Molly Qerim is a New York-based broadcaster who broke into MMA in 2008 as a segment host and correspondent on ESPN’s MMA Live. In 2010, Qerim joined the VERSUS nightly show The Daily Line. As part of the network gig, she also hosted the pre-fight and post-fight shows for the WEC. Most recently, Qerim was tapped for the first edition of UFC Central—the Zuffa produced online pre-fight and post-fight show for UFC 129: St-Pierre vs. Shields.
In addition to her dazzling mixed martial arts broadcasting résumé, Qerim was the interactive host for ESPN’s College Football Live, the breaking news reporter for ESPN 2’s Fantasy Football Now, and she currently serves as a studio anchor for CBS Sports Network.
You have an extensive MMA broadcasting background. What has been your favorite memory so far?
Oh, I can’t pick one. There are too many. I got to see Anthony Pettis and that unbelievable kick. We [Ariel Helwani and Urijah Faber] were doing the pre- and post-fight show, and we interviewed Pettis after that fight. That was amazing. It was also really cool to cover UFC 100. I mean, the heavyweight championship bout on that card—Lesnar and Mir—and GSP was on that card, defending the welterweight
championship, and Henderson vs. Bisping. That was a historic night. I would say those two are very memorable nights.
Do you train in any of the fighting styles?
I’ve been training Muay Thai in New York and a little bit of jiu-jitsu, and I take some MMA conditioning classes with the guy who created the Rushfit DVDs with GSP. There’s a certain high I get from those workouts that I don’t get from anything else.
Out of all the various MMA disciplines, why do you like Muay Thai and BJJ?
I’ve always been into fitness and trying to challenge myself—work with trainers and that type of thing. I think being around the sport, it’s just that the passion grew, and I felt like it was an opportunity to increase my fitness level and understand the sport on a new level. Just with the little bit of jiu-jitsu I’ve done, I can tell you the difference of understanding what a guy is attempting to do, and also I think martial arts has such a positive impact on me mentally. It helps me stay calm and stay clear-headed.
Is there any chance we’ll ever see you compete in the cage?
If it were for a charity event, I’d totally do it. But that’s about it [laughs].
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I’m very introverted. Even though I’m totally comfortable talking in front of millions of people for my profession, I really keep to myself, and I’m very close to my family and just a few friends. It’s very hard for me to open up to people. I was raised that the only people you should trust is your family, so I guess I keep to myself.
What are some things you do for fun in your spare time?
My family is everything to me, and I’m lucky that they’re just a two-hour ride away. I have two sisters and they both have kids. My father is my best friend. I try to spend a lot of time with them. I love to go out to eat, and I love to cook. I love to cook for people—that’s always something I swear is therapeutic to me. Oh, and I watch a ton of sports. I love MMA, football, and basketball.
If you were to audition for MasterChef, what would be the signature dish that you’d feed Gordon Ramsay and the rest of the judges?
Something Mediterranean—probably salmon or chicken cutlets with some sautéed veggies. I cook very simply. I sauté vegetables in olive oil and add salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. I don’t really make anything too exciting, but that is the stuff that I love.
Are you cooking this food for a boyfriend these days?
I’m not dating anyone. People always tell me, ‘You work in sports and have access to so many people,’ and the thing is, I was raised to be able to take care of myself and to be independent. My dad told me a long time ago, ‘You never need to depend on a man or need to take money from a man.’ That stuck with me. I want to have a strong foundation before I do all that. I hope to have a big family—I love
kids—and when I do let that person into my life, I will treat him like a king. But I want to make sure the time is right.
Some women have a checklist in what they look for in a guy. Others just have a few details. What are some of the traits you look for in a man?
I definitely don’t have a checklist in terms of physical appearance. I think that’s so limiting. I can’t say, ‘Oh, I love guys with blue eyes’ or whatever. But I would say, in terms of character, definitely a God-fearing man—that’s number one. Somebody that is confident, ambitious, and driven, but at the same time, laid back and cool—and someone that I can have fun with because you’ve got to be able to laugh. You have to laugh through life. Oh, and definitely somebody that’s generous. They have to have a big heart.
What is your ultimate goal?
I want to continue to work in media—anchoring and reporting. I really love being behind the desk and hosting. I love covering sports, and if I can do that and have a family and my own charity, then I’d be a very happy woman.
Follow this happy woman on Facebook (Facebook.com/MollyQerim) and Twitter (@MollyQerim).
“I’M VERY INTROVERTED. EVEN THOUGH I’M TOTALLY COMFORTABLE TALKING IN FRONT OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE FOR MY PROFESSION.”