By Nick Portella
Hello MMA world. I had the opportunity to sit down with WMMA fighter Jessica-Rose Clark. At the age of 29 she has a professional MMA record of 6-3 with wins coming via TKO x2, submission x2, and decision x2 with 1 no contest. Her three professional losses came via decision. Her last fight took place November 2016. Clark is a bantamweight fighting out of Australian Top team.
Without further delay let’s sit with Jessica and get to know a little bit more about her.
Nick: What does it mean (for you) to be a fighter?
Jessica: I’m not entirely sure how to answer this question in a way that will make sense to anybody who isn’t living this lifestyle. I’m not just a fighter. I’m an athlete. A mixed martial artist. A student. A coach. A teammate. A punching bag. A bendy straw. A sister. A friend. A sounding board. This isn’t just about being a fighter, it’s about believing in what you’re doing with every ounce of your being and living your days working towards that idea of perfection.
Nick: What age did you begin to train martial arts?
Jessica: I started super late. I think 22/23? I made the decision to do this full time when I was 25 so it has been such a short time frame!
Nick: What disciplines do you train and what belts do you hold in them?
Jessica: I train all disciplines. I started with kickboxing and that will always be my first love. I am a blue belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu, but the best part of MMA is that even though we train all the individual disciplines, MMA is an individual style in its own right.
Nick: What made you decide to pursue fighting as a career?
Jessica: I spent my whole life traveling and wandering, both physically and mentally. I get bored really quickly and am always looking for the next adventure. When I discovered MMA and combat sports however, it was the first thing in my life that I didn’t get bored of. It gave me an outlet for all the pent up energy and aggression I had, as well as keeping me constantly learning which stimulates me mentally. Plus it definitely panders to my ego and extremely competitive nature.
Nick: How long have you been with Australian Top Team? Integrated MMA?
Jessica: I was with integrated MMA in Brisbane from 2013 to 2015. I won my 3 Aussie titles whilst training with them and received my BJJ blue belt and my Invicta contract. I left them after two years due to things happening in my personal life, which in hindsight was an incredible mistake, but what can you do? I wandered again until 2016 when I moved back to Sydney and discovered Australian Top Team. I had known the Mokhtarian boys through the MMA scene over a couple of years, but had never met them properly or been to their gym. Suman finally convinced me to come down and I loved it from day one. ATT has something special which no other gym has and that’s genuine love for their students. So even though I was only with them for a short time before moving to Las Vegas, they are always going to be my home team and my family. I’m now at Syndicate MMA in Vegas under John Wood and I love every day here. The training is second to none and it’s the perfect gym for me when I am away from home.
Nick: With wins coming via TKO and submission do you prefer to keep the fight on your feet or take it to the ground?
Jessica: I am happy with either. I prefer to strike but if it goes to the ground I feel comfortable there as well.
Nick: What is your greatest attributes in the cage? What is your greatest weakness?
Jessica: My greatest attribute is probably the typical Aussie battler mentality. That’s probably my biggest weakness to
Nick: Every fighter has something unique about them. What do you think is the most unique part of your fight game?
Jessica: Good question. I haven’t had enough fights to work that one out yet!
Nick: Cutting weight and fighter safety always is becoming more and more of a priority. What methods of cutting weight do you use? How much weight do you usually have to cut before a fight? Do you feel the weight cut has a major impact on your strength before a fight?
Jessica: I usually cut between 15-20 lb over the course of my fight camp. I like to diet down as far as I can then go from there. Since I stopped trying to water cut 15+lb, I have felt much stronger and mentally more prepared as well.
Nick: With the USADA cracking down on drug testing do you think that some of the suspensions handed out are a bit extreme seeing that you can be banned for substances not controlled and can be purchased at a GNC or WalMart?
Jessica: Not at all. If you’re a professional athlete who is getting tested and wants to be the best in their sport, then you should have full awareness and control over what you’re putting in your body. There’s plenty of supplement companies who are USADA approved. If you’re putting cheap or untested shit in your body, don’t get upset when there are repercussions.
Nick: Marketing is important in this sport, what tips would you give young up and coming fighters on the balance of presenting yourself based on beauty vs. brawn or skill alone?
Jessica: As much as all fighters would like to believe their big opportunities will come from athletic achievements only, this is not the case. Market yourself. Present yourself well. Be a good person. Don’t be a dick. Be a professional from the very first day you decide that this is what you want to do.
Nick: What is next for you in the fight world? Fans are always eager to know.
Jessica: Ahhhhhh who knows… I’m working on a couple of things at the moment but we just have to get the opponents and their teams to say yes!
Nick: If you could have one dream fight with anyone, who would it be? Why?
Jessica: Nicholas Cage. He knows why.
Nick: I have seen on social media that you are holding a contest to raise money to purchase a car. Please tell the readers a bit about it. Lots of loyal fans out there may want to take part. Paying it forward is always a good policy.
Jessica: At the moment I travel either 45mins by bicycle or 1:15 by foot to training, at 5am and 9pm. Which is fine, I don’t mind, however rest and recovery is equally as important as training so the time I spend on travel could definitely be used in different areas. So I am holding a raffle to raise money to buy a car. There’s some good memorabilia prizes up for grabs! Look for the details on Instagram @miss.jessyjess
I can say that Jessica is a very interesting person and in a good way. Lots of personality and a lot of fun to talk with. I hope that her raffle goes well. To all the readers that wish to check it out and help visit her Instagram page for more details. @miss.jessyjess
She does have some very nice memorabilia items in exchange for participation. I have personally taken part. Thanks for reading and have a great day.