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Natasha Wicks, Newest UFC Octagon Girl, Talks Newfound Fame

Sometimes it feels like the UFC Octagon girls are more popular than the fighters themselves. That would explain why when Las Vegas-resident Natasha Wicks won the recent Maxim Magazine Octagon Girl search at UFC 100 in July, it was treated like big news around the MMA blogosphere.

FanHouse recently spoke to Wicks about making her debut at UFC 101 earlier this month in Philadelphia and her other job as a golf caddy. Yes, a golf caddy. The full interview is below.

Ariel Helwani: What was the highlight of your UFC debut earlier this month in Philadelphia?
Natasha Wicks: Definitely, the highlight was the first time I got to walk around. I instantly received text messages and calls from everybody, 'Oh my gosh!' Like people that hadn't known already and people that knew; everyone was really excited. But for me, it was such an honor; I was so excited. It definitely became real at that moment. The whole trip was just the highlight. The whole trip was exciting. I enjoyed every minute of it (laughs).

So some long lost friends actually learned that you are a UFC Octagon girl for the first time while watching the show?
Yeah. Like old college friends, or just people that you still have each other's numbers, you still kind of call and be like, 'Hey, how's it going?,' but you just don't talk anymore. But yeah, definitely.

Philly crowds are always interesting. In fact, there was a pretty intense fight in the crowd during the show. Did you hear any interesting things from the people while you were working?
No. I mean, it was funny to hear people just scream my name. That was just like, Wow, this is crazy. People instantly -- even us going to dinner afterwards -- there were just a line of people that wanted to take pictures with us, wanted us to sign their magazines and stuff. But I didn't really hear anything other than screams.

Before you got involved in with the UFC, were you aware of how popular the Octagon girls are?
Not really. The moment that I won, I did my research. Kind of went online and looked it over, and that kind of gave me an idea. I was just like, Wow. And also the fact that the day after I won, someone had created a fan site, and it was just definitely huge. I don't know, it doesn't feel any different for me mentally. I'm not like, Oh, do you know who I am? You know, I don't think it'll ever get to my head like that.

Well, I'll call you in a month or so, and we'll see if that changes.
(Laughs) I don't think so. I'm definitely always very true to myself. So I don't think I'm better than anybody. Even the fact that I got picked, I wasn't like, Yeah, I knew I'd win. It really wasn't like that at all.

Well, I must say based on your reaction in the photos, you seemed genuinely surprised that you won the contest.
Yeah, actually, very accurate. I didn't think ... Not, that I'm like, Oh they're hotter, more beautiful than me. But you know, I didn't consider myself to be the most beautiful girl up there, you know? You always hope, but in my head, I remember thinking the whole time, I'm having fun. If I win this, great, if I don't, something else will happen in my life. You know, whoever wins this, it's supposed to be this way. I would love to win, but it was definitely a huge honor. I always say that. It was a huge honor to have been picked.

Why do you think you were chosen?
I don't know! I honestly don't. I've been asked that question before, and I just went as myself. I didn't try to cake on a bunch of makeup. I didn't straighten my hair. I wore my hair just crazy, natural, curly hair. I remember getting ready and being like, I'm just going to go as myself. You know, put on some mascara, and then if I get picked, I know it's because they like me. When it comes to answers, I'm not going to try to win them over with some kind of cheesy answer that I think they would like to hear. I'll just answer questions that are true for me and how I feel. I definitely think that the fact that I work out, I exercise, I'm fit, I'm not too fit, but I definitely work out. I think that really helped.

I'm glad you mentioned your hair, because the fact that you suddenly straightened it after winning the contest was huge news in the MMA blogosphere. A lot of fans were afraid you were told to change your look in more areas than one. Any truth behind that?
Well, I believe that, what I was told, the hair is more of like a UFC code, wearing it more straight. If I want to curl it that was fine, but I don't think my big, crazy hair will work. Because of the HD, they're afraid of it looking huge, like a big afro walking around (laughs). Trust me, I would prefer to wear my hair curly. I definitely feel more confident, I feel more sexy in my own body when it's curly. But, I understand that a more tamed look is fine. When it comes to the breast implants ... no. Nothing happened there. You know, there's always little ways that you can make it appear a little bit bigger (laughs).

Do you check out any of the MMA Web sites to see what people are saying about you?
Definitely. You definitely want to see the public's reaction, or what people think. But I go onto it not like, Oh, I hope everyone likes me. I know I'm not going to be everybody's type. I know there's going to be people that are going to want bigger boobs, longer legs ... whatever. But when you read those comments about people that do like you, or think you're beautiful, or say, 'Good job, UFC,' that definitely makes you feel good.

How do you feel about replacing Edith Labelle?
I don't like to think that I'm replacing Edith. I never got to meet her. The other girls, they really liked her, too. So I'm not really sure about everything that happened. I don't really want to know; I don't ask questions. I'm not into the whole gossip, drama stuff. I don't like getting into it. But what I've heard is that she's fine with being out, and kind of wanted to do other things. I don't think I'm replacing her. I think it's just something fresh and different.

Right. Maybe it was just time to get another blonde in the mix.
Yeah, definitely. Not the ditzy blonde or anything, even though I can be weird. I am pretty weird, but it's not a dumb weird. It's just a fun, goofy weird.

