Jessy Jess Makes Her UFC Debut

UFC Fight Night: Sydney

This week, the UFC comes to Sydney and brings a fun little card along. With some very interesting match-ups, thrilling prospects and compelling debuts. Among the UFC debutants is Aussie native and short notice replacement Jessy Rose-Clark. With a record of 7-4 with 1 no contest, Clark holds 4 finishes, an even split between TKO’s and submissions. And after a win over women’s MMA legend Carina Damm, she steps in the octagon for the first time in front of her home crowd.

Inside the Cage

As evidenced by her resume, Clark is a very well-rounded fighter that presents a danger to her opponents in all facets of the game. After moving to the United States and now settling down at Syndicate MMA, her game is evolving. On the feet, her footwork is clean. She steps out to deliver counters in the pocket and can switch stances on a dime to create space quickly. Clark utilizes a long jab and her counter left hook is stiff and punishing. And against Carina Damm she exhibited another dangerous weapon. Leg kicks. They came hard and fast and served to break down the base of her opponent. And they served  to set up hard strikes to the head. But striking exchanges are not the only fear-inducing part of her game.

On the ground she’s tricky to deal with. Her 10th Planet technique allows submissions to lurk around every corner and an opportunity to shut down the top game of her opponents. The creation of 10th Planet jiu jitsu, by Eddie Bravo, was with the intent of creating a more effective guard, specifically in MMA. It’s all about control and Jessy Rose-Clark displays that in full. While her wrestling needs a bit of improvement, being on bottom is not an unfamiliar and hopeless place for the flyweight newcomer. And since her opponent, Bec Rawlings, will likely keep the fight on the feet, it’s up to Clark whether she flaunts her grappling arsenal this weekend.

How She Stacks Up

With the 26th installment of The Ultimate Fighter crowning the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight champion, the whole division is being formed in front of our eyes. And over the course of the next year, new contenders will rise to prominence and stake their claim to the crown. We’ve already seen former bantamweight challenger Valentina Shevchenko, former strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk and former strawweight stand-out Paige Van Zant throw their hats into the ring. But newcomers will be looking to give the established contenders a run for their money. And Jessy Rose-Clark is one of the many to throw down the gauntlet.

At UFC Sydney, Clark will face TUF contestant and 5-fight UFC veteran “Rowdy” Bec Rawlings. Rawlings is a respected member of the strawweight division and has faced the toughest competition at that weight class. And with a win over Rawlings, Jessy Rose-Clark would immediately establish herself as a contender. Of course, that’s only the beginning of the climb. With loads of new faces to fill out this newly-formed weight class, challenges will be habitual and Clark must adjust and evolve to survive. But with her new team by her side and her constantly evolving game, the sky is the limit.

Strap in Austalia. Jessy Jess is here to play.

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