May 26th 2016
Name – Jade Ripley
Nickname – Asian Sensation
Weight – 115 Pounds
Record – 5 wins 0 losses
Team – St. Joseph Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA
Where are you from ?
I’m originally from Raytown, MO, but I mostly grew up in Lee’s Summit, MO and that’s where I started training MMA.
How long have you been training ?
About 3 years. I started training MMA in July of 2013.
How did you get in to MMA/Jiu Jitsu ?
I was originally searching for a boxing gym. I couldn’t find any in my area and stumbled upon Grindhouse MMA (now Glory MMA and Fitness). I started training there and it wasn’t long before I was hooked.
Tell us about your nickname and how you got it ?
I don’t know that I have a real nickname. My most current nickname is “Asian Sensation”. It’s been my nickname my last two fights. Before that, the announcer just made a new one up each time. It was kind of a inside joke. Maybe this one will stick ?
What was the defining moment for you when you knew you wanted to become a fighter ?
When I won my first fight… I never planned to take a fight. As I walked out for the first time, I remember thinking over and over what a horrible idea it was. After I had my hand raised that first time, I knew it wouldn’t be the last time.
Were your family and friends supportive when you decided to enter the world of MMA ? No. Most everyone thought it was silly and/or stupid.
What is your current record ?
What is your favorite strike or submission ?
Overhand left and Guillotine choke.
Who is your biggest inspiration ?
My coach, Deryck Ripley, who also happens to be my husband.
What team do you train with ?
The gym my husband and I own together, St. Joseph Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA.
Do you like to stand with your opponent or take the fight to the ground ?
I like both. Striking is a lot of fun, and I’m very passionate about Jiu Jitsu. I probably feel more “at home” on the ground.
What does being fighter mean to you ?
It means pushing myself past the point of comfort and proving to myself that I’m capable of just about anything.
What weight do you fight at ?
115 lbs. I have fought at 125, as well.
What do you think separates you from other fighters ?
If you could have one dream fight who would it be against ?
There isn’t one person in particular who I want to fight, but I’ll pretty much take any fight offered to me if I’m looking to schedule a fight. I’m not picky.
Who has been your toughest fight to date ?
Probably my second fight against Taeler Jackson. She was pretty tough and it was hard to fight with my mouth full of blood. Also, after a very early cut above my left eye, I couldn’t see very much because of all the blood in my eye.
What is your mindset going in to a fight ?
I like remind myself that there isn’t any way that my opponent has trained as hard as I have to prepare.
Who are you fighting next ?
I don’t currently have a fight scheduled because I am 5 and a half months pregnant with our first baby. I can’t wait to start training again, though.
What promotion are you fighting for?
I’m currently the Kansas City Fighting Alliance 115 lb Women’s Champion.
What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career ?
I don’t ever want anyone to be able to look back on a time during one of my fights when I gave up. I don’t give up.
Who has been most influential to you in your career ?
Me. When everyone else acted like I was wasting my time or thought I was being silly, I continued to work hard and train hard because it was something that was important to me.
Who do you feel has had the biggest impact on the sport ?
I don’t know enough about the history of combat sports to provide a credible answer to that one. However, I don’t think any one person can be given most of the credit.
How would you describe your fighting style ?
Mean, unrefined, purposeful, and effective.
What drives or motivates you ?
The fear of disappointing myself.
What is something people might not know about you ?
Fighting scares me.
What do you think you would be doing if you hadn’t become a fighter ?
No telling. Training and fighting has led me to so many different people and avenues. I met my husband through fighting. We now own a BJJ School and a BJJ Tournament organization together… My life would be very different today if I had never decided to start training MMA.
What gets you hyped up for a fight ?
The adrenaline alone is enough to get me hyped up. Encouragement and pep talks do very little to get me primed for a fight.
Do you have any pre fight rituals that get you ready to go to battle ?
Pre-fight, I’m already about as high-strung as they come. There is very little that may be happening around me that could bring me out of my “zone”.
When you’re backstage about to walk out and your music hits, what’s going through your head at that moment ?
Before I walk out, I always ask myself, “What the hell were you thinking when you agreed to do this… again”? Then, I always promise myself that this is the last time. Haha. Of course, it never is.
Who is your favourite fighter ?
I don’t have a favourite fighter. I don’t follow MMA. I just fight.
When you’re not training what do you like to do with your free time ?
I am also a full-time fire fighter. I usually work 24 hour shifts and then have 2 days off in between. When I’m not working, I really enjoy training– BJJ mostly, gi and no gi. I compete in BJJ tournaments as often as possible. I love to help coach our BJJ youth classes; watching their development is the greatest reward that comes from Co-owning a BJJ school. Our tournament keeps us very busy too. We have had two tournaments under our own name in St. Joe, MO and have been very well received. We recently purchased Victory Grappling Championships and we anticipate our tournaments getting bigger and better. We’re extremely excited to see all the awesomeness that comes with having a consistent tournament event in the KC area and also being able to take it other places in the Midwest! Aside from those things, I like to eat. A lot.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the sport so far ? I think that stepping into that cage for the very first time is, and will always be, my biggest accomplishment.
What do you think the biggest challenges are for women in MMA ?
For a lot of women, I think it’s tough to find a variety of local match ups. After a few fights, it seems like you either have to go up or down in weight class or be willing to travel to get new opponents.
What advice can you give to young female fighters ?
If you want it, you have to work for it, and most likely with little or no support from friends and family. So, I hope you want it bad. Because, chances are, when you start, people are going to tell you you’re crazy. Oh, and clip your freaking nails!
Where do you see women’s MMA in the next 5-10 years ?
WMMA is already blowing up. In the next several years, it’s only going to get bigger. Hopefully this means a lot more room for advancement for the fighters who have the skill and motivation to take it someplace meaningful.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years ?
Who knows ?
If someone told me 5 years ago that any of the things that are happening to me now, would be happening, I probably would have laughed in their face. Hopefully, I have a few more tough fights under my belt, a successful and growing BJJ School, and BJJ tournament, and a happy and healthy kid and marriage.
What are your goals within the sport ?
I just want to continue entertaining, inspiring, and motivating. I want to be a good role-model for others and I want to continue to find out just how much I’m capable of.