Friday, February 11, 2011
Jessica Philippus Interview
Jessica Phlippus went undefeated in 2010. Jessica won the voting for amateur fighter of the year on this blog. Jessica has done amazing things. Yet some may have seen her as "just a wrestler". In her recent fight with Sarah Goodlaxson, just as Sarah proved she is more than just a striker, Jessica proved she is more than just a wrestler. She stood in there and banged and held her own with a really good striker. Then in round two she got a D'arce choke and won. As I said in Sarah's interview about this fight, these two women are a credit to the sport. Leading up to the fight and afterwards, both showed tremendous class. This was not a fight with a winner and a loser. Both are winners because both proved something, and anyone who has watched the fight is a winner for seeing it, and we who love women's MMA are winners because we have two women like Sarah and Jessica in the sport.
Q: First, Jessica I want to thank you for taking the time to do another interview and also congrats on winning amateur fighter of the year on my blog.
A: Thank you for giving me yet another opportunity to do an interview! And SUPER BIG THANKS for putting those awards together!!
Q: For those who missed your first interview can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I am a 27 yr old mother, wife, and MMA fighter among a few other things! I work full time, train, cook, clean, lift, run, you name it. Its all in a days work at the Philippus household! I wrestled in high school and college and decided to give MMA a try. Thank goodness I did, because this is the BEST sport in the world! I am now 6-1, with an undefeated year in 2010 and am the proud owner of 2 shiny belts.
Q: Congrats on the fight with Sarah Goodlaxson. A real quality win.
A: Thank you. It was definitely a huge win for me. Sarah was my "goal" fight a while back. I remember being somewhat star struck when I saw her at Gfight in March when I fought Kristin because I had watched her videos so much and seen her name pop up so much all over the Internet. I didn't know much about the WMMA scene but I definitely knew her name! Sooooo yes this was a real, truly quality win for me and proved to me how far I've come since March. Even getting to the point of having a date set for my Sarah fight was a big deal to me.
Q: I know you two have been tying to set that fight up for awhile. Any reason?
A: She asked me about fighting her back in March. Well a promoter did, my answer was a swift, "Hell NO! Not yet." Not because I was scared, but because I didn't even have any training at that point. I was solely lifting and running. I sorta took that Gfight match up on a whim to see where I was and to see if MMA was even something I was interested in anymore. Of course March 20th, 2010 lit a fire in my heart. I knew Sarah was training her ass off and getting ready to fight in Vegas and I felt VERY far away from fighting someone of that caliber. So I set off to the gym and started training again. I felt ready to take a fight in May. It was my first (and only) local fight. In July Sarah and I conversed about fighting in October. She had a lot changing in her life so I think that's why that one didn't happen. Then we were actually going to both be in the Griffin's Den 105 tourney together, so finally we would match up! The 1 day tourney format fell through, and I was questioning wanted to be part of a spread out one and got replaced. Then Gfight was gonna do one and we would match up there, then that got scratched. Sarah was unexpectedly diagnosed with Bells Palsy so the Illinois promoter called and asked me to fill Sarah's spot. That I did! But that didn't solve us matching up at some point. We were then trying to find a promotion who would make us co-main and let us fight for a belt because we knew this was gonna be well worth both! We were going to fight in Quincy on Jan 22, but thanks to our stupid and unforgiving work schedule that ended up not working out just weeks before. A few phone calls later and we got on the Blue Corner card. Ben was nice enough to move some stuff around and make us co-main event and have their first ever women's belt!!! Finally!
Q: What did you know about Sarah as far as her style and what her strengths are
A: I knew she was the toughest chick at 105lbs. I don't care about rankings and records, that's my opinion! I knew her stand up was legit and that she had been quickly improving her ground game. I know aside from a tough stand up game, the amount of heart she had displayed in prior fights would be my biggest obstacle. It meant this fight could easily go all 3 rounds because this is not a girl who gives up.
Q: Did she fight as you expected?
A: Hahaha. YES! I knew she was gonna come out the gate like a bull on fire! And that she did! I knew little fists and feet were gonna be flying. So that was my plan too. Obviously from the video you can see we both stuck to our plans and fired right off the bell!
Q: Did you have a game plan for the fight and were you able to follow it?
A: Of course I had a game plan! You don't go into a fight like that without a solid game plan. Somewhat, I was busy defending Sarah's game plan for a lot of round 1. But during the break Deryck and Robb said get back to YOUR game plan, fight YOUR fight Jess. So I took a big breath, re-focused and did what I had practiced a million times. I told myself I was starting fresh in round 2. I fought MY fight.
Q: She had a good first round, but in round two you got the choke. Anything you saw in that first round that made you think you could get that in the second round?
A: She had an amazing first round! No I don't think there was any flaw I saw that I said, "oh theres my chance" it was more of me just being determined to fight MY fight and stick to MY game plan. We went over that choke when we were warming up and I said, "that is genius Ripley! I'm using that! THAT is what I am winning this fight with!" He said, "do it! I think it is a completely viable option. Just commit." I have to credit Deryck Ripley with that one, it was ALL him! Hes a genius! Definitely lucky to have that guy in my corner :-)
Q: What did you think of Sarah overall as a fighter?
A: The same thing I have always thought! That is one tough chick!! Oh except now I just know how hard she hits! LOL
Q: What did you learn about yourself from this fight?
A: I learned that even if you have a rough start it doesn't mean you cant dig deep and regroup. When I was walking to my corner I remember thinking, if I was weak I would let this get me down, but I am not. I am going to turn this around. Fortunately I have 2 corner men who know me well and believe in me and knew just what to say to me. When the going gets tough, the tough get going!!!
Q: Sarah is obviously a skilled fighter, so it was a great win. Where would you rank this fight in your list of favorites?
