Last night, OK! caught up with Twilight star Ashley Greene at NYC hot spot Avenue at the party to celebrate her upcoming Maxim cover. And while she may look like sweet and petite, Ashley is one mean fighting machine!

“I think part of it is that it’s really empowering maybe and part of it is because it’s fun,” the New Moon star explained about her passion for mixed martial arts. “It’s incredible to see what your body can do and what you’re capable of and not needing a weapon to defend yourself is a really great thing.”

Now that Ashley is a global superstar, she feels the ability to defend herself is very important.

“Absolutely. One, it puts my dad at ease gives him a little piece of mind,” she said. “I started doing martial arts when I was really young and I ended up sparring boys instead of girls because I was that into it and I didn’t want to beat up the girls. It’s a fun thing and I’ve always been really athletic.”

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Ashley would love to continue with her martial arts madness, especially after filming fight scenes for the saga’s just-wrapped third film, Eclipse.

“I’m definitely going to get more involved in it. When we were filming Eclipse we had fight training for about six weeks, so that kind of resparked that bug,” Ashley explained. “I had a personal trainer on top of it that Summit provided for us and they had us do MMA fighting, so I started doing that again as well.”

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