This was probably not the way Kristina Sprague drew it up.
The first day on a new job is always tough. And boy, does Sprague ever know it. There she was, the newest New England Fights ring girl. Just trying to carry the round card around the cage per instructions. So imagine the scene when a referee stopped her mid-sashay to inform her that, you know, that guy she had just walked by? The one lying on the ground with no shirt on and a team of people standing over him? He was a fighter, and he had just lost the fight. Ergo, fight concluded. No more rounds. No more round cards. No more round card girls.
The difference between this and the average noob's failed attempt to locate the water cooler is that the latter misadventure doesn't often find its way to YouTube. And when it does, it probably doesn't attract 3.2 million pairs of eyeballs, as Sprague's had as of Monday afternoon. But thanks to this crazy world of ours, that's where Sprague finds herself, spread-eagled across the cold and hungry and oh-so-worldwide web.
But give the young lady credit: She learned well the lesson of Batman Begins, and as such appeared Monday on The MMA Hour broadcast with host Ariel Helwani to flash her most sheepish grin and let the MMA world know it hadn't driven her into clandestine, Bartmanesque retreat just yet.
"I didn't see the guy get knocked out, and no one told me that once the ref waves his arms, the fight's over," Sprague explained. "So I thought it was my turn to go in. I was running on like three hours of sleep, to be fair, because I had worked the night before. And it was my first time doing it, so I was a little confused."
Sprague, who said she works mainly for an adult products company, recalled her real-time reaction when the ref broke the news.
"I didn't realize until I had reached the other end of the cage," Sprague said. "One of the refs told me. I had no idea, and I was really embarrassed. My face got a little red. I just went over and sat back down with my tail between my legs."
But the hits keep on coming for Sprague. Another unfortunate video—posted, as was the original, by the promotion itself—shows Sprague proudly lofting the round card for the wrong round (see video below). Good news for Sprague, though: That one only has about 23,000 views so far.
Do you, Helwani asked, hope to man the cards again for New England Fights?
"I hope so," she bravely responded.
But Helwani was not done firing hard balls. Was she an MMA fan? "Yes, I am," she replied. Does she look up to Arianny Celeste and Brittany Palmer?
"I never really got to know the fighters by name," she responded.
Helwani was then forced to inform her that those names belonged not to fighters, but to the UFC's two most popular Octagon Girls.
But hey, no one can take away her sense of perspective and good sportsmanship. And that is, in the end, what matters.
"I was a little bit upset that they caught my mistake on camera," she said. "But it's on there whether I like it or not, so I might as well enjoy it."
That's the spirit.