Amy Elisa Keith
January 28, 2008 12:00 PM

WOLF

DON YATES, 37

Hometown: Phoenix

Previous Job: Rodeo clown for 23 years

How he got his name

“When I walked in to meet [the NBC show’s producers], I kicked the door and let out this howl. Then through training they saw I was vicious, and one producer said, ‘You’re like a rabid wolf.’ The name just stuck.” And the howl became his show signature.

Built tough

“In 2006 a bull rammed a horn into my back five to nine inches deep. So Gladiators is like a playground. I’ve been fighting 2,000-lb. animals for years. There’s no contender that’s going to hurt me.”

Beauty and the Beast

Wife, Shari, 42, is a fitness model. “We have eight kids: five dogs, two cats and a horse. We all watch the show!”

CRUSH

GINA CARANO, 25

Hometown: Las Vegas

Previous job: Cage fighter

How she got her name

“They say that I crush people in the cage and that they then have a crush on me,” says the youngest Gladiator, who’s single. “I fought a girl in a cage match, and she said, ‘I don’t know whether to knock her out or kiss her.'”

Biggest adjustment

“I had to go from fighting every day to people putting makeup on me and straightening my hair. I didn’t care what I looked like before!”

What’s scarier than the Gauntlet?

Spandex. “I was really nervous because I didn’t know how I looked in it. But it’s not that bad!”

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