A Japanese girl by way of Vancouver took a chance and now she’s reaching for the stars.
The diminutive young girl with dreams of becoming a star quickly made her way to a customer to take his order.
That was life for Maya T. back in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada where she makes her home. She worked in a restaurant to add to her savings, while she worked her way up to college and to pay the bills. It was another way to hone her adopted English language as she was born in Japan but relocated to North America at a young age.
“Back in Vancouver, only my co-workers or classmates knew my name,” recalled the 5-foot-4 bombshell who has since made a name for herself as a ONE FC ring girl.
While surfing the net looking for some work, she came across ONE FC’s web page and she found it impressive. “I wrote them asking if they were looking for a ring girl and a few days later, Victor (Cui, the MMA organization’s president and chief executive officer) wrote me. Before I knew it, I was making my debut at ONE FC: Moment of Truth in Manila last December.”
Maya admits that the transition to ring girl was relatively easy for her as she once competed in some bikini contests back in Canada where she won.
When walking around the catwalk of the ONE FC cage, she’s the recipient of many cat calls and words of admiration from the crowd and the people scattered around the area. “Thankfully, no one has been rude,” she revealed. “So I guess I am lucky. But the fans have been really good though.”
It isn’t only the fans who have been good to Maya. Good things are happening. As a ring girl, doors have opened for a burgeoning modeling career. “I haven’t become rich or anything,” Maya of her newfound fame. “But I am all right with it because I am learning a lot of things. The important thing is to be noticed and do a lot of gigs because it will open even more doors.”
But as her modeling career was taking off, her parents, conservative traditional Japanese folks, talked to her about her baring skin. “They are only concerned,” Maya admitted. “But as long as I don’t do anything dumb or where I am compromising myself, they are fine with it.”
MMA isn’t something new to her. When the opportunity presented itself, she followed the now-defunct Pride Fighting Championships back in her native Japan. “I can’t really say I was a die-hard fan. I only followed it casually. But I have always watched sports. Living in Vancouver, I have become a hockey fan and I sometimes go to watch the (NHL’s Vancouver) Canucks. Go, Canucks!”
With ONE FC, she now follows MMA a little more religiously. “I’ve got a front row seat to all the action. It’s impossible not to become a fan or learn the sport,” she said of her MMA 101. “I am really enjoying being in the middle of this.”
“And one of the best things about being a part of all of this is I get to travel,” gushed the girl with the big dreams.
“I know being a ring girl isn’t forever,” she admitted. “I honestly am not sure what to do just yet. I know that right now, I am enjoying myself with all of this.”
After the conclusion of the most recent ONE FC event, Honor and Glory, Maya said she was flying back to Vancouver the following day to resume her old life. But with one difference she added.
Since her ONE FC debut, she no longer works anonymously at that Vancouver Japanese restaurant.
“They now call me, ‘Maya.’”