Edith Labelle, Former Octagon Girl, Breaks Silence on UFC Dismissal

Last month, fans of former UFC Octagon girl Edith Labelle were disappointed to find out that she was no longer working for the organization. Many questions surrounded her departure, but few answers were made available.

FanHouse recently spoke to the native of Mascouche, Quebec, Canada, about her sudden dismissal and whether she plans on continuing working in MMA.

"After the UFC Expo and weigh-ins [at UFC 100], I went to dinner," she said. "Then I attended some of the pre-parties with some of the UFC management, some of the Octagon girls, some of the fighters. And then I started to feel ill -- I wasn't feeling good. So I decided to go to bed. I really wanted to be in good shape for the next day, obviously. Then I started to feel worse throughout the night and the next day.

"It was so bad that I couldn't stop throwing up. Then it was kind of getting late that [next] day -- I didn't realize it was that late -- so I contacted the proper UFC personnel to let them know of my situation, and I told them that I would get ready as quick as possible and I would be there. I didn't want to miss that at all. They told me to stay in my room because they didn't want to take the risk of anything happening because it was such a big event. So I had to stay [in my hotel room].

"Honestly, it was the worst feeling because I was so excited for those fights, obviously, and I could hear the fans cheering and screaming while I was laying in my bed."

Labelle was let go a few days later. She said she was disappointed when she heard a rumor that the reason why she couldn't attend the event was because she was hung over.

"That's not true. I was not hung over. I was really sick. That's why I left the pre-party because I was really sick. ... I truly believe it was food poisoning."

Still, when UFC management called her with the news after the event, there was nothing she could do to convince them otherwise.

"They contacted me and they said that the rumor was that I was too hungover, that I partied too hard. I just wish ... I was literally laying on the bathroom floor -- I was so sick. Thinking back, I should have thought to see a doctor or ask them to send one of the UFC's doctors to check up on me to see what was wrong. But I didn't think about it before, and a day or two later, it was too late."

Missing the UFC's most high-profile event would certainly be a major strike, but Labelle was disappointed in the fact that she wasn't given the benefit of the doubt. Nevertheless, she says she holds no ill feelings towards organization.

"I felt like I was letting them down because it was such a big event, but it was out of my control. I also felt like I was with them for a year and a half, and of course, nothing like that every happened before. ... I was really sick, so of course I felt a little sad.

"I wish it would have happened differently, but I'm still a huge fan of the UFC."

Labelle says her ring girl days are over. She started her MMA career with the now-defunct TKO promotion and made her Octagon debut at UFC 78 in November 2007. She still plans on attending UFC events in the future, and said she hopes to meet the newest Octagon girl, Natasha Wicks.

Strangely enough, she said more people recognize her since she stopped working for the UFC in July. She points to her involvement in the successful UFC 2009: Undisputed video game, which she admits to being "pretty cool, but kinda weird," as the most probable reason behind her increased fame.

Next for Labelle, she will star in a Web series produced by a Montreal-based production company, Movie Seals, where she will play a super heroine. No release date has been announced. The French Canadian plans to do more acting and fitness modeling in the future, and hopes to land some kind of hosting gig in the MMA world. She says her new official Web site, EdithLabelle.ca, will be up and running shortly.

As for her time as a UFC Octagon girl, Labelle has no regrets and no favorite experience. The whole ride, she says, was memorable.

"I don't really have one [favorite memory] in particular. It's just always discovering new cities, and getting to know all the fighters, and just getting to be there for all the great events. Just the whole thing was a great experience." .fanhouseButton {margin:2em 0;} .fanhouseButton a:link, .fanhouseButton a:visited, .fanhouseButton a:hover, .fanhouseButton a:active {background-color:#dd2829;color:#FFFFFF;font-size:18px;padding:0.3em 0.6em;text-decoration:none;} .fanhouseButton a:hover {background-color:#000000;}

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