Though she go-go dances at XS and models for top agencies like Platinum, Las Vegas native and new UFC Octagon girl Natasha Wicks does not have the typical Vegas tale. Growing up on a farm near Nellis Air Force Base as one of eight home-schooled children, Wicks spent time gardening and raising farm animals before getting involved with her family’s sport of choice: running. This passion for speed led her to enroll in Cimmaron Memorial High School where she went on to place 18th in the Western U.S. in the Foot Locker Nationals.
Running gave way to modeling, and when UFC 100 took place last month, Wicks entered the Maxim magazine-sponsored contest to be the next Octagon girl. After beating out 39 other ladies for the top honors, Wicks secured the job and is debuting at UFC 101 in Philadelphia. Read on to hear Wick’s thoughts on modeling in Las Vegas and plastic surgery.
What was your transition like into modeling?
I’ve always been into fashion and modeling, but I figured I was too short to be a model. I’m only 5’2’’. And I’ve always been athletic, so I’m not tall and lanky like I thought you had to be for modeling. Some lady in Hawaii approached me about modeling and I did a few little things out there. I moved back to Las Vegas and a few [modeling] agencies said I was too short or not what they wanted, but I started working with Best Agency and now I work mostly with Platinum. I’ve been modeling and go-go dancing at XS ever since.
What was the Maxim contest like?
In the beginning of the whole competition, they had all 40 of us in there and a guy told us, “One of you is going to be the next Octagon girl.” I remember looking at all the girls and thinking to myself that if I won this, it would be great, but if I didn’t, something else would come along. So everyone else was really nervous and I wasn’t stressed. When I won, I remembered thinking, “Holy crap. This is not just a bikini contest.“ I’m extremely honored that I got picked, especially because there were some extremely drop dead gorgeous girls there.
You are the first blonde Octagon girl in a while, did you think your big blonde hair would impact your chances in the contest?
Everybody probably thinks my hair is crazy because I have big curly hair. My hair is kind of wavy, ‘80s style. I get compared to Farrah Fawcett all the time. I have no complaints about that! I think she’s beautiful! When I work any big parties or events for agencies, they’re always saying, “Natasha, you need to turn your hair down a bit.” But in the competition I really wanted to just go as myself. I feel most confident and sexy with my big crazy hair because it just fits my personality. I figured if I went and they liked me like that then I would feel great. I have to wear it straight for the UFC fights, and they straightened it for the magazine shoot.
Were you a UFC fan before trying out to be an Octagon girl?
I have definitely always enjoyed watching the fights, but I’m a pretty busy person. I’m a fan of Forrest Griffin just because I see him a lot; we even get the same smoothie at Tropical Smoothie. Just cheesy stuff like that. And he’s local so you want to support your local fighters.
You pride yourself on being “all natural” with no cosmetic enhancements. Do you think you’ll ever go under the knife?
I’ve never really wanted to get fake boobs ever. I’m not going to say I’m going to lose a ton of weight just because I’m on TV. I’m not into that. I like having muscle tone and being healthy. If they wanted me to get a boob job, I would say that I’m here for a year and if you wanted to rehire me and that was a requirement, then I would just be excited that I had a year with it. I don’t think I would do that.
For detailed coverage of UFC 101, see lasvegassun.com .