Kenda Perez is getting a lot of exposure these days—the sexy hostess of season two of The Best of Pride Fighting Championships on Spike TV has been gracing the pages of everything from Maxim to Muscle and Fitness. Now, she’s getting feisty with FIGHT! Magazine.
How did you get into modeling?
It pretty much started with the Maxim Hometown Hotties Contest. It was something somebody suggested to me, so that’s kind of how it got started. I did a little bit of modeling here and there—nothing major before Maxim. I was going to community college, trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I was leaning toward teaching pre-school or kindergarten. I just like playing on the playground.
Were you a wild child growing up?
I went to a very small private school where there were about 10 people in my graduating class. It was a school my parents went to, so they really wanted me to go there. I was actually very religious when I was growing up—not that I’m not now. But there was no getting in trouble for me—I was a good girl. Even if I wanted to get in trouble or go to a party, I had no way to make that happen.
What do you do to stay in such good shape?
I would love to be able to give you some awesome workout plan that I do, but I’ll be really, really honest—I don’t work out. My parents are pretty petite, so I guess I got lucky. I’m really not the fi rst person who’s going to run to the gym. That’s not me.
Are you an adventure sports girl?
I love swimming, playing volleyball, rollerblading, and riding my bike. I know it’s not the season right now, but I love snowboarding—that’s my favorite.
So you can fakie ollie?
Yeah, I don’t really do any crazy tricks. I did go to Mammoth Mountain, and I went to the very top, which is double or triple diamond. I wasn’t doing anything crazy getting down the hill, but I defi nitely held my own.
What’s it been like to host The Best of Pride Fighting Championships on Spike TV and work for the UFC?
When I was hired by the UFC, I really had no idea of how big the UFC was on a worldwide scale. To become a part of that—and watch it actually grow—has been amazing. For people to even know who I am is unbelievably awesome. Being with the UFC is like being in a big family. It’s a complete blessing.
What have been some of the funniest moments you’ve come across in your hosting gig?
The Japanese names! I think I’ve cracked a few people up trying to pronounce the names.
Have you met many former Pride fighters?
I have. Many of them are in the UFC now. One of the fi ghters who’s made a really big impression on me is Wanderlei Silva. “The Axe Murderer” is actually a really down-to-earth, sweet guy. He had a lot of tips for me as far as my career goes. He was not what I expected at all.
What’s Dana White like to work for?
I mean, come on. He’s probably the most well-known boss out there. Everybody has an opinion about him. He’s an awesome person to work for. He makes working for the UFC fun.
You’re a single gal. What are you looking for in a guy?
I defi nitely need someone who can handle my work schedule, because it’s very sporadic, and I am all over the place. That would defi nitely be a plus. I guess I need somebody who inspires me to do better for myself. I defi nitely have to have someone with a sense of humor. A turn on for me is when a guy compliments me on something other than my looks.
If you’re interested, how would you let a guy know?
Oh, he will know!
Any deal breakers?
I’m not a smoker, so I don’t know if I could handle being with a smoker, but I defi nitely couldn’t date someone who’s lazy. I want someone who motivates me. I also don’t care for men who wear rhinestone shirts—that’s a real deal breaker.
What words would you use to describe yourself?
The fi rst thing that comes to mind is “nerd.” I’m a playful, silly nerd. I am also an extremely passionate person all around, maybe too passionate, when something has special meaning to me it shows in everything I do.
What’s been your favorite UFC event to attend?
UFC 129 in Toronto broke all kinds of attendance records. Being in an arena like that with so many people cheering and the electricity in there—it was awesome. What I like to feel when I go to a live event in all the different arenas is all the fans and how they respond to the fi ghts. That’s the part that’s awesome to me.
Tell us about Kenda Perez Day.
A fan on Twitter, who I think does some MMA photography and reporting, decided that Mondays were a good day to make it Kenda Perez Day. I think it’s his reason to post new pictures of me every week, but it’s very cool.
You’re a big social network girl. How important has it become in your career and fan interaction?
It’s huge for me, because going all the way back to the Maxim Hometown Hotties Contest, that’s how I promoted myself—with good ol’ MySpace—and I got fourth place. With Facebook fan pages and now Twitter, which is even more interactive, I think it’s awesome.