Multidimensional Maven, ARIANNY CELESTE, Discusses Her Road to the Ring, Co-Hosting a Car Show and Her Passion for PhilanthropyWRITTEN BY: JESSIE SETKUS PHOTOGRAPHED BY: FRANK ISHMAN
STYLED BY: STYLE BY F.E.A
HAIR & MAKEUP BY: BRIE LEACH FOR MAKE UP FOR EVER APPAREL PROVIDED BY: TRINA TURK
Like an octagon, Arianny is a woman of many angles. Settling for one defined path would never be enough. This fitness guru is much more than just a UFC Octagon Girl—she is a model, a philanthropist, a strong supporter of the Latino Community, a world traveler, and dare I say, a fearless female role model for women to rally around. In the midst of all of these endeavors she has also just begun to scratch the surface of her dream—becoming a television show host. She now co-hosts Velocity’s hit show “Overhaulin’” for her second season and has become a classic car enthusiast with plans to one day build her own dream car. Arianny is not slowing down there—this multifaceted woman is only getting started.
Q: You started modeling at four months old. Did you grow up in the spotlight?
Arianny Celeste: I actually did not grow up in the spotlight. I booked that job when I was a baby (laughs), but I waited to pursue modeling until I was 16. However, I was still young when I started and it was pretty nerve wracking for me because I am a naturally shy person. It ended up being a good thing because it gave me confidence in myself.
Q: You grew up as an athlete as well. You were on the cheer team, dance team and also took part in gymnastics. Did participating in these activities help you gain some confidence while pursuing modeling?
AC: It definitely did in many ways because you must have discipline and confidence in the entertainment industry. You are going to get a lot of “no” and this discipline helped me keep a level head throughout the entire process. It also helped me stay driven and be okay with intense competition. Arianny Celeste
Q: You are the UFC’s headlining Octagon Girl. Usually women are not attracted to UFC fighting—what drew you to this sport? Arianny Celeste
AC: To be completely honest, in the beginning I didn’t know a thing about the sport. It was a way for me to pay my way through college. I was doing modeling on the side and I happened to book this job. Now, knowing so much about the sport, I see what an art it is and how disciplined these athletes are. There are so many rules and regulations—the more you get to know the sport, the more you admire the hard work and dedication the athletes put towards it. They are literally the most skilled athletes. You can’t survive on one form of martial arts—you have to know them all.
Q: Fill me in on the life of an Octagon Girl. What makes this job so great?
AC: I am really passionate about the sport and working with the UFC. You travel with these people, create relationships with them. They become your family while being on the road. Also watching my bosses essentially take over the world is pretty awesome. Arianny Celeste
Q: In 2010 you were named “Girl of the Day” by Sports Illustrated and “Ring Girl of the Year” at the MMA Awards; I’m sure that was a pretty defining moment. Tell me about that experience. Arianny Celeste
AC: I never expected to get this level of recognition or attention from this job. Like I said, I saw it as a way to get by when I first started. It seriously is a huge honor to be on multiple lists and win awards. I actually won “Ring Girl of the Year” four times in a row, which is beyond amazing. It just felt really good. Arianny Celeste
Q: Health and fitness are clearly major passions in your life, but they require extreme dedication and, at times, a major amount of sacrifice. How do you keep from falling off your intense regimen? Arianny Celeste
AC: I think that goes back to how I was raised. Gymnastics and cheerleading really helped me learn how to take care of my body. More than half of the United States’ population is overweight. People need to realize it is about putting yourself first and loving your body. You only get one body and one life—you might as well give it the best care you can.
Q: Do you have any workout tips to share with the masses?
AC: Always make sure to eat at least 30 minutes before your workout. I can’t stress that enough. A lot of people try to workout on an empty stomach and it’s really not a good idea. Also, a one hour workout is plenty of time—you don’t have to kill yourself trying to make it through two hours. Lastly, make it fun. Find something that you love to do whether it’s dancing, cycling, or kickboxing. As long as you are sweating you are doing something right. If you need some extra motivation, find a friend who is also interested in working out and maybe spark up a competition. Maybe buy each other a healthy dinner afterward. Personally, I love boxing. My friends and I constantly get an awesome boxing workout at Prevail in Los Angeles—we have an absolute blast. Arianny Celeste
Q: You currently co-host Velocity’s hit show “Overhaulin’.” Would you consider yourself a bit of a motorhead?
AC: Again, I was kind of thrown into the audition pool and booked the job. I went in knowing nothing about cars, but I am on my second season now and I would say I am definitely getting to know a vast amount about cars. I am really falling in love with classic cars in particular. I will probably end up wanting one, and think it would be amazing to build my own classic dream car one day. Arianny Celeste
Q: Tell me about your experience co-hosting the show. Do you ever get jitters before heading out on set or is that a thing of the past? Arianny Celeste
AC: I used to get nervous when I first started the show because of my lack of experience around cars. The cast and crew really took me in and I took it upon myself to learn something new everyday. It is really a ton of fun and amazing at the same time. I get to do what I love and be around those that also truly love what they do as well. We spend the whole day working on a car then giving it back to the owner that truly deserves it. It makes me feel good in every way.
Q: You are also very passionate about giving back to the community, including your involvement with the relief efforts in Haiti as well as Hurricane Katrina. How rewarding has this been for you? Arianny Celeste
AC: That is something I really have a true passion for. I work with Aid Still Required and The American Cancer Society. It is very important to help anyone in need because you never know when you will need a hand one day. Also, it just feels good to give back and know that your efforts helped someone. A ianny Celeste
Q: Speaking of giving back to the community, is being an influential figure in the Latino community important to you?
AC: It is extremely important for me to represent the Latino community because I’m Mexican born and raised. My first language is Spanish. Many people in that community may not think that they can make a difference, but seeing someone like me persevere and follow my dreams inspires them to follow theirs.
Q: I also saw you have a case of wanderlust. Where are your favorite places to travel? Arianny Celeste
AC: Anywhere with a beach! The beach is Heaven for me. Australia and the Philippines were absolutely beautiful. I also love Europe—Spain and Italy in particular. I love learning about other cultures, taking it all in and seeing how other people live. It is pretty inspiring. Ariann Arianny Celestey Celeste
Q: I speak for a majority of females when I say I respect a woman that fearlessly “keeps up with the boys.” Were you always this way? Arian Arianny Celesteny Celeste
AC: The funny thing is I grew up a complete girly-girl. I don’t have any brothers or anything. I was thrown into two of the largest male dominated groups, MMA and cars. I have taken it in and I actually love it. Being a strong, independent woman in a man’s world is a really cool thing. Arianny Celeste
Q: Do you have any inspiring words for women looking to become strong, independent and successful like you?
AC: Confidence is key, but that doesn’t mean being cocky. It means you can love yourself no matter what shape or size you are—as long as you know you are putting your best face on and being a good person. I think that’s truly the biggest and most important thing. The rest will follow. Arianny Celeste
Q: Your life is jam-packed with so many successful endeavors. I’m exhausted just thinking about everything you do on a daily basis, but what’s in store for the future? Arianny Celeste
AC: I hope to continue hosting. I would also like to get into acting as well. Right now I’m just focused on what I have going on at the moment. I am a really lucky person. Arianny Celeste
Jessie Setkus is a resident of Southern Orange County and
a graduate of California State University Fullerton. She is a freelance writer with an advertising background with experience in social media, public relations, copywriting and blogging. She also has a passion for non-profit organizations, is a world traveler, a food fanatic and a hedgehog enthusiast.