Ranger Up Interviews: Shannon Ihrke
By RU Contributor Madeline Monday
UFC, Shit Talking, Ranger Up Fans and How to Get Shannon Ihrke’s Attention
Last week I had the opportunity to have a drink and talk a little MMA with the lovely Shannon Ihrke. OK, it was via Skype, but I still had a margarita so it counts. Shannon is a USMC veteran who has been modeling for about three years and was recently seen in a four page spread in the July 2012 Maxim Magazine’s ‘Salute The Troops’ edition. Originally from northern Minnesota, after two years of college at Saint Cloud State University she joined the Marine Corps. She specialized in legal administration and accounting and was in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Illinois.
After dedicating four years to the military she decided to focus solely on her modeling career which includes being a 2011 Maxim Hometown Hottie Finalist, finishing in the top 10! Shannon was a centerfold for Maxim’s February issue, a centerfold for Fight! Magazine (March ’12 edition) and Show Off Magazine. She has also done numerous fashion shows including shows for Fight Chix Apparel, Chicago Costumes, Ed Hardy, H&M, and Rockstar Clothing Line. She was also a ring girl for ProElite MMA for fights in Moline, IL and Honolulu, HI, and most recently has been signed as a ring girl for Invicta FC, an all women’s fighting organization.
Me: I rarely find other girls who are huge MMA fans? What got you into it?
Shannon: As a ring girl with ProElite. I first saw it the Marine Corps. A lot of guys are really into it and we would chip in and get the fights, and the Marine Corps is a huge UFC sponsor. So when I entered the contest for ProElite and did my ring girl thing, they asked if I would be interested in doing more shows. They asked me to do another fight in Hawaii and they sent me there a week before so I could go to the Marine Corps base and the Army base. I got to talk to the Wounded Warriors and hang out with them, take pictures and thank them for their service. So I thought “ Oh my gosh, this is my dream job. I am going to travel and hang out with prior military. This is so cool” Then ProElite went under. So I was modeling and doing smaller fights, then Invicata called! But after my first ring girl job I was hooked.
Shannon: You know what, I think she is a fricking stellar fighter and one of the women that really paved the way for women’s MMA to be more of a household name. Because a lot of people were like “ There’s girl fights? I didn’t know there were girl fights.” And here is Ronda Rousey this blonde bombshell that can beat the crap out of people. I think there were some people who kinda went under the radar that were doing really well, but she has made it more well known. She is doing things like Sports Illustrated and really putting the women’s MMA out there, so hopefully it will keep growing, because you see these girl fighters and the are AMAZING athletes.
Me: What do you think about the controversy recently about Ronda Rousey and shit talking?
Shannon: It’s all to sell tickets. There are so few girls fighting and they all put that work in, respect how hard each work and what they had to put in to get where they are, but at the end of the day they have to sell tickets.
Me: So favorite fighters?
Shannon: In the UFC? I have to say Brian Stann in my favorite. I have a lot of respect for that guy and a lot of respect for UFC fighters who can act professional out side the ring. Some of these guys are like “Oh I can drink and drive or I can go to jail and not get in trouble.” So when you find fighters who are overall good people and role models then you have my attention and I will be your fan. GSP has always been a favorite; he is such a professional. Oh and Tim Kennedy. I love the videos he makes with Ranger UP. They are hilarious!
Shannon:Was it smart for him to cancel the fight because of who he was fighting? Yes. Because, do you really want to lose to a guy who just lost? It would just make you look worse. So I understand why he turned down the fight. But its not like he canceled the fight. Dan Henderson canceled the fight. Dan Henderson is the one who got hurt. So do I think that it should be put on Jon Jones? No. Am I a fan of Jon Jones? But did I want to see Jake Ellinberger fight? YES! That’s why I was upset. Jake Ellignberger is a Reserve Marine and a great guy so he has my vote. And I did tweet Brian Stann and told him 152 better not be canceled because I want to see him fight!
Me: So what’s next, what are your goals?
Shannon: I hope as a ring girl for UFC. I want to see my face in the UFC ring at least once!
Me: Well you’ve got my vote and I’m sure some of the Ranger up fans would love to see you there too!
Shannon: Oh, Ranger Up fans are how I won the contest to be a ProELite ring girl. My friend told me to enter the contest and then he submitted my picture to Ranger Up and said, “You’re going to love this girl she is an active duty Marine and she is in this contest, can you help her?” Ranger Up was like “Rodger That” and we fucking killed it. I had like a 1000 votes more than the girl that came in second. I was blown away, like who were these guys? They asked me to go with them for the UFC expo in Vegas. They are great guys. Very funny, very smart, very military oriented. They have the craziest, best fan base.
Dead sexy, smart, Marine, loves MMA, supports the military and veterans, what’s not to love about this woman?