Some people will head into work with a clock-in and clock-out mentality. That’s life really. We work and live a paycheck-to-paycheck kind of existence. To a degree, there isn’t anything wrong with that, but some people turn up to work wanting more. They want to have access to career progression.

As professional fighters, some see the idea of career progression as working their way up to fighting on the world’s biggest stage. That’s a literal meaning to the word “progression,” and whilst Integrated MMA’s Jessy Jess has that firmly in her sights, she also sees more value in what she can take out of being a mixed martial artist.

“When I was training in other places, all I ever wanted to be was just a fighter,” Jess revealed in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “I didn’t really see anything beyond that. I was onto a really good thing with what I had in Sydney, but moving to Integrated [MMA] has made me start to become a complete fighter.

“What I found with Integrated is that I am able to develop not only as a fighter, but I also get to learn how to teach different people, and that’s what I really want to learn about. I would love to be able to open up a gym one day and teach people the way that I have been taught. That’s my passion.”

Something that is becoming more and more common in this day and age is the interaction between fans and athletes through the various forms of social media. Sometimes we see praise or admiration through the likes of Facebook and Twitter, but at the same time there is also the opportunity for people to say things that they wouldn’t necessarily say to a person’s face. Jess has had to deal with this firsthand recently with her family.

“I kind of figured it would happen one day, but not really in this way,” Jess explained. “I figured that people would maybe go up and see them in the street and ask if I was their daughter. Some of the stuff that was sent to my mum was really vulgar and inappropriate. I just never expected that to happen. I mean I do put my name out there a lot, but I never expected anything like that.”

Like any fighter who has dreams of success on their mind, Jess wants to one day be able to take her craft to the world stage. With women’s mixed martial arts becoming a staple of most fight organizations around the world, that opportunity is only going to get bigger for her. Most athletes want to be able to break into the lucrative North American market of the sport. However, Jess eyes something else that she has thought about ever since she began her training in combat sports.

“My goal is to fight internationally, and I have always wanted to fight in Japan,” she admitted. “Getting over to America is not my goal right now. I want to fight in a place where [fighting] is in their blood, and it’s something that I have just wanted to do for all my life. I am hoping to get over there next year for a trip to do some training, and if a fight opportunity was there, I would take it.”

In just her third professional mixed martial arts bout, Jess finds herself fighting for the Fight World Cup bantamweight title on Nov. 16. The opportunity for a championship came as a pleasant surprise to Jess, who has spent only a little under 12 months as a professional.

“I definitely wasn’t expecting it so soon,” she said. “I would have thought I would have a few more regular fights before competing for a title, but my team and coaches all thought that I was ready. So, I’m excited for the fight and really looking forward to it.”

A win at Fight World Cup over Kyra Purcell may see Jess’s career heading on the right track, but it will also offer more security and help her ascertain even more that mixed martial arts is the lifestyle that she wants to live. Being a successful fighter is one thing, but the success that one tastes as a mentor, a role model and a coach is the progression that Jess looks for in the future. And the more she wins inside the cage, the closer that reality becomes.

Jessy would like to thank Integrated MMA, EMT Fairtex, Victory Management, Unrivaled, Australian Sports Nutrition, Return 2 Raw, NRCHI Bodywork and Tony Green. Follow Jess on Twitter: @jessy_jessmma

Top Photo: Jessica Rose-Clark celebrates her win (Unrivaled/Victory Management)

About The Author

Staff Writer, Australia

Located in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Neil Rooke has been writing about the sport of MMA since 2011. In the past, Neil has written for Cage Junkies and has written for Fight! Magazine as well as Fist! Fight Magazine. Neil is also a regular contributor to Fight! Magazine Australia and Yahoo! Sports Singapore.