Jessica-Rose Clark is hooked on thrift buying. Clark — “Jessy” for brief — can not appear to cease herself from dropping a number of payments at a thrift store each weekend. It began as a solution to put on one thing apart from fitness center garments and has blossomed into 22 pairs of denims and 30 jackets. It is a bona fide drawback.
“I do not put on any of it,” Clark mentioned in a telephone interview. “And who even wants that many jackets and pairs of denims?”
Some man took her to Savers and properly, she’s had a tough time leaving. It is a factor Clark, 30, does. She says she’s an “all-or-nothing individual.” She additionally wanders into issues and stays. That is how she bought into MMA and it is how she wound up at her present fitness center. She does what she pleases and lets pleasure lead her.
With the brand new yr upon us, we requested our MMA contributors to offer the struggle they most wish to see made in 2018.
The UFC and Modelo Especial started a multiyear, multimillion-dollar partnership on Jan. 1, and heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic is the primary featured fighter.
It appears to be working since her second UFC struggle is on the high of a UFC Combat Night time card in opposition to Paige VanZant on Sunday in St. Louis.
Clark started her profession at 23 by beginning to prepare Muay Thai. Regardless that she did not initially love the wrestling and grappling of MMA, she nonetheless discovered herself drawn to the game as a result of she “favored the rawness of it.” She received three MMA championships in Australia.
She doesn’t hate grappling and wrestling anymore.
“I say that I hate it as a result of I favor to strike, however I really feel like I am fairly good at wrestling and fairly good at grappling,” Clark mentioned. “It is arduous to hate one thing once you’re good at it.”
In her UFC debut, Clark confronted fellow Aussie Bec Rawlings at UFC Combat Night time 121 in Sydney. She took the struggle with 11 days’ discover and defeated Rawlings by way of break up determination. The subsequent day, she had already been provided and accepted the showdown with VanZant. Preventing VanZant comes somewhat further glitz and glamour, in addition to the chance to impress and proceed to be fast-tracked in a brand new flyweight division that’s nonetheless discovering its rhythm.
“I am feeling actually good,” Clark mentioned. “I consider that I am higher in all places. I am much more skilled. I am greater; I am stronger; I am older. I really feel like my struggle intelligence is de facto excessive. In all elements, I simply really feel like I am technically higher.”
Clark fights out of Syndicate MMA in Las Vegas. She has lived in Vegas for 18 months, and did so to take away herself from what had change into a harmful scenario together with her ex-fiancé. She described the connection as poisonous and rife with emotional and bodily abuse. She mentioned she ended up having him arrested in her residence. In an effort to get her out, a good friend bought her airplane ticket from Australia to Vegas, and provided a spot to remain whereas she discovered her subsequent steps.
“It was unstable the entire time, however was in love,” Clark mentioned of her earlier relationship. “It was like a drug dependancy. I knew how dangerous it was, however I could not get sufficient of it on the identical time.”
After touchdown in Vegas, Clark approached Syndicate MMA proprietor John Wooden to see if she may prepare there whereas she was on the town. He invited her to assist out with one other fighter’s camp, and Clark figured she can be there for a number of weeks earlier than heading to Florida. Greater than a yr later, she nonetheless hasn’t left.
“He is modified my life,” Clark mentioned. “He discovered find out how to get by to me higher than anybody can. I am overly emotional and he is just like the one one that has been capable of determine me out. He is aware of find out how to calm me down if I am freaking out and choose me again up. Nobody has ever performed that.”
Syndicate MMA has change into Clark’s dwelling. She teaches youth Muay Thai lessons and trains as a lot as her physique will permit. Although she spent a lot of her childhood in small cities in Queensland, Australia, Clark cannot get sufficient of Vegas. The whole lot is offered on a regular basis and her fitness center is right here. What else may she want?
After spending the final decade couch-surfing, residing in gyms and crashing with different folks, she’s lastly getting her personal residence. Proper after she will get again from St. Louis, she’s placing down three months hire and getting her personal place.
“I really feel like I’ve made a house in Vegas,” Clark mentioned. “I am prepared to essentially put down some roots.”
With a brand new residence comes the potential for getting a canine. Regardless that she has bodily moved on from her previous relationship, the injuries are nonetheless current. She mentioned she has nightmares and struggles with post-traumatic stress, so the chance to have a companion is interesting. It is one other step within the therapeutic course of and constructing the life she desires.
“If that scenario hadn’t occurred, then I would not have moved to Vegas and I would not