April 2nd 2015
Name – Jillian DeCoursey
Nickname – Lionheart
Weight – 105 pounds
Record – 5 wins 1 loss
Team – East Coast United
Where are you from ?
How long have you been training ?
About 8 years I started in BJJ and took up MMA about a year and a half ago.
How did you get in to MMA ?
I played competitive sports all my life, after playing college basketball I needed something else to fill my time and keep me active so my fiancé suggested we take up BJJ and Muay Thai.
Tell us about your nickname and how you got it ?
My nickname is Lionheart I got it from my coach because no matter what I never give up even when I’m getting my butt kicked in training I just keep fighting.
What was the defining moment for you when you knew you wanted to become a fighter ?
It just kind of happened but after my first fight I was like this is awesome I want to keep doing this, things just kind of progressed from there.
Were your family and friends supportive when you decided to enter the world of MMA ?
My family will support anything I do especially if I am passionate about it, they don’t like the idea of me fighting but they know I love it so they support me no matter what.
My friends think it’s awesome that they have a friend that can kick ass.
What is your current record ?
What is your favorite strike or submission ?
Hmm I’m a BJJ girl but I love striking, it feels so good to punch someone so I would have to say ground and pound.
Who is your biggest inspiration ?
My Mom, she is the strongest most Awesome Lady I know.
What team do you train with ?
East Coast United.
Do you like to stand with your opponent or take the fight to the ground ?
It depends every fight I do something different, sometimes I stand and bang sometimes I take it straight to the ground, try to change it up to keep things interesting.
What does being fighter mean to you ?
Being a fighter is not about trying to hurt or put a beat down on someone but a way to test your limits, push your body to the extreme and learn who you truly are.
What weight do you fight at ?
All my fights up to this point were at 115 but that is only because I couldn’t get an opponent at 105.
what do you think separates you from other fighters In your division ?
My ground game is more developed than most of my opponents, I’m a brown belt in Bjj just took silver at the IBJJF Pan Ams and most of my opponents are blue belts. But I’m also well-rounded where most of my opponents are one-sided.
If you could have one dream fight who would it be against ?
Hmmm I would say whoever holds an Atom Weight title, I want to win them all.
Who has been your toughest fight to date ?
Sarah Click, the only fight I lost. I took the fight on a weeks notice so I did not go into the fight at my best, but we live and we learn and that fight made me a much better fighter. Losing sucks but if you are able to take the loss and grow from it and become a better fighter than it is well worth the heartache.
What is your mindset going in to a fight ?
Loosing is NOT an option!!!
Who are you fighting next ?
I’m fighting Roya Darvishian on June 25 for the USMTA ACC atom weight title.
what holes or weaknesses do you see in her game that you can exploit ?
Roya is well-rounded and a tough opponent but she has never fought someone like me so it’s definitely going to be a fight you are not going to want to miss.
What promotion are you fighting for ?
Aggressive Combat Championship
Date and time of your next fight ?
What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career ?
An exciting and respectful fighter in and out of the cage, not a fighter that talks smack or is disrespectful but one that always maintains a level of respect but still leaves it all in the cage, win or lose.
Who has been most influential to you in your career ?
My Professor Rob Gutierrez, he pushes me to my limits and brings out my true potential.
Who do you feel has had the biggest impact on the sport ?
I would have to say Ronda Rousey, I personally a fan but she has done a lot for the sport.
How would you describe your fighting style ?
I would say that I’m pretty well-rounded, I won’t back down no matter what and will stay in your face until the end.
What drives or motivates you ?
The pure love for the sport, the adrenaline rush, the support from fans, the grind during training camp. I love every part of fighting, it’s just such an amazing experience that you can’t explain you just have to experience it for yourself to fully understand.
What is something people might not know about you ?
I have a Master’s degree and am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor
What do you think you would be doing if you hadn’t become a fighter ?
Well I actually already do what I would be doing. In addition to training and fighting full-time I work as a therapist in private practice, I mostly work with children and adolescents with behavioral and emotional concerns, but also see adults.
What gets you hyped up for a fight do you have any pre fight rituals that get you ready to go to battle ?
Haha I have a million prefight rituals that start as soon as fight camp begins but there my secret rituals to get me fight ready so they’ll lose their power if I share.
your backstage about to walk out your music hits what’s going through your head as you walk to the cage ?
I am completely focused on finishing my opponent and getting my hand raised
Who is your favorite fighter ?
When you’re not training what do you like to do with your free time ?
I like to just chill, hang out with my family, watch movies, go to the beach, and just enjoy being outside and living life.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the sport so far ?
Winning and defending the ACC Straweight title twice.
What do you think the biggest challenges are for women in MMA ?
Overcoming the females that focus on their looks or bodily attributes rather than their skills.
What advice can you give to young female fighters ?
Never give up, keep your eye on your dreams and do whatever it takes to make your dreams a reality.
Where do you see women’s MMA in the next 5-10 years ?
Bigger than the guys divisions, people already tend to find female fights more interesting.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years ?
Wining the Invicta Atomweight Title.
What are your goals within the sport ?
To be the best I can be and to inspire others to be the best they can be.
Is there anyone you want to thank or give a shout out to ?
Thanks to my friends, family and all my fans for always showing me love and support. My Professor Rob Gutierrez and all my teammates at ECU for getting me battle ready. My Sponsors for all the support and hooking me up with the gear I need to train and perform at my best; Weapon Fight Gear, Sicchic, MMAROADHOG, and Gi soap.