Desi Flores is a nationally qualified NPC Bikini fitness competitor, co-host of NBC Sports MMA Fight Radio, and LFA ring card girl. The 36-year old resident of Scottsdale, Arizona certainly has a lot going on but it is how she got her start that I found to be interesting. She was a fan first and foremost, but when she couldn’t find friends that wanted to catch the fights, opportunity came knocking.
“I used to go to fights alone all the time just to watch. Not a lot of girls are into MMA so I really didn’t have any girlfriends that wanted to go and if they did go they talked over all the fights,” Flores said. “And guys always tried to turn it into a date. So one day when I was asked over social media by one of the owners of a promotion to be a ring card girl, it made perfect sense. Free seats, best seats in the house actually, to something I went to anyway. It has also helped me gain exposure and network in the community.”
That networking had led to the start of a YouTube channel along with her work with NBC Sports Radio.
MMA Fight Radio
“It’s a great show,” Flores said. “For those in the Phoenix area, they can listen live on NBC Sports Radio 1060 AM, Thursdays 6-8 p.m. Anyone else can listen live online at www.mmafightradio.com, 6 – 8 p.m. Arizona time. Or listen to any past shows on that same website, they are all up by the next afternoon.
“It has been such an incredible experience. I have had one on one interviews with Cyborg a few days before she fought Holm, Jedrzejczyk a few days before she lost the belt to Rose, Alvarez, the list goes on and on.
“I do most of our UFC and Bellator pre-records one on one. The live show is with Jay and Dallas. Jay is our main host and Dallas and I co-host with him. We all bring different angles to the show. Jay can talk nonstop, knows and memorizes ridiculous sports trivia. Dallas can break down a fight like no other. And I relate to the female guests, weight cuts, health aspects, and a genuine love for MMA. I also like to use the feminine angle to approach our male or female guests in a unique way. And I find myself being the show mother sometimes (laughs).
“This coming March I may use my credentials for the Vegas UFC card and expand my coverage to beyond radio for the show. I am starting a Youtube account for the show as well in connection with the owners, of course. There are so many great things ahead! We get about 100k to 300k listens a show and about a million for the one on one interviews. We are excited to make the move to Youtube.”
Ring Card Girl
“Being a ring girl has been a great experience for me. I obviously do not do it for the money. I have met some fantastic people,” Flores said. “LFA has taken that up a notch and I can say they not only help their athletes move forward in their career, they are up to helping everyone that works for them to succeed if you just put in the work and make it happen.”
“My age usually shocks people, because most people guess me to be 23-26. I attribute it to taking care of my body and also not acting old! That just goes to show you what healthy eating, working out, and maintaining an active lifestyle can do for you.”
“I work all year to get my body where it needs to be,” she said. “When I am not competing, I am building my muscle up for the show. Once prep hits, I am at a caloric deficit and I am shredding down the fat. I can still build up muscle during that time, but it’s not as easy. My calories and carbs go way down, I am low energy and am not able to feed the muscles the same.
“A full prep is 3 months. Like fighting, you can start a prep shorter but it is best to get a full prep. I carb cycle, so on prep I will go say three low carb days then one day of higher carbs. This way I trick my body into thinking I will get more carbs and it uses up that much energy on low carb days, which helps me to lose the fat. I have a coach who helps me have a second set of eyes during my prep. He only overlooks my body and body progression. I have never had a trainer for my workouts, I prefer to do that myself.
A typical day on prep is waking up and eating. Waiting 45 minutes, then cardio (unless two weeks out then fasted cardio). Then I eat again and wait 45 minutes, then lift for about an hour and a half. Then I drink protein, Creatine, BCAA’s wait 45 minutes, then eat. Then I work a few hours. Then I eat again and go practice posing. I have no other life while on prep. I don’t have time to date or go out or visit most friends unless they workout with me.”
“I actually do not compete in martial arts,” Flores said. “I have dabbled into Muay Thai training and BJJ over the years, but I have never been consistent. I only have one stripe in BJJ. I have done more Muay Thai than BJJ for sure, because it is easier for me. But I just joined 10th Planet Phoenix and would like to do my first no gi competition this year.
:As far as fitness goes I am currently in my building season. That means I get a lot more carbs, lift heavier, and also have a little more time on my hands. I only lift about an hour a day and do cardio for 20 minutes 4 times a week right now. Starting in March, I will stay in the gym longer plus I will need to add in posing practice time. Things are much harder then. It’s like the camp time for a fighter. That’s why I am able to focus on bjj right now.
“Lifting comes first for me because I am older. If I had gotten into martial arts sooner (I first started to train 4 years ago), I would of chosen it as a full time job.”
“I trained BJJ under Augusto Tanquinho Mendes (Soul Fighters) for 6 months, 4 years ago. Then I trained under Brendan Barlow (Brasa BJJ) one year ago but for a few months. I am now under John Botello of 10th Planet Phoenix. I am loving it there.”
“I am too old to get into MMA from a competition angle. If I was young enough to work towards making a career out of it, I would hands down do it. I would LOVE to. But it doesn’t make sense for me. I have been extremely tempted to at least get in a couple fights, but in the end I have decided not to. My family is not for it, but would support it regardless. My friends mostly want me to. Some pro boxing friends don’t like the idea at all since I can get injured and really have no future in it, and I do really respect that opinion.
“After my last national competition, the judges only remark was I was overall beautiful. That really stuck with me. I worked SO hard to build my muscle and lean out, there is no way to begin to tell you the sacrifices, and that was the feedback? I sat with her and we went over more but bottom line I realized how tired the judges get and “they just have to pick.” It really made me feel like I would rather get punched across the face and knocked out for a loss than a subjective loss. But still, martial arts is no joke and I think without a full ability to progress in it, I shouldn’t enter a cage.
Check out Desi Flores on YouTube
“I have a ton of great content to come I still need to upload,” Flores said. “My best video so far is my sit down interview with Eddie Bravo, Anthony Birchak, and John Botello as we discuss gi vs no-gi BJJ for MMA.
“I was thorough and tried to throw any counters I could come up with. I asked Danny Castillo and Tanquinho prior to the interview their personal gi vs. no-gi beliefs and brought up the subjects they discussed in the interview. Eddie was so detailed in countering everything that I joined 10th Planet shortly after. It is a great interview and I want to do a lot more like it with a lot of other great martial artists.”
“The key to everything is surrounding yourself with your passions, working hard, networking for what you envision, believing in yourself when no one else does, and going for it. So many people told me I was crazy to think I would ever be the one interviewing fighters when four years ago I said that’s what I wanted to do. Yet now they are not just people I interview, so many are now truly my friends.”
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