A: Numero UNO!!!!!!!!
Q: Sarah has been really classy and polite in defeat. Not all fighters are. How much do you appreciate that?
A: Very appreciative! We have had our moments, so it feels wonderful to have that ALL behind us! We had a little chat during our long embrace. I have nothing but respect for that girl! Afterwards her and Mitch sat with my team and friends at the sports bar and we all hung out like we had been friends forever! All MMA fighters seem to be extended family. Our guys laughed over beer and stories of putting up with us while cutting weight.
Q: What did you think of the promoters of the show?
A: Ben Nogueras is an amazing guy and a huge asset to MMA in KC and Women's MMA across the country. I cant say enough good things about him! He doesn't normally fly fighters in, but we got creative and made it happen for Sarah! When I asked if he could fit us on this card he jumped at the chance, he made room for us to be the Co-Main/Title event just weeks out. Not many promoters will do something like that, let alone for females! It was actually the first women's title fight that KC has ever seen, we wrote a little piece of history that night. Jerry Chavez created a masterpiece with our "co-main event" poster! That thing was AWESOME!! We couldn't have asked for more hospitality and support from everyone at Blue Corner Promotions! That is a really classy show in a super nice venue, everything is handled very professionally, you would never know it was an ammy event! Loved everything about it!
Q: How long after a fight do you like to take off before getting back into training hard?
A: If I have any boo boos, I let those heal. But a day off from the gym and a few days off practice. Then back at it!
Q: How important is support from family and friends when getting ready to fight?
A: Oh geez, its HUGE! Especially this last one. I came down with the flu something fierce last Sunday. I was sincerely scared I would be able to fight. Robb didn't ever think that once! Thank goodness he had faith because I was really doubting I was going to be able to pull it off, but him and Robby nursed me back to health!
But just preparing for a fight is taxing in itself so having a good support system at home is key. I was also lucky to have an awesome friend and coach in Deryck Ripley. He would meet me anytime, anywhere I asked to work on stuff.
Q: I often ask what is the biggest misconception people have about female fighters. This time I will ask, what is the biggest misconception people have about Jessica Philippus?
A: That I am one dimensional. I have worked hard to break that stereotype. Don't get me wrong, I will always be a wrestler girl deep down, but I have had a lot of awesome people help me with my stand up.
Q: Finish this sentence. In five years Jessica Philippus will be__ ?
A: Fighting pro, have a successful company, and hopefully doing well enough that I don't have to work nights anymore! Oooh and hopefully living in a bigger city.
Q: Anybody you want to thank for helping you get ready for the fight and supporting you?
A: Obviously Robb, first and foremost for putting up with me while preparing for this. Second, Deryck Ripley for truly believing in me and sharing his wisdom with me. All my homies at First Blood who punch me in the face and kick me in the head on a regular basis, and who most certainly treat me with respect and as an equal. Ben Nogueras for letting me borrow his awesome kickboxing coach and the ALL the guys at 68 Inside Sports who were super supportive. Brian Davidson and the Grindhouse guys (especially my friend Will Joplin!) for always welcoming me with open arms. And my Grindhousegirl and BFF Laura, for helping me along the way and being my sounding board and best friend a fighter girl could ask for! I also want to thank Jerry Chavez who created our awesome poster and caught the magic that night. Hes the best!
Q: So whats next for you? Any idea when you will be fighting again?
A: I have no idea when I'll be fighting again next. I am not quitting, just taking some time off to give back to my boys and build my business :-) Fighting and training is somewhat of a selfish thing. I feel like its time for me to focus on Robby, maybe enroll him in some sports/activities. He is the best kid a busy mom could ask for, he absolutely loves going to the gym and practice with me, but it leaves very little time for him. Theres often nights that the only solitary hour I have with him is in the car to and from practice. Then I take him to the babysitter overnight and hes at school all day. 11 months straight of this wears on my heart. I plan on cooking them dinner more often and keeping up on laundry. We are ALWAYS running out of clean undies and socks! Haha! Its also Robb's turn to get back into the cage, so its a little easier on the household if only one of us is fighting. I also plan on coaching a bit and traveling to some of the USGWA tournaments to build some brand awareness for wrslrchick. I just felt like I was starting to spread myself too thin and perhaps a perfect time for a little break!
Q: Anything you want to take this time to plug or promote?
A: Sure! Please "like" wrslrchick.com on facebook!! It is not just a brand, the website also has a forum and a calendar of events which includes girls wrestling tournaments and upcoming fights in which wrestler chicks will be part of. I have wanted to make this happen for quite some time and its all finally coming together! I met a really awesome little 5 yr old wrestler girl that reminded me why I need to follow this dream and make it happen!
Blue Corner Promotions and Brian Miller/Ben Nogueras/Jesse Finney for always hosting a classy event and taking the chance on a female co-main event for the first time ever!
Thanks to Tussle fight gear as always :-) Also Casey and Josh at Resolution Reuse who sponsored me for this fight! Don't throw your old stuff away give it to them! Check out Resolutionreuse.com
Q: Are you looking for sponsors?
A: Probably not at this time because I don't know when I am fighting next, but I do know this super awesome guy on Team Philippus that fights at 235 and is 6-0 ;) and an up and coming 105'er that is as talented and classy (and fancy) as they come! Robb Philippus and Laura Marcusse would be some smart choices if anyone is looking to sponsor some class act fighters.
Q: Jessica again I want to thank you. I have become a fan and really think highly of you. Any last words before you go?
A: Thanks Jason! Thank you for showcasing us girls when many doubt us and disapprove. Just a word to anyone out there who sells themselves short. Don't do it! Take a chance on yourself; you'd be surprised what our bodies can achieve when the mind is on board. Life is too short to sit around and watch it pass you by. Go live your dreams!