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It is a brutal sport that requires immense skill, years of sacrifice and a great deal of bravery.
Second in difficulty to being inside the octagon itself is most likely having to watch your loved one put their body on the line in front of a baying crowd.
But the most famous stars of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, more commonly known as the UFC, live very different lives with their partners away from the bright lights of fight night.
While some fighters are in long-term relationships with their childhood sweetheart, others are currently dating ring girls or have found love with female fighters in the sport.
MailOnline has taken a look at some of the rocks behind the rock-hard MMA fighters on the world’s biggest stage.
Dee Devlin, fiancé of Conor McGregor
Dee Devlin pictured at the Chopard Loves Cinema dinner at the 75th Cannes Film Festival in France in May last year
Dee pictured the screening of Elvis during the 75th annual Cannes film festival at Palais des Festivals on May 25, 2022
The couple first met back in 2008 when Conor McGregor was 19 and Dee was 20, and are now engaged
Dee and Conor attend the Chopard Gentleman’s Evening during the 75th annual Cannes film festival at Rooftop Hotel Martinez
The partner of the man who is notorious both in name and nature, Dee Devlin and Conor McGregor have been loved up since well before the Irishman shot to fame.
The couple met back in 2008 when Conor was 19 and Dee was 20.
The fighter had just quit his job as a plumbing apprentice and was struggling to make ends meet as he tried to pursue his passion, with Dee standing by him as he forged his career in the MMA industry.
They now share three children together – Conor Jr, Croia and Rían, and they got engaged in 2020 after 12 years of dating.
McGregor told The Sun: ‘She has helped me throughout this career. If it wasn’t for her, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today.’
Joana Prado, wife of Vitor Belfort
Joana Prado pictured in a daring outfit ahead of the Rio Carnival in Brazil back in 2001
Joana is seen dipping her toes in the water wearing a bikini on a beach in Honolulu, Hawaii on January 23, 2011
Belfort and Prado pictured together on the red carper outside the As Good As Dead film premiere at the Clarity Theater, Los Angeles, in April 2010
Prado kisses her husband after he defeated Anthony Johnson in a middleweight bout during UFC 142 at HSBC Arena on January 14, 2012 in Rio de Janeiro
Vitor Belfort made his UFC debut aged just 19 before rising to prominence and being now tied for third for the most finishes, with 14 knockout victories to his name.
He is married to Brazilian-American Joana Prado, with whom he has three children.
The former actress and model has featured in Playboy magazine on multiple occasions and now runs a series of gyms and fitness brands.
The couple met in 2000, initially splitting before rekindling their romance and marrying in 2003.
Kristie Jane McKeon, wife of Ross Pearson
Former UFC ring girl Kristie Jane McKeon met her husband and former fighter Ross Pearson through the sport
She has modelled for fitness magazines including Men’s Fitness, Women’s Health Fitness and the UFC’s own publication
McKeon often shares bikini pictures and romantic snapshots of her life with Sunderland-born Pearson in Australia
The couple moved to Australia in 2016 and have a daughter together
Sunderland-born Ross Pearson, 38, is understood to have met his wife Kristie Jane McKenon through the UFC.
She has modelled for fitness magazines including Men’s Fitness, Women’s Health Fitness and the UFC’s own publication.
The former ring girl moved to Australia with Pearson in 2016, where they had a daughter together.
Speaking previously to the Sun, the fighter said: ‘If I wasn’t fighting in the UFC I would never have met my wife, I would never have had my daughter in Australia, I would never be living here in Australia.’
Amber Nichole Miller, wife of Tito Ortiz
Amber Nichole Miller pictured on the red carper arriving at the Maxim Halloween Party in October 2021
The actress has appeared in a number of US adverts and has hosted modeling competitions on TV
Ortiz and Miller pictured at the tenth annual Guys Choice Awards at the Sony Pictures Studio in Culver City, California, in 2016
The couple attend the MTV Movie & TV Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles in May 2017
UFC legend and former light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz met his current partner Amber Nichole Miller through the UFC years before they started dating in 2014.
Ortiz previously dated and had twins with ‘the Queen of Porn’ Jenna Jameson before their unceremonious split in 2013.