What's an example of that?
I'm just very uninhibited. I like to be myself always. I'm not afraid of what people think of me. I definitely know how to have fun. I'm not really a big drinker at all. I don't drink, and I don't need it to have fun. I'm just very uninhibited. I definitely like to have a good time. I love laughing, and I love being goofy and making people laugh. To me, that's above trying to appear sexy, or have everybody think I'm so hot or something.

In the past, some of the Octagon girls have dated fighters. Would you be open to dating that kind of guy?
You know, I never go looking for anything. I don't look at a guy, and think, Oh, wow he's hot; let me introduce myself. I'm totally happy being single. I love having friends. I don't really have a type. If I was to meet a fighter who's a down to earth, funny guy, who wasn't trying to impress me or anything ... I think I've said this in a few interviews already, I'm just so into the funny guy, and just real people. I don't really have a look. I don't have a specific type. They would definitely have to be athletic to a point, seeing as I'm constantly doing stuff. I love to be outdoors; I love being very active.

How did you get involved with the Maxim search?
Well, I actually had a friend who sent me an e-mail about it. He had seen it when he was online, and he totally thought of me. So he sent me a link to the ad for the Maxim/UFC search. And so that's when I went online like so many other girls, I think there was like a thousand or something, and sent in my pictures and my little bio. Then they narrowed it down to the 40 of us that were there on that day. Then the 40 of us went through the three rounds -- it was huge. I was just standing there in the room, the little tiny room, with three men and the girls, and the guy was like, 'One of you will be the new UFC Octagon girl, and you're going to get a shoot with Maxim.' Like going through everything you were going to win, and one of us was going to win, and I remember thinking, looking around at all the girls, Wow, I have a one in 40 chance in this -- that is amazing. They were all beautiful. In my head, I was like, Ok, you can have fun. If it works out, it works out. If not, it's not the end of the world. Then I win it, and was like, This is huge, I'm so excited!'

But you have to admit that deep down you thought you were better than all of them.
(Laughs) Some of them ... maybe.

And when is the Maxim Magazine shoot coming out?
That should be in the October edition. And I believe they've already got 10 pictures online on their Web site.

Former Octagon girl Rachelle Leah posed nude in Playboy last year. Would you ever consider doing that?
You know, I used to work at Playboy club, and that was the question I was asked all the time. At this point in my life, no, I will say no. Just because there are just a lot of other things that I want to pursue, and I know that I'm extremely talented in a lot of different areas. And I'd like to be able to show that before I did anything like that. This whole UFC Octagon girl thing is huge. It's the biggest thing in my career, so far. But there's a lot of other things I would like to pursue further down once I've kind of tested the waters in other areas, and see whether it be acting or more serious modeling ... whatever. I don't have anything against it at all. I think Playboy would definitely be the way to go because it's definitely classy and respected, I guess you could say.

So, other than your Octagon girl job, do you work for anyone else?
I also go-go dance at XS at the Wynn in Las Vegas, and I just do local modeling and stuff like that. I caddy for golfers, even though I've been doing a little less of that just because it's so hot here.

You actually caddy for golfers?
Yeah. I'm not just sitting in the cart like, 'Hee hee.' I actually do my job.

Do you suggest what kind of clubs they should use?
Yeah, sometimes. I'm not the best. I'm actually really bad at golf. It's like the one thing I can't pick up. I can pretty much pick up anything. Usually if I try something, I'm usually extremely competitive, and I like to try new things. But golf for some reason, for me, it's just like I have goofy arm or something. I feel awkward-looking. I'm just impressed when people hit it. I'm like, 'Wow, good job!' So I'm probably even a better caddy, just because every time they even just hit the ball, I'm so impressed.

Do the golfers actually make you carry their bag?
No, no. We have a cart. Even though we know that I could carry that (laughs).

Right, of course. So is there a company out there that offers models as caddies?
It's Platinum Tees. It's my modeling agency I work for locally in town. So I get most of my gigs through them. They'll hire me out for some go-go's, or caddy's, or little modeling events and stuff. But XS is my main thing. I love dancing. I could dance all the time. XS is the big club in Vegas right now. I don't know if you've ever been there, but it's absolutely beautiful. It's inside and outside. We'll dance for 30-minute sets, and then walk around selling shots.

Believe it or not, I haven't been there. Who do you think would be the ultimate Octagon Girl?
Good question. I'm pretty sure everybody would like to see Jessica Alba walk around the Octagon.

(Laughs) Yeah. At least all my guy friends.

I was thinking you would go with someone a little more classic-looking like Angelina Jolie, but I guess Jessica Alba makes sense.
Oh yeah. I think she definitely pulls off the two-piece. She's got some booty, not too much booty, but she's got some booty. She's got a very nice shape to her.

Do you have a favorite fighter?
I don't because there are so many different ones. But I definitely like watching Georges St-Pierre fight. I really like watching him fight.

It seems like a lot of women like to watch him fight. I'm sure that has nothing to do with his dashing good looks, right?
Yeah, that doesn't hurt (laughs). And he was at UFC 101, and had that front row seat, wearing his nice little suit, looking very nice, very handsome.

Any final thoughts?
I'm just extremely excited, and looking forward to all the fights coming up.

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