graham is definitely heading towards the top. At only 23 years old the petite and talented Georgia has already accomplished a lot and there is more to come.
Hailing from Newcastle, Georgia was born in Northumberland on the 1st of January 1990! One of the first babies in the nineties, which thrust her straight into the media spotlight. Years later she worked on a farming estate. Hard work has always been a part of her life and she is working her socks off in the world of modelling and media. She is part of one of the biggest Mixed Martial Arts promotions in the UK and Europe, BAMMA, where she is a ring girl. The BAMMA girls are called the ‘BAMMA Belles’ and she is the most recognizable. In the crazy world of modelling and media she has been published in many well known magazines. The likes of Men’s Fitness Australia, Fighters Only, Zoo, Loaded, Nuts, Front, Motorcycle News and Max Power magazine. She has done promo work for No Fear, where she was the first ever no fear girl in 2010, was an FHM high street honey, a Miss Universe Great Britain finalist in 2009, was the grid girl for WTCC, at Donnington and at F2, F3 and GT Open at Brands Hatch. Both in 2011. So it’s fair to say that Miss Graham works tirelessly and is starting to see the results.
To fans of Mixed Martial Arts the sport is known as one of the best in the world. However it is a sport on the rise and most people stumble upon the sport when they least expect it. For Georgia it was when BAMMA spotted her and she has learnt a lot about the sport since:
“I was spotted by BAMMA about 2 years ago, basically right place, right time! I guess the gift of being able to chat away and sell myself, in a non dodgy way (laughs). I was very lucky to get with the company and still love my job two years down the line! I won’t deny it, I had no idea about MMA when I first started in the industry but I decided I wanted to educate myself on it so I began training in kickboxing, BJJ and generally learning about the sport”.
Educating herself is most definitely what she did and it wasn’t just a one time thing, she has gained a love for the sport and took it to a whole new level, while mixing in other styles.
“I train regularly in Kickboxing and love it! I managed to get my green belt last summer after doing classes for about 6 months which I was really pleased with. I’m aiming to get my purple in May if I can so it can go along with my college course in Personal Training, I’d love to teach martial arts one day. I find it’s a fantastic sport to do for fitness, I tone up and shed extra pounds within weeks! I also find it good to know, it’s self defence but also helps me a lot in my job having knowledge in the sport! I do take part in BJJ now and then but my stand up is where I am strongest, however I do enjoy rolling and learning new submissions!”
From not knowing a lot about the sport and being thrown into the spot-light right away could definitely put some people off. But Georgia got hooked on the ‘MMA Drug’ and never looked back. Learning about it is one thing but developing your knowledge can either make you love something more or you can become overwhelmed. For Georgia it’s definitely turned into a passion:
“I’m a huge fan of the sport and I have a massive amount of respect for the fighters. The sport itself is very skilled and the atmosphere on a fight night is unreal.”
She is in a position on fight night that some of us never get to experience, which is up close and personal with the fighters and fans. Ring girls are normally seen walking the fighters to the cage and dazzling the crowd between rounds when they walk round the cage showing which round the bout is at. However there is more to it than meets the eye but the pay-off at the end is worth it.
“Chaos! On the Saturday I’m usually at the arena all afternoon running around, stressing, organising things and doing various interviews and photo-shoots! The night time is amazing, it’s definitely one of my favourite jobs to do, the atmosphere, the fans, the fighters and all the staff just make it a brilliant night”.
Brilliant nights are something which BAMMA definitely put on for their fans. Some of the best fighters in the world have fought for BAMMA: Tom ‘Kong’ Watson, Frank Trigg, ‘Judo’ Jimmy Wallhead and Paul Daley. Georgia has been around to see a lot of them fight but how does she feel about being getting to work alongside top athletes and what moments have stood out for her?
“I have been very lucky to work alongside some fantastic fighters yes! I remember Tom vs Ninja at BAMMA 6 was such a good fight, the crowds were going crazy for Tom! BAMMA 12 in Newcastle was also a brilliant night of fights, I think I was on the edge of my seat shouting quite a lot that night!!”
Stitch Duran, the famous UFC cut man, always talks about having fighters who always want their hands wrapped by him. Is this the same for the ring girls who walk the fighters to the cage? Do they take the sides of the fighters they like? It seems that Georgia has started to become a lucky charm for some of them:
“I do have a tendency to pick the winners to walk out, I don’t know how I do it but I’ve been called ‘The Streak’ for quite a few BAMMA events now as I seem to walk out a winning streak of fighters! I try not to take sides but because I know some of the fighters on a personal level then I will chose to walk them out and support them”.
