CageJunkies Woman Of The Day: Veteran Shannon Ihrke
The CageJunkies love alot of things. We love women. We love MMA.
We love lamp. And one of the things we love most is our home, the good old U.S.A. So when we had a chance to speak to a beautiful woman that loves MMA and helped serve and protect our nation as part of the United States Marine Corps we almost died (true story). Shannon Ihrke is originally from Minnesota and joined our Armed Services after two years of college. When she returned from serving this stunning 5’8″, 34-23-34 blonde made of 115 lbs of pure steel decided to serve our nation in a new way, by becoming a model. When we caught up with Shannon she was getting ready to take her talents on the road.
So how did a small town girl fresh out of military service end up as a ring girl from Los Angeles based Pro-Elite MMA? “I got a Facebook message from my boy Mike Camp. He does a lot of matchmaking around the Midwest. And he sent me a Facebook message saying you should do this ring girl contest for Pro-Elite. They’re looking for a new ring girl. And I was like ‘Yeah right. We can put it up, but I really don’t have a fan-base to go off of’” Shannon continued. “Sure enough I beat out the other girls. I think it was 500 votes or something like that. Something crazy. I went to Pro-Elite and they had an interview and stuff for me and sure enough I got picked to be their ring girl, and I’ve been doing it ever since.”
As beautiful as she is it was no coincidence that Shannon wouldn’t remain mixed martial arts secret forever. Named 2011 Maxim Hometown Hottie Finalist and also a centerfold for Maxim’s February lingerie issue, Shannon isn’t just a body with no brains. Talking about the future it became apparent that she definitely has a plan to stay in the sport she has grown to love. “My dream job right now would be to get with a fight organization and do it full time. My dream would be to be the spokesmodel for a fight organization or to do marketing for a fight organization. That’s what I am currently going to school for, marketing. So that is what my dream job would be. I absolutely fell in love with it. I really want to stick with the [MMA] realm. So it’s fighting, that niche, to make it a full time job.”
Of course with a four year military background that includes going through the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, a natural question occurs. If you want to be a part of mixed martial arts, why not as a fighter? “I loved it [being a Marine]. I get messages from other girls on Facebook asking me if its something I would recommend. And I tell everyone it’s the best decision I ever made in my life. I loved it. And every Marine wants to be an MMA fighter. We would get together and watch the fights” Shannon continued. “[And] I’ve thought about it. But I don’t know if I can actually go in and go where someone is going to repeatedly punch me in the face. I just don’t know if that is something I really want to do.”
At the tail end of our time with Shannon she took some time out to thank the people that have got her to where she is. “I have to thank Pro-Elite, King of the Cage, Fight Magazine and Sterling Entertainment. Those are the people who are rooting for me to do bigger stuff and to find my spot in the MMA world. And also I have to thank Maxim. Because after Maxim came out it’s when people really started noticing me. I have to think all of my military family, because they really are like my family. Also all the photographers and all the models that I have worked with. It’s everyone who has helped me get to my place, I owe them all a big thank you.”