Jennifer “Lil Ice” Berg is one female fighter unafraid to fight side by side with her male counterparts. A member of the Colorado-based Grudge Training Center headed by coach Trevor Wittman, Berg has worked with some of the best coaches and fighters in modern mixed martial arts. Compiling a record of 2-2 in the 105 lbs division, Jennifer has quickly risen to the #14th ranked 105 lbs fighter in the world (According to Women’s MMA World Rankings). Berg recently discussed her time at Greg Jackson’s Camp and her future in the world of MMA.

On how important performance was in her most recent fight against Lisa Jeanson (TKO victory December 18):

“To me 100% imperative. Theres was no other way for that fight to happen in my mind. I didn’t even want to get it out of the first round. I wanted to be smart and I was proud for myself for being smart but I wanted to impose my will right away.”
If she had lost against Jeanson:

“I probably would be crushed and disappointed. But would I be discouraged? No. I’ve done this long enough that I know there are so many variables that I’m not going to get out of my career with winning every single fight for the rest of my career. But it was important for me to make sure that I got my head on the right way. I’m very confident that if I can stick to that, that most times that’s going to work for me. I would be right back (in the gym) working on what I need to (if I had lost). I’m going to be like the cockroach that doesn’t die or go away until I become world champion. If it takes to me until I’m 80 (years old) I don’t care. If I lose 100 more times. I don’t care if I win 1000 more times. I am willing to do whatever it takes to get to the level I want to be at.”

How fight cancellations effect her training:

“It’s frustrating and disappointing but more on a personal level. Obviously its part of the fight game. Some (fights) are going to happen and some aren’t especially being a female fighter at 105 lbs. (With opponents) backing out the last minute its probably much harder to find a replacement (opponent) for me than it is for a 185 lbs male (fighter). So with that being said its disappointing just because I have really, really spent the last seven months working so hard on becoming a better fighter and I feel like my training has become so much more efficient and I’m excited to just get out there and show what I can do. But at the same time I’m thankful that I had a fight to train for. I’m disappointed but at the same time I received the same benefits from training for the fight.”

On adjusting training camps due to a recent fight cancellation:

“I’m just going to keep going on with training camp. I got sick last week so normally I would be training balls to the wall for my fight next week but I had to back off a little bit and I ended up training really hard a couple days and taking a few days off. So I think I will just continue my training camp as if nothing had changed.”

On training with Greg Jackson camp:

“Its amazing. I love getting to go train. Our team is amazing and its like a family. I spend a majority of my time with the guys at my gym so to go and get to train (at Greg Jackson’s camp) with my team was great. Last time I went by myself so it was cool to get to go with everybody. It was amazing to go with Trevor (Wittman) and have his support there. I think that really allowed me to incorporate what we’ve been working on here while we were there. That being said, its always wonderful when we get to go. The girls they have there, they have quite a few, and they all are bigger then me and are all really good. Its great for me to go and be out of my comfort zone and get pushed by those who are bigger and stronger.”

On being able to train at different camps:

“I think that there are many different benefits that we all get to receive from that but especially me being ‘little miss tiny girl’. I am incredibly fortunate I get to see the best of the best at every single style. So whether its at Grudge or when I’m making a trip to Albuquerque (to Jackson’s gym), I’m getting pushed 100% of the time. That gives me confidence because I know I’m not going to see anything I don’t see on a regular basis. I know I’m not going to get hit as hard or kicked as hard or anything that I do going with the boys. Like I said, when I go to Albuquerque, the girls outweigh me by 40 or 50 lbs. I am just incredibly lucky where I am (because I am) held by a higher standard but I am also seeing the best of the best. Its like the perfect situation. Also, everybody has their specialty so its nice to be able to go focus on something specific. Trevor (Wittman) is a striking genius and its not just the striking aspect but the footwork and positioning in an MMA fight. Its worth its weight in whatever is more valuable then gold.
“Same thing with Greg (Jackson). When we go to Greg’s gym a lot of times when I get to work with him one-on-one we’ll focus on some ground stuff. And he’s got the genius for the ground stuff and where that kind of positioning goes. There is not enough words to express what type of gratitude I have for that.”

On taking fights back-to-back:

“I just wanted to get my momentum back. One of the major things we talked about before my last fight was where my head was at. For me I wanted to keep the momentum going and keep practicing and showing myself. When I believe in myself that’s when the wins happen. I’m also the type of person that trains full time and I’m going to train as hard as I can whether I have a fight or not. So I prefer to stay more active. I love this sport more then I can say and I’m ridiculously competitive. I really to get in there on a regular basis and duke it out.”

On future fights and scheduling:

“We have kind of been talking about setting some parameters like making sure the opponents are good and making sure I stay in good health. Making sure my body isn’t taking that much damage. I think if my next several fights can go like my last one went then I’m willing to just take them back to back. However, if I have another fight like an Amy Davis fight and I’m taking a lot of damage then I think we’ll back off a little bit and wait a little bit more. I think every 6-8 weeks is good.”

On leaving Colorado to fight and internationally:

“Probably imminent. My next fight is going to be in New Mexico. I’m going to be back in Colorado in March but we’re definitely going to be willing to explore opportunities in other states and countries. And I think with this division I will have to go to Japan and fight some of those girls that are ranked there to bring my ranking up.”

On going to Japan:

“I think just taking it one step at a time (is key). I take my training serious on a regular basis and I’m usually in shape enough to take a fight on short notice. So always in the back of my head I’m training like I have one (coming up) whether I do or not. So I think the mental aspect is less (of a worry). I do think with the rules being different and with a history of the Japanese fighters being heavily favored most likely I’m not going to want to leave it up to a decision.”

On her next fight against Angelica Chavez on February 11:

“I think that as far as opponents go she’s going to be more challenging then my last fight. It’s a good match up. I think we’re both explosive and really tough. We both have good kick boxing. We both have good ground games. I think it has the potential to be a three round war. That being said, I also know that she’s never been pushed before in a fight. So it’ll be interesting to see how she responds to that. I know I’ll be ready to go to fight for three rounds. I wont back down like the girls shes fought that she’s been able to overwhelm. I think that’s a big advantage for me. I’ve had some tough fights before and its never broken me. I think my experience against some of the girls I’ve fought will really help me in that fight.
“I think if I can stay aggressive and I can (fight) smart, I can come out pretty unscathed. If I get stubborn and start to brawl with her it could be a three round war. I honestly love it all. I think I love just to fight so my natural instinct is to stand. What I’ve been working on lately is the strategy that will work against my opponent.”

About The Author

Josh Davis
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Josh Davis is the owner and President of The MMA Corner, LLC. He has been a fan of mixed martial arts since seeing UFC 1 in his hometown. In addition to his The MMA Corner responsibilities, Josh is the editor of Scrapp! Fight Magazine. Josh has also written for MMA Unleashed and MMA Sports magazines. Josh also manages some of Colorado's best up and coming fighters and is dedicated to the positive promotion of the sport.