Most athletes in the MMA world will aim to get to the UFC as it is seen as the holy grail of Mixed Martial Arts. It is the biggest promotion in the world and for anyone to be associated with the promotion it can change their lives. For ring girls, it can definitely lead to even more exposure. Always being around during fight week, weigh in’s, fight night and travelling to all corners of the Earth. While at the same time BAMMA is trying to do the same for the UK and Europe. They are becoming an established brand in Europe and this leads me to ask Georgia if she has plans for the UFC in the future or is it BAMMA all the way for her?
“The UFC is huge and it would be amazing to guest ring girl for them! I am a loyal BAMMA girl and believe the company will just keep getting bigger and bigger in the MMA industry, we just need to keep working hard and producing fights that the fans want to see!”
Away from the BAMMA spotlight, Georgia has been working hard to make her name in the modelling and media work. She has worked tirelessly for years to get this far and doesn’t want to stop just yet. But what gave her the passion and the drive to work so hard and get as far as she has.
“I just decided to give it my all after having a not so good time at school due to bullies, it made me very determined to live my dream! It’s taken me since I was 18 years old to get anywhere and really only since I was 21/22 have I managed to progress a great deal in this industry. It’s been very hard work, lots of rejections, let downs, challenges etc but I’ve never ever given up! I’ve had a lot of amazing support from family, friends and colleagues too, without them and the fans of mma/motorsport I’d never of got where I am!”
The motorsport world is where Georgia is making just as big a name for herself as in MMA. Normally a grid girl, she has been offered a different challenge in the upcoming season. A chance to showcase her skills as a presenter. Something which she knows she will really enjoy:
“I will indeed now be working at various other races around the country for Atom Cup presenting the race, interviewing drivers and generally showing the audience what’s going on at the track, this will be shown on MotorsTV! I’d love to make it big in presenting one day as that is something I do really enjoy, I will chat to anything and anyone who will listen and have a cheeky sense of humour and can usually always create fun banter, the Geordie accent also helps!”
Working as part of a huge MMA promotion, training in kickboxing, wowing the motorsport audience and fitting in modelling work seems a lot of work for one person. But not Miss Graham! Away from the spotlight she is at college studying to be a personal trainer and is flying through the qualifications.
“So far I have completed and passed Level 2 Gym Instructor which qualifies me to work in a gym, write and demonstrate programs and I have general good knowledge on the muscle groups and various exercises. I’m hoping to take Level 3 Personal Training in May and I also get involved in helping teach classes at the local MMA gym. I actually hated PE or anything sport related all through school but since being in my late teens I’ve always been keen on fitness, then when I joined BAMMA it just escalated and now I’m fitness, sport and health obsessed!”
With all her knowledge of MMA and teaching classes, can we expect to see a Georgia Graham gym one day?
“That’d be nice to have my own gym, who knows, one day maybe!”
We all like to relax and get away from the stresses of day to day life. Whether it’s yelling at referee’s at the football, going into the online gaming world or going to a new world in a book, we all like to chill out. Such a busy but fun life Georgia is creating for herself! But even with all the work she puts in there is still time to relax, well sometimes!
“I live a pretty quiet life, I like to chill with friends, watch dvds, play xbox, go on walks, spend time training and go on random spontaneous trips and adventures! I do now and then love a good night out, usually I can be found dancing the night away in one of the local towns or somewhere in Newcastle, either those or whichever city I’ve happened to venture to that week/weekend! I tend to have a habit of just dropping and going places (If I’m not working), my weeks change all the time, rarely is any week the same as the previous!”
Relaxing time also gives Georgia a chance to pursue another passion she has: Tattoo’s. Tattoo’s tell a story or have a meaning behind them. Something which all of Georgia’s tattoo’s have. Not just that they look great and the artwork is amazing.
“Thank you, my good friend is my tattooist and he’s an amazing artist! There is yes, most of my tattoos do having meanings, such as ‘Follow Your Heart’ on my hip is a rule I live by, the Swallow on my wrist is related to travelling, the large Chilli flowers all over my back, the butterflies, more writing on my ribs and also my groin have personal meanings too! The Candy Skull on my foot was just something I liked, I seen it, I wanted it, I got it!”
Georgia Graham is definitely a figure who anyone of us can look up to. You don’t have to be a fight fan to recognise how far this young lady is getting and it’s all down to hard-work. She truly sends out the message that if you dream big, set yourself goals and work hard: the sky is the limit.
If you want to keep up to date with Georgia and all her pursuits, follow her on twitter @LittleGeorgieG