Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Jessica Phlippus Interview
April 28th will not only be the debut card from Invicta, it will also be the pro debut of the fighter who one this blog's voting for Amateur Fighter of the Year in 2010 and Best Representative For the Sport in 2011, Jessica Philippus when she takes on Meghan Wright. Jessica always brings an exciting style to the cage and no doubt she will this time also. For young fighters, Jessica is always one of the first people I recommend they learn from as she is really a role model for young up and comers. Here is my interview with Jessica about Invicta and more.
Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the sport?
A: Yeah, a couple years ago I went to a small local event. There were some girls on the undercard. It was horrendous, like a glorified catfight in a cage basically. I remember it was so bad I had to look away. I was like "I gotta do this, this is ripe for the picking". So I started getting serious in Jiu-Jitsu and Judo type stuff and competing in tournaments and what not. I did that for six months before I took a fight with Barb Honchak. This was before I understood the concept. She was 7-1, and my only reference was wrestling and I was like "great she's won seven and lost one, doesn't sound like she has much experience". So I took it, no big deal haha, bad idea. But I am glad I took it in the long run, it was the best thing that could have happened. Took me about ten months to get the courage to get back in the cage, but its been good since then.
Q: Not that my blog is the hugest thing in the world, but I do my awards every year, and you were voted as Best Representative for the Sport. Does it mean something to you that so many people would vote for you?
A: Absolutely! I was honored just to be nominated because the girls I was up against are veterans of the sport and here I was pregnant and an ammy fighter at the time. It was a huge honor, for one, that I was able to stay active in the community while pregnant, and have enough respect from people they would vote for me. I think its one of the greatest honors. The year before I won Amateur Fighter of the Year and that was awesome to me, but Best Representative is more well rounded and something I need to remember when I want to rant on Facebook or use the occasional swear word on Twitter. I need to remember that there are people who think I am worthy of that award and need to keep in my mind. I think your blog is great and your Facebook page has a ridiculous amount of traffic, so its not like its not a big deal. I think its a big deal and reaches a broad range of people.
Q: You mentioned being pregnant, how hard is it to balance training with such a young child?
A: It's been a challenge. But it's not challenging in the way most people would use as an excuse like not having a babysitter. I was just at practice for three and a half hours with two kids. I had to stop and see her an hour into it and in between rounds help Robbie with homework. You make it happen. You can use it as an excuse for not reaching your dreams and goals, and don't get me wrong, the though has crossed my mind "This is crazy, I can't do this", and then I realize how many people look up to me and little girls and their parents think I am great. Just like a lot of reporters and people who wanna see me fight again, I can't let them down, I can't let my friends and self down. it's been hard, my weight has been more of an obstacle than the training itself. I just take her and she sleeps or sits and watches. But I am breast feeding so finding the balance between feeding my body, feeding her, cutting weight.... I have seeked some help but no one knows. Lactation consultants think i am crazy and don't understand fighting and cutting weight. I used Miesha's nutritionist, but I lost nothing, maybe I cut too much fat to soon. Its been a nightmare to say the least, but I have never not made weight and wont start now.
Q: I have done over six hundred interviews and that's the first time anyone said breast feeding or lactating.
A: Haha, it's a rewarding experience haha.
Q: Your next fight is for Invicta, how exciting is it to be on a female card like this?
A: it's hard to wrap my mind around how cool it is. They made room for me, they had their fights planned and then squeezed me in. They said "are you sure you wanna do this so soon, we really wanna have you.". It's right here in Kansas City, and I was like "I gotta make that happen." I have only fought remotely close to home once so people can come see, so its a big deal to me. Its pretty monumental ow many eyes are on this. That's stressing me out haha, its not some random card. I was gonna fight Meghan in Ohio before I got pregnant. No one would have known or came, wouldn't have been a big deal, with this, everyone will be watching, so I am excited. Its historical and close to home.
Q: This is your pro debut, did you already want to go pro, or could you just not pass up an opportunity like this?
A: It's a little of both. I was gonna go pro last May. I accepted the fight May 14th and then May 15th found out I was pregnant haha. It was on the horizon. I was gonna fight against someone last April and that fell out. I was still working and couldn't decide whether to go pro before getting pregnant or get pregnant, take an ammy fight and then go pro. So was this the way I planned it? No, but I knew I was at the end of my ammy career. I actually set up a fight I have wanted for April 17th, then this came about and I couldn't say no. It pains my heart I can't fight that one girl, she is my arch nemesis.
