Carlos Larios | StarTraks Photo
Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011 | 2:40 p.m.
Arianny Celeste, model and UFC ring girl, returns home to Las Vegas to host at New York-New York’s Rok Vegas on Friday night. Before her appearance at UFC 141 at MGM Grand Garden Arena, be sure to drop by Las Vegas Fight Shop at the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood today, where Celeste will sign her 2012 calendar after the UFC weigh-ins.
You’re just coming off of a big win at the Fighters Only Mixed Martial Arts Awards this month. What was it like to win Ring Girl of the Year again? Is this the third time you’ve won?
I have won it four times in a row now. It was really cool because this year I didn’t expect it at all because the competition was pretty tough. I know a lot of the girls who are with some of the other organizations. They’re really gorgeous, and I just felt really honored to get it again.
You seemed more emotional in this year’s acceptance speech than in past years. Why do you think this was?
I think just because it has been so many years and the fact that people still support me and still like me being around. It just felt really good.
Do you think any of the Chael Sonnen drama played into your emotions at all? I’m sure that wasn’t easy to deal with.
I was a little uncomfortable because I knew he was hosting. It didn’t bother me too much. It just made me a little more nervous for sure.
Leading up to the MMA Awards, I know you and Chael got into a bit of a heated Twitter battle after his unkind comments. Have you two buried the hatchet now?
Yes. We actually talked a little after the show. He apologized and called me a good sport. I think he knew what he was doing when he picked on me. This isn’t the first time, and I don’t expect it to be the last time because he knows who to push and what buttons to push. This was the second time he’s picked on me, so we’ll see if his apology is for real. This time he attacked my intelligence. I mean, he can talk about my body; he can talk about anything. Just don’t talk about my intelligence. That is a more sensitive thing.
At UFC 140, were you close enough to hear Antonio Noguiera’s arm break? What was that moment like for you?
Actually, yes, I was. It was crazy. I was told I was the only ring girl who was looking because Brittney [Palmer] and Chandella [Powell] weren’t looking. It was disgusting. I think I’m kind of used it by now, but I’ve never seen anything like that before, so I just thought it was so interesting even though it was just crazy. I was a little creeped out, but I kept looking. It’s not easy to watch, but it just makes you want to watch, like a bad car crash.
How excited are you for the heavyweight showdown between Brock Lesnar and Alistair Overeem at UFC 141?
I am so excited. I’m actually a big fan of Brock. I love his attitude. It’s awesome. He comes from wrestling, and I think he’s really good for the sport because of that. And then I’ve just heard amazing things about Overeem. I’ve heard he’s a beast. One beast against another makes for a very exciting night.
What have been some of your favorite UFC moments this year?
I would have to say that my top ones so far have been being in Cananda in front of a crowd of 50,000. I have been with the UFC since right before they were starting to blow up in 2006. It has grown so much, so to see an arena full of 50,000 people is just amazing. Also, the show in Rio, Brazil. The energy from the people was just incredible. It was like being at a football game. People were on each other’s shoulders cheering and chanting and doing the wave. It was so fun. The time flew that night.
As a Las Vegas local, what does it mean to you to be hosting over New Year's weekend at Rok Vegas?
It really makes me feel accomplished. Vegas is my hometown, and I get to come hang out with all my friends who still live there. It’s not my first solo hosting job, but it’s probably my biggest one since it’s the night before New Year’s. I’ve done a lot of club appearances before but mostly out of town. I’ve had a lot of fun at Rok in the past. All my friends are going to come out, and we’re going to have a great time.
Do you ever get tired of seeing yourself on club fliers and promotional material, or is it exciting every time?
It’s very exciting. The coolest one I saw so far was me and Johnny “Bones” Jones were on the tickets for the World’s Mixed Martial Arts Awards, so that was a huge honor. I was pretty psyched.