Even at the top levels of MMA, fighters must do more than fight to maintain a living. For UFC women’s 135-pound veteran Julie “Fireball” Kedzie, she’s been able to supplement her income with acting and stunt work.
Most recently, Kedzie appeared on the June 24 edition of A&E’s hit series Longmire. She portrayed, what else, but an MMA fighter in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo along with fellow Jackson’s MMA fighters Jodie Esquibel and reigning Invicta FC 105-pound champion Michelle “Karate Hottie” Waterson.
“I’ve done a couple of stunt roles before and I’m SAG (Screen Actors Guild) now and am working within the New Mexico community mostly,” said Kedzie. “It was a great experience and was very, very different from real fighting.
“It’s kind of nerve-wrecking when you don’t get it right because then you have to do it again. You’re not supposed to make contact with the other person, and I want to punch people in the face for real. So it was hard, but was a really cool opportunity.”
Kedzie had previously appeared in the pilot episode of CBS’s Vegas series, as well as the upcoming film 50 to 1. Along with acting, Kedzie will be returning to the commentator’s table, doing color for Invicta FC 6 on July 13 in Kansas City.
“I’m excited about it and am really, really impressed with the match-ups,” she said. “Even the last-minute match-ups that are happening right now are really intriguing.
“My teammate Norma Center just stepped up (replacing Sarah Schneider) to fight Joanne Calderwood and then I saw that Charmaine Tweet is stepping in for Julia Budd against Ediene Gomes. These last-minute match-ups are a real testament to how well Janet Martin and Shannon Knapp know female fighters and how to match them up and make the best fights possible.”
On top of everything she’s doing outside the cage, Kedzie has begun training for her promotional debut at UFC on Fox 8 against Germaine de Randamie, which takes place on July 27 in Seattle.
“I’m in camp and I’m trying to balance out the stunt work and the commentary with my training and it’s a lot on my plate right now, but I like to keep busy,” said Kedzie. “It actually keeps my mind more focused on my fight the more activity I have. It sounds counter-intuitive, but really I’m the happiest when I have a lot to do and can move one thing to the next.”
Even with her ever expanding career opportunities, Kedzie told MMAWeekly.com that fighting is still the driving force in her life and she is as dedicated to the sport now as she’s ever been.
“My fight career takes first priority,” she said. “I really like these opportunities, but everything is secondary to MMA. I do these other things to financially help support my MMA, and all of this is to help build me as a recognizable fighter and that people know me.
“I’ll never be a Hollywood actor. I can’t act, and anyone I’ve done a stunt with will tell you that. I’m great at falling down and jumping around, but actual acting is not my thing. I love fighting anything that can help me pay my coaches a little bit more and makes me feel more secure; it’s a great thing to have.”