Bellator ring girl Mercedes Terrell caught the eye of president Bjorn Rebney in 2009 when she sent in a funny, homemade video to the upstart fight promotion. Now, this Orange County, CA, beauty dazzles MMA fans every Thursday night on Spike TV with her curves, quick wit, and powerful t-shirt launcher. Take a gander and find out her favorite fighter (Alexander Shlemenko), when she’ll do Playboy (probably never), and why she was caught naked in a tub with Jade Bryce and Jimmy Smith (use your imagination).
MMA fans love their ring girls. What’s been the weirdest fan experience you’ve had?
I don’t know if this is an MMA fan or not, but I have a strange stalker following me on my social media sites. A lot of people make fake profiles of me, and I’ve had several instances where—I don’t know if you’ve seen the show Catfish, but basically those same things are happening to the extent of I’ve had someone get engaged to someone who is pretending to be me. I’ve had someone who said they were dating me in person for like six months until they finally hit up my website and figured out it wasn’t me.
What do you tell someone who thinks they’ve been dating you—and then BAM, they figure out they’ve been duped?
Honestly, it’s kind of heartbreaking because they’ve obviously had this relationship built up in their heads. I just have to break it to them and say, ‘This is the only real page for me, and I’m sorry to let you down, but you have not been dating me, nor do I live in Texas and have three kids.’
I feel like there’s a reality show in the works here.
Maybe. Apparently, I have several clones out there. However, there’s only one me.
Who’s your favorite fighter?
I have a lot, but I have to say Alexander Schlemenko. He’s just so badass—he’s like the Russian Chuck Norris. He’s so entertaining to watch in the cage every single time. Before this, my dad wasn’t even a fan of MMA, but now that he’s watched Schlemenko, he’s hooked on it. He watches every show.
What’s the loudest moment you’ve ever experienced in a Bellator arena?
February 21, 2013, in Salt Lake City was legitimately the loudest Bellator crowd. It was amazing. Canada is usually the answer to that. We get some fights in the crowd. They get a little rowdy, and they are always really loud and participate a lot during the fights. In Salt Lake City, first off, the fights were amazing, so that helps. We had a knockout in almost every fight. The crowd was literally on their feet the entire time. They did not sit down one time. Salt Lake City’s crowd was the best.
I saw a picture floating around of you, Bellator ring card girl Jade Bryce, and commentator Jimmy Smith in a bubble bath together…naked. Care to elaborate?
We are on the road together—me, Jimmy, Jade, and the entire Bellator crew—most of the year and most of each week. I see these people more than anyone else in my life. We call ourselves ‘The Traveling Circus’ because that’s really what we are. We need to be able to entertain ourselves. We have a sick sense of humor sometimes. Maybe we get carried away with it, I don’t know, but as long as people enjoy it. We do these little skits. That week, we had a bubble bath in our room. First of all, Jimmy likes to do this douche bag skit. So we always figure out a way to incorporate me and Jade into Jimmy being a douche bag—it’s pretty easy. We got into the bathtub and Jimmy is basically talking about how there are so many risks being in the Bellator crew, so we always practice safe bath-tubbing, which means always bathing with a buddy. It might sound weird when I’m saying it now—you have to watch the skit.
Are you aware of how much Jimmy talks about you girls on air?
I try to watch the shows. This last season, I’ve been begging for them to get us audio at our seats—me and Jade—because we sit cageside every week and watch the fights go down but we don’t get to listen to the commentary that Jimmy and Sean Wheelock are doing until we go back and watch the fights on TV. I don’t get to watch the fights on TV until the offseason. They did give us audio at the end of last season, but it’s based on the venue we are in. So no, I don’t get to hear what Jimmy says about us until I watch the replays, but I know Jimmy well enough I can probably figure it out.
I read somewhere that you never would pose for Playboy. Is there no price tag to your goods?
I never say ‘never’ to anything. However, I’ve been approached several times by them and…it’s not about a price tag. If I ever made the decision to do something nude, it wouldn’t ever be about the price. I’m a workaholic, and I have no problem working and making money, so that’s not the issue. I think it’s just that, why do I need to? I don’t. I think women are beautiful. I see why guys want to see them naked. I don’t want to have a reason to ever tell my boyfriend, for instance, ‘I didn’t leave something for you.’ It leaves something for mystery and something for the guy I’m going to end up with forever. I run around the house naked, but I don’t need to make that public. I think I need to save that for my husband [laughing].
Let’s do a little speed round or we’ll end up talking about you naked the whole time. Favorite booze?
Stoli Honey. I’ve literally mixed it with every kind of juice.
Worst pick-up line ever heard?
While I was signing posters, some guy in line told me he gets off to my posters. It was so awkward. What do you say to that? Security!
Dream pillow fight opponent?
My favorite movie is The Fifth Element, and I love Milla Jovovich in that movie. She’s the perfect being, right? She’s the supreme being.
I think my sense of humor.
Tips for working the t-shirt launcher at Bellator events?
First of all, everyone is so afraid of me. Bjorn sent one of our guys to tell me not to shoot so low because he’s worried I’ll shoot someone in the face. I’m an expert at the t-shirt gun by now, and sometimes people need to be shot in the face. If you notice every week, I’m the one who operates it because Jade is afraid of it.
Photos by Paul Thatcher
Makeup by MARAZ