Marina Shafir is currently thriving in All Elite Wrestling. After signing for Tony Khan’s company at the end of 2021, Shafir is gradually becoming an important name. She has already challenged the AEW TBS Championship and the AEW Women’s Championship, and it would not be surprising to see her holding either of these two belts in the future.
Besides AEW, Shafir has also wrestled in WWE. She was among the four MMA Horsewomen there, where she stayed for three years. Shafir is an amazing performer in the ring with an impressive athletic background. These are some interesting facts about Marina Shafir.
9 MMA Background
Since Marina Shafir was part of WWE’s four horsewomen, it was obvious that she had a background in MMA. She was a professional MMA fighter and had a career of four years, starting in 2012.
First, Shafir started his career as an amateur fighter. She enjoyed a stupendous run there, as she won all her five amateur fights. Later, she ascended the ladder and became a professional fighter. She competed in three fights at the highest level.
8 Homegrown WWE Talent
Being the top professional wrestling company in the world, WWE has a global presence. While the company hires talents from different parts of the world, WWE also likes recruiting talents from different sporting backgrounds.
Recruiting talents from MMA isn’t uncommon in WWE, as there have been many such names, including Ronda Rousey and Ken Shamrock. WWE signed Marina Shafir in 2018, and her MMA background played a key role in it. She trained at the WWE Performance Center, making her a homegrown talent of WWE.
7 Born In Moldova
When Marina Sharif signed for WWE, she became the first and only Moldovan-born talent to be signed by the company.
Moldova is a country in Eastern Europe. Shafir has Moldovan parents, and she came to the United States at a young age. From there, she built up quite an impressive athletic resume, which ultimately led her to pursuing a mixed martial arts career, before eventually transitioning to professional wrestling.
6 A Specialist In Judo
Every MMA fighter has a fighting style. Fighters can be proficient in different styles of martial arts such as wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, boxing, karate, judo, etc. These martial arts are commonly used styles in top MMA promotions.
Likewise, Marina Sharif specializes in Judo, which has helped her in MMA. It was part of why her de ella and Ronda Rousey hit it off as friends so well, with Rousey being a former judoka herself. Sharif started her Judo training at the age of six and competed in Judo competition for the first time when she was just twelve years old. But in her late teen years, she quit her judo career.
5 Marina Shafir Is 5’7
Like a majority of professional wrestlers, Marina Shafir keeps herself in great shape. She has broad shoulders and a toned physique, even during her latest run in AEW. Shafir’s official height for her is 5 feet and 7 inches, which is certainly tall for a woman.
She is the same height as Britt Baker. Marina Shafir weighs around 145 pounds. During her MMA career, Shafir fought in the Featherweight division.
4 She Is 34 Years Old
Marina Shafir became an MMA fighter when she was in her mid-20s. When she got recruited by WWE in 2018, she was already 30 years old. She was born in April 1988, meaning she is currently 34 years old.
She is older than the likes of Britt Baker, Jade Cargill, Jamie Hayter, Penelope Ford, and many more names of the AEW women’s division. However, considering her tremendous fitness level, she has a lot of years left in her professional wrestling career.
3 Good Friend Of Ronda Rousey
Marina Shafir and Ronda Rousey have some similarities. Other than being former MMA fighters, they are skilled in Judo. However, Shafir has never competed at the level of Rousey either in MMA or Judo. While Rousey won an Olympic bronze medal in Judo, she also won the UFC Women’s Championship in MMA.
Led by Ronda Rousey, Marina Shafir was part of four MMA horsewomen in WWE. They became close friends due to similar athletic backgrounds, and they still share a good bond in real life. Unfortunately, the four MMA horsewomen of WWE never performed in the WWE ring as a team.
two RAW Underground Was Her Only Main Roster Appearance In WWE
Even though Marina Shafir spent three years in NXT, she spent her entire WWE career in the developmental brand. As an MMA horsewoman, she was a sidekick of Shayna Baszler at the beginning of her NXT career. Then she competed in NXT for a couple of years, notably as the tag team partner of fellow MMA horsewoman, Jessamyn Duke.
Marina Shafir never officially made her main roster debut in WWE. The only time she was on WWE RAW was when she fought in RAW Underground. She won the MMA-inspired bout. It’s a shame Shafir never got to showcase her skills from Ella on the main roster, but luckily she seems to have found a nice home in AEW.
1 Marina Shafir Is Married To Roderick Strong
Roderick Strong is certainly a veteran in NXT. He is still part of the developmental brand, making his NXT career six years long. The former Undisputed Era member is a one-time NXT North American Champion.
Roderick is the husband of Marina Shafir. However, they met each other and started dating way before Shafir became a professional wrestler. The couple got engaged in 2015 and walked down the aisle in 2018. The couple also has a son.