Adrenaline Rush

Dani Nardi

Dani Nardi moves at her own speed—fast. When the 28-year-old, black-haired beauty isn’t throwing hands at Roufusport MMA Academy, she’s got her foot on the pedal, finger on the trigger, and eyes on the prize.

Your Twitter profi le says: “Racecar driver, Ferrari technician, motorcyclist, gun enthusiast, and Roufusport MMA fighter in-training.” Is it safe to say you’re an adrenaline junkie?

Yeah, [laughing] you could say that, but it would be an understatement. What can I say? I like a little adventure.

How did you get into cars?

Dani NardiI basically grew up around them. I was a track brat. My dad raced for 20 years, so I was at the track every weekend. When I was 15 years old, I started racing.

How did you get into cars?

I basically grew up around them. I was a track brat. My dad raced for 20 years, so I was at the track every weekend. When I was 15 years old, I started racing.

And now you work on Ferraris?

Yeah, I rebuild Weber carburetors and intake manifolds. We do a lot of custom work and fabrication on vintage Ferraris and create parts, but I hardly do it anymore since I started modeling full-time.

What are you driving today?

I have a 1999 Eclipse that I race, but I spun a rod bearing last year. I had the option to fix the problem and swap out a motor, but I got carried away and started rebuilding a fi rst generation motor. Of course, I wanted to do it all myself, so that’s why it’s taking so long. I’ve been doing a lot of traveling with modeling, but it will be finished in a week. I can’t wait—445 horsepower. This baby moves.

What kind of guns are in your arsenal?

I have a Benelli Nova pump 12 gauge shotgun, a DSA Stg 58 version of the FN FAL, an AMT Hardballer longslide .45, and a semi-auto Bulgarian AK74.

Do you do any hunting or just spray copper at the range?

Just the range. I’m not sure I could hurt an animal.

But you don’t mind punching guys in the face at Roufusport?

That’s no problem [laughing]. That’s lots of fun.

How long have you been training mixed martial arts?

I’ve been with Duke [Roufus] for almost two years.

Do you consider yourself more of a stand-up fighter or ground fighter?

I’m pretty well-rounded. I go back and forth. Sometimes I feel great on the ground, and other days I feel great on my feet.

Are you planning to fight professionally?

I just did a grappling tourney, and Duke asked me if I wanted to fight. He always told me that he would let me know when I was ready. So, I think I’m ready. Duke calls me Testa Dura, which means “hard-headed” in Italian, because when I spar, I’m really aggressive and don’t back down, even when I probably should.

Dani NardiDo you get sick of people saying that you are too pretty to fight?

Of course. All the time. It’s so annoying. Modeling is for modeling. Fighting is for fi ghting. But I’ve gotten a lot of support from my family and friends.

How do your parents feel about you fighting?

They don’t like when I get cut or bruised, so I try not to give them too many details about guys punching me in the nose [laughing].

Who’s your favorite fighter?

My boyfriend.

That’s a solid answer. Who is this mystery man?

Pascal Krauss.

How did he win you over?

I saw him the first day he came to Roufusport and thought that he was very handsome, but I was set on not dating anyone at the gym, so I tried to avoid him for two weeks, but we kept making eye contact. Eventually, I was at a grappling tourney and he came up next to me and we started talking. We went out and hit it off.

Do you get nervous when he fights?

I’m a nervous wreck. My heart feels like it’s going to beat out of my chest. Seeing him get hit—I wanted to jump into the cage.

You should do that.

I’m not too sure that would go over very well [laughing]. Can you image what Rogan and Goldie would say? I just make sure that the person sitting next to me holds on to me.

I bet hopping that Octagon fence would be a great adrenaline rush.

That’s one adrenaline boost that I’m going to try to do without…for the time being [laughing].

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