Amber, meanwhile, was one of the first ever UFC ring girls and made her debut the same night her future husband fought in 2002.
The actress has appeared in a number of US adverts and has hosted modeling competitions on TV.
The couple became engaged in August 2021 before getting married last year.
Clark Gilmer, wife of Kenny Florian
Kenny Florian and Clark Gilmer, arrive at the sixth annual Fighters Only World Mixed Martial Arts Awards in January 2014
The couple pictured on the red carpet at the Ultimate Fighter’ season premiere party at Lure in September 2014
Born in Pinehurst, North California, she married former UFC fighter Kenny Florian, 47, in October 2014
The couple pictured attending America’s Next Top Model Cycle 21 premiere party in Los Angeles in August 2014
Clark Gilmer, 34, rose to prominence after competing in the popular US series America’s Next Top Model in 2008.
Born in Pinehurst, North California, she married former UFC fighter Kenny Florian, 47, in October 2014. They have two children together.
Clark also made a brief appearance in Ben Affleck’s Oscar-winning film Argo, as well as appearances on TV shows such as Millionaire Matchmaker.
Brittany Smith, wife of Chael Sonnen
Chael Sonnen and his wife Brittany Smith walk the red carpet as they arrive at Sahara Casino and Resort for Fighterss Only World MMA Awards on December 8 last year
Chael and Brittany pictured at the UFC 146 at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on May 206, 2012
Retired UFC star Chael Sonnen fought in a number of MMA promotions during a career that started back in 1997. But it was a chance encounter that led to him meeting the love of his life.
After two years of dating, the couple became married in July 2013. They have a son and daughter together named Thero and Pria. Their third child Blauna Dian tragically died shortly after birth.
Speaking on the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Sonnen said: ‘I met her at a flight. She was passing through. It was a three-story building. I saw on the bottom floor and she got away.
‘And I searched the whole building for her and I found her on the middle floor. I went up to her, and I just said my phone is dead. I’ve got to make a phone call.
‘She loaned me her phone. I called myself. Oh, my phone wasn’t dead. I felt it vibrate, and I handed her phone back and then I text her instantly and said careful who you lose your phone to a lo. Had the number, took her out the next night and told her “I’m gonna marry you”.’
Ryan Marie Carney, wife of Stipe Miocic
Ryan Marie Carney and Stipe Miocic pictured during the UFC 205 event at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2016
Prior to becoming a full-time MMA fighter, Stipe, the former UFC heavyweight champion, worked as a part-time firefighter with his wife’s brother
The couple are understood to have met through Ryan’s wife, but were initially seeing other people before they began dating seven years later.
Prior to becoming a full-time MMA fighter, Stipe, the former UFC heavyweight champion, worked as a part-time firefighter with his wife’s brother.
The couple have a daughter together after marrying in Ohio in 2016, three years after they finally began dating.
Carney is a nurse, having previously worked in beauty and cosmetology. Speaking about her husband recently, she said: ‘I’m always just worried about injuries and making sure he walks out with very minor injuries, hopefully.
‘As a nurse and as his wife, God forbid he’d have to go to the hospital there. It’s a very different system.’
Mindy Robinson, partner of and Randy Couture
Mindy Robinson pictured on the red carper at the You Can’t Have It film premiere in Los Angeles, March 2017
Mindy pictured outside the premiere of Mechanic: Resurrection in Los Angeles on August 22, 2016
Actress Mindy (pictured in July 2016) is most known for her roles in Take Me Out and King of the Nerds
Randy and Mindy pictured at the premiere of the first Creed film in Los Angeles on November 19, 2015
Randy also tried his hand at acting with a role in The Expendables (pictured at the premiere in August 2014)
The model, actress and reality TV show personality, 41, began dating the UFC hall of famer around 2014.
She is most known for her roles in Take Me Out and King of the Nerds. Couture has also tried his hand at acting, having appeared in The Expendables alongside Sylvester Stallone.
Couture was previously married and has three children: sons Ryan and Caden, and daughter Aimee.
He suffered a heart attack and had to receive emergency surgery in October 2019.