Q: You are fighting Meghan Wright, what do you know about her?
A: knew of her before when i accepted the fight previously. Sarah Goodlaxson knows her and said it would be a good pro debut because of how we match up stylistically. But I don't know. Sarah and I were talking, with Sarah, my game plan was specific, but this time I am preparing to be a savage. She asked my game plan and I said I was gonna go tear shit up. That is my plan, what I am gonna do. Someone said there is a video of her doing mitts, but I could care less. It's weird, I am preparing for my fight not hers, so I don't care, if that makes sense.
Q: Everyone thinks of you as a Wrestler, do you think people come in and don't realize you can actually stand?
A: Yeah, and I think that happened last time with Sarah. It was really funny, we had the coolest conversation that two fighters could have a couple weeks ago. We talked about that we were thinking when we fought each other. She said "I was so mad when you kicked me, because it threw me off, I was not planning for any kicks" haha. She was just planning Judo and Wrestling and stuff. I knew in the back of my head she was planning for a wrestler, and leading up, everyone knew her as a scrappy little stand-up fighter and me as a ground girl, and in the fight we switched rolls. I think it was cool and said something that I will stand and bang, and am also comfortable taking it to the ground. I was a decent wrestler, I was not the best wrestler ever. I was mediocre at best. But I have a tremendous amount of heart, and that's whats carried me so far. So if people wanna plan for a straight wrestler, you are probably planning for the wrong fight.
Q: Hard to say when you don't know much about her, but is there a key to winning this fight?
A: Stick to my game plan of tearing shit up haha.Keep the pressure on her. I'm going to fight my fight not fight reactive to her game plan. That's my best way to win, be proactive not reactive.
Q: Do you wanna make a prediction?
A: I don't know, I feel like my tear shit up game plan might correspond with strikes, ground and pound. I'm not sure. I don't know if I am going for a submission or not. If something is wide open I will go for it, but its not my intention. I wanna put on a show, go out there and win an exciting fight.
Q: Any idea what you wanna do next or taking it one fight at a time?
A: On occasion I let myself think ahead, but right now if I don't focus on weigh-ins April 27th, I won't be focused. So task at hand is making weight, second task at hand is winning in a convincingly awesome fashion and then the next task is eating pizza afterwords. After that, maybe a little break per se. It's been a long nine or ten weeks.
Q: Can you explain what Wrslrchick is and why it's so important to you?
A: It came about because I help coach little girls. We have a summer camp at the college I wrestled at for kids eight to eighteen. That's how I got started. I coached little kids in high school but it was mostly boys. These girls, I love them to pieces. Then we had Club Wrestling during the year, we had a five year old girl that I had a hard time wrapping my mind around how awesome it was to be there for her. You told her to do something and she did it. She did exactly what you said and did it perfect. She loved wrestling and loved winning. The fact I can coach a little girl, I have to think the lady's my age who wrestled on all boys team and got their butts kicked and get beat up on, we did that for these girls and paved the way for them. That's what made me wanna do it. Its still a work in progress. We are not just a company that sells shirts. We have the occasional shirt, I try and sponsor a few fighters and try and help promote them. The little girls and parents I coach think I am a super hero cause I fight. its funny how they perceive me. So I wanted to give a platform for the wrestler girls who are now fighters and. I believe the little wrestler girls of today are your MMA stars of tomorrow and that's why I am still involved. That's another question I get, "Why are you doing this, still involved, if you don't wrestle anymore". Because I love women's MMA, I love MMA as a whole, but I really love women's MMA. I believe that little girl will be the next Miesha Tate or Marloes Coenen. We are paving the way for them. That's what wrslrchick is about, and we can have funny shirts to.
Q: Anyone you want to thank or mention?
A: My husband Robb because he puts up with me haha. This hasn't been a great time, going back to work, the baby, its been stressful. he fights to. He fought last weekend and had his first defeat, so we are dealing with booboo's right now. In the midst of this, he says "don't worry about me, we need you to be focused on you". He is my biggest cheerleader and coach. We have done this pretty much on our own. I travel to different gyms, like Grindhouse and Brian Davidson, and the girls who stay late or come in on weekends to train with me. The girls at Missouri Valley have been great to me. They only know MMA from tv so we formulate takedowns that could work in MMA. Sponsors, Wreslrchick, True Wrestler, my first sponsor, Molly and Slade at Tussle. You Jason for always helping get my name out there and my Twitter family.