Azusa Nishigaki will be bringing some local flavor to UFC 144 when she works as an Octagon girl for tonight's return to Japan. Nishigaki was a Miss Japan finalist and has been around the pageant scene for quite some time. She was actually featured in a 2008 Today.com article about the "dirty secrets" of the pageant scene in which she discussed her initial failings to get in the running for Miss Universe and even the fact that she doesn't like how her ears look:
"I know some people don't respect beauty contests," she said. "But this one really appeals to me. It's not just about being cute and pretty. You have to be cool and smart. Miss Universe is the woman I want to be."
Ligron didn't think Miss Universe wanted her, however. Nishigaki, 23, failed the initial audition, but she pressed Ligron, and got another chance.
"I told her I could change," Nishigaki said. "And I did. I dyed my hair, I changed my clothes, my walk, my look. I think I have what it takes."
Nishigaki, meanwhile, is still undecided about whether she will keep her earlobes.
"But I think that getting them fixed could make me more confident," she said. "And that's what really counts."
After the jump, you can check out an interview Ariel Helwani did with Nishigaki ahead of her Octagon debut.
Interview with Azusa Nishigaki: