Marina Shafir is currently thriving in All Elite Wrestling. After signing to Tony Khan’s company at the end of 2021, Shafir is slowly becoming a big name. She has previously challenged for the AEW TBS Championship and the AEW Women’s Championship, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see her hold either of those two belts in the future.
Besides AEW, Shafir has also wrestled in WWE. She was among four MMA Horsewomen there, where she remained for three years. Shafir is an incredible performer in the ring with an impressive athletic background. Here are some interesting facts about Marina Shafir.
9 MMA background
Since Marina Shafir was one of WWE’s Four Horsemen, it was obvious that she had an MMA background. She was a professional MMA fighter and had a four-year career, starting in 2012.
First of all, Shafir started her career as an amateur fighter. She had a terrific run there, winning all five of her amateur bouts. Later, she rose through the ranks and became a professional fighter. She participated in three fights at the highest level.
8 Homegrown WWE Talent
Being the best professional wrestling company in the world, WWE has a global presence. While the company hires talent from different parts of the world, WWE also likes to recruit talent from different sporting backgrounds.
The recruitment of MMA talent is not 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 that. She trained at the WWE Performance Center, making her a local WWE talent.
seven 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 quite an impressive resume, which eventually led her to pursue a career in mixed martial arts, before eventually moving into professional wrestling.
6 A judo expert
Every MMA fighter has a fighting style. Fighters can master different styles of martial arts such as wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, boxing, karate, judo, etc. These martial arts are commonly used in top MMA promotions.
Similarly, Marina Sharif specializes in judo which has helped her in MMA. That’s part of why she and Ronda Rousey hit it off so well as friends, with Rousey being a former judoka herself. Sharif started her judo training at the age of six and entered a judo competition for the first time when she was only twelve years old. But in her late teens, she gave up her judo career.
5 Marina Shafir is 5’7
Like the majority of professional wrestlers, Marina Shafir keeps herself in top form. She has broad shoulders and a toned physique, even in her last run in AEW. Shafir’s official height is 5 feet 7 inches, which is definitely tall for a woman.
She is the same size as Britt Baker. Marina Shafir weighs around 145 pounds. During his 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 twenties. When she was recruited by WWE in 2018, she was already 30 years old. She was born in April 1988, which means she is currently 34 years old.
She is older than Britt Baker, Jade Cargill, Jamie Hayter, Penelope Ford and many more names in the AEW Women’s Division. However, given her exceptional level of fitness, she still has plenty of years left in her career as a professional wrestler.
3 Good friend of Ronda Rousey
Marina Shafir and Ronda Rousey have some similarities. Besides being veterans of MMA, they are good at judo. However, Shafir has never competed at Rousey’s level in either 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 one of four MMA riders in WWE. They became close friends due to their similar athletic backgrounds, and they still share a good bond in real life. Unfortunately, WWE’s four MMA riders have never performed in the WWE ring as a team.
2 RAW Underground was his only main roster appearance in WWE
Even though Marina Shafir spent three years in NXT, she spent her entire WWE career in the development brand. As an MMA rider, she was a sidekick to Shayna Baszler early in her NXT career. Then she competed in NXT for a few years, including as a tag team partner to fellow MMA rider Jessamyn Duke.
Marina Shafir has never officially made her WWE main roster debut. The only time she was on WWE RAW was when she fought in RAW Underground. She won the MMA-inspired fight. It’s a shame that Shafir never got to show off her skills 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 definitely an NXT veteran. He is still part of the developmental brand, making his NXT career spanning six years. The former Undisputed Era member is a former NXT North American Champion.
Roderick is Marina Shafir’s husband. However, they met and started dating long before Shafir became a professional wrestler. The couple got engaged in 2015 and walked down the aisle in 2018. The couple also have a son.