Seager McCullah Condit, wife of Carlos Condit
Carlos Condit and Seager McCullah pictured at a UFC event at the Honda Centre in Anaheim, California, in November 2011
The welterweight fighter met his wife and fitness fan Seager met in 2005 while training at the same gym, where Carlos was teaching kickboxing.
They got married five years later, shortly after having a son together.
Following the birth of his son, Carlos said: ”It’s definitely changed me. Everybody says that, it’s kind of cliché, that it changes you forever but it’s true. Absolutely.’
Megan Olivi, husband of Joseph Benavidez
Megan Olivi was on the judging panel for the Miss Universe contest held in Las Vegas in November 2017
Olivi is seen presenting during the UFC 288 event at the Prudential Center in New Jersey earlier this month
Megan studied political science and Seton Hall University before completing a Masters in Broadcast Journalist at Fordham
The couple pictured together attending the 15th anniversary celebrations of the Vegas Magazine at the Red Rock Casino in May 2018
Megan Olivi presents the UFC’s major events and travels around the world in her role with the promotion.
Born in New Jersey, she studied political science and Seton Hall University before completing a Masters in Broadcast Journalist at Fordham. Megan then began an internship with Fox News, before taking up a full-time role.
She subsequently took on a gig with the UFC, which later signed a TV deal with Fox. She has also been a judge in the Miss Universe Pageant.
Her husband Joseph Benavidez was a UFC flyweight contender before announcing his retirement in September 2021.
The couple met in 2009 and are understood to have quickly bonded, before marrying in 2015.
Speaking about his wife, Benavidez said: ‘It’s more impressive that she can shine at the forefront and spotlight of the company, but also to me just be the most amazing wife ever.’
Rebecca Dillashaw, wife of TJ Dillashaw
The couple pose for a photo following TJ’s victory over Cody Garbrandt at UFC 227 in August 2018
Rebecca and TJ pictured arriving at the seventh annual Fighters Only World Mixed Martial Arts Awards in Las Vegas in January 2015
The couple pictured UFC 182 event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on January 3, 2015 in Las Vegas
The childhood sweethearts met when they were both studying in college and Rebecca was a keen supporter of TJ’s career in the UFC until his recent retirement.
Both born in California, Rebecca studied Visual Communications and has worked in the corporate sector since graduating, including roles at MTV and Lionakis.
The dog-loving couple married in 2014 and have a child together.
Speaking about his career, TJ said: ‘One of the reasons why I’m fighting is because of my wife. I don’t want to be a physician’s assistant and she knew that I would not be good in an office for eight hours a day.’
Ronda Rousey, wife of Travis Browne
Ronda became an icon and pioneer of female fighting in the UFC, before turning to the world of wrestling
Ronda pictured during a wrestling match in Rome, Italy, in November 2016
Rousey pictured sitting in the middle of a ring following her WWE bout at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in August 2018
Rousey pictured in her role as Lena Bosko in the US television series 9-1-1, which explores the high-pressure life of first responders
Ronda pictured attending the Los Angeles Family Housing Awards in Los Angeles in April 2019
The couple began dating around 2015 and wed in Hawaii on August 28, 2017 after Browne’s proposed under a waterfall in New Zealand
Rousey and Browne pictured together at the Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Center in Los Angeles in February 2019
Ronda became an icon and pioneer of female fighting in the UFC, while her husband Travis also competed in the promotion as a heavyweight.
Prior to her career in the UFC, where she was the first women’s bantamweight champion, Ronda took home a bronze medal from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and has since been competing in the WWE.
The couple began dating around 2015 and wed in Hawaii on August 28, 2017 after Browne’s super romantic proposal under a waterfall in New Zealand.
They also have a daughter, La’akea Makalapuaokalanipo Browne, together.
Travis was already a father, with two children named Kaleo and Keawe from a previous marriage.
Rena Marlette Lesnar, wife of Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar uploaded this picture to his Instagram with the caption: ‘Rare pic of beast with his wife’
Rena Marlette Lesnar, ten years older than her husband, first rose to notoriety as a professional wrestler competing under the name Sable in the World Wrestling Federation promotion.
