Not every BJJ competitor has what it takes to compete in the cage. The need to transition into MMA is no longer as important as it once was, but certain types are just a match for the brutal lifestyle that is professional fighting. Jena Bishop is one of those types.
Known for her scrappy grappling style and submission focused game, Jena has competed and won against the world's best at the black belt level. With women's MMA on the rise, and more opportunities for women with a skillset such as Jena's, she jumped at the opportunity to challenge herself and enter her first pro MMA fight.
Coming out victorious in her debut with an RNC submission in the first round, Jena is already signed for her next fight on November 12th at LFA 118.
Here is what the now undefeated fighter had to say about her recent debut.
Congratulations on winning your first fight! What made you want to pursue a career in MMA?
I’ve always been interested in MMA, but jiu-jitsu was my priority. I had the opportunity to train with and corner a few MMA fighters and it motivated me to take the jump and start focusing on MMA.
What was it like when you were finally in the ring, the cage door closed behind you, and it was go time?
I don’t even know what I was thinking. I was just so happy and excited to finally be fighting. It took so long to get the fight, I couldn’t believe it was actually happening.
How far do you want to take your career in MMA?
As far as I can, I don’t want to do anything half way so I’m striving for the big leagues.
Will you still compete in BJJ events?
I would love to compete in ADCC again and do some other pro shows like Fight to Win.
What aspects of your style or personality transfer well to MMA?
My style has always been really aggressive and I know that my wrestling and BJJ can help me to be a great fighter.
What are the biggest things you want to work on for your next fight?
I’m always trying to improve my striking, I want to be well rounded.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to try MMA?
It’s not going to be easy, but take your time to find the right coaches. Make sure to train your weaknesses, but don’t forget your strengths. I think having the right people around you in training makes a big difference as well.