Brock himself forged a succesful career in wrestling before turning his attention to the UFC, where he seized the heavyweight belt from Randy Couture in just his third fight with the organisation in 2008.
The couple, who married in 2006, have both retired from their respective sports and live together on a farm in Maryfield with their two sons.
Jennifer Mir, wife of Frank Mir
The couple met when they were working at the same strip club, where Frank was a bouncer
he couple married in 2004 and have four children together, along with two grandchildren
Jennifer and Frank pictured during the Nevada Ballet Theatre’s 28th Annual Woman Of The Year Ball at Aria in CityCenter, Las Vegas, on January 28, 2012
Now a businesswoman with her own salon, Jennifer and Frank Mir met when they were working at the same Spearmint Rhino strip club.
The couple married in 2004 and have four children and two grandchildren.
Frank, first won the UFC heavyweight title in 2004, owns a win over Brock Lesnar, was UFC interim heavyweight champion in 2008 and last fought for the UFC in 2019.
Their daughter Bella, signed the UFC’s first ever name, Image and likeness (NIL) deal earlier this year. She is a freshman at the University of Iowa and competes for the school’s women’s wrestling team.
Abby Raines, wife of Chad Mendes
Mendes and his wife Abby pose for a selfie uploaded to his Instagram account
Mendes now competed in the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship, admitting that it took ‘a little persuading’ for his wife to accept the idea
Abby and Chad arrive at the seventh annual Fighters Only World Mixed Martial Arts Awards at The Palazzo Las Vegas on January 30, 2015
The couple married in Kirkwood, California, in 2017 and have young daughter Abby together, who was born two years later
The former West Virginia University volleyball player, 6ft 1in, towers over her former UFC featherweight fighter husband, who is 5ft 6in.
The couple married in Kirkwood, California, in 2017 and have young daughter Abby together, who was born two years later.
Mendes now competed in the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship, admitting that it took ‘a little persuading’ for his wife to accept the idea.
Destiny Johnson, wife of Demetrious Johnson
Known as the Mighty Wife, in reference to Demetrious’ nickname of ‘Mighty Mouse’, has a number of different jobs after attending Pierce College in Los Angeles
Destiny Johnson pictured celebrating after her husband’s victory over Ray Borg at UFC 216 in Las Vegas in October 2017
The couple pictured attending the opening night for R.U.N – The First Live Action Thriller at theLuxor Hotel and Casino on November 14, 2019
Demetrious has credited overcoming his tough childhood to his wife Destiny, who he says is the best thing that has ever happened to him
Destiny pictured in the crowd during her husband’s appearance at ONE Championship Fight Night 10 in Denver, Colorado, earlier this month
The couple pictured in attendance together at the UFC 199 event at The Forum on June 4, 2016 in Inglewood, California
Known as the Mighty Wife, in reference to Demetrious’ nickname of ‘Mighty Mouse’, has a number of different jobs after attending Pierce College in Los Angeles.
One of the pound-for-pound greats of the sport and the former UFC flyweight champion, Demetrious endured a tough childhood in which he had a death mother, an abusive stepfather and never met his biological father.
He has credited overcoming it to Destiny, who he says is the best thing that has ever happened to him.
The couple met when Destiny was working at a Red Lobster and married four years later in Hawaii in 2012. They have three children together.
Miesha Tate, wife of Johnny Nunez
Miesha Tate pictured posing in a pink dress outside the ESPN Body at the ESPYS party in Los Angeles in July 2013
Miesha flexes her muscles during the pre-fight weigh-in ahead of her fight at UFC 168 in December 2013
The former UFC bantamweight champion pictured in attendance at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards in December 2014
Miesha and Johnny have two children together – three-year-old daughter Amaia and 19-month-old son Daxton
The former UFC bantamweight champion made her relationship with fellow MMA fighter Johnny Nunez public in January 2018.
Nunez has not fought in the UFC, but has competed in Bellator and the ONE Championship.
Miesha has appeared on the celebrity edition of the US Big Brother and sometimes works as a pundit on MMA fights.
She has two children with her husband – three-year-old daughter Amaia and 19-month-old son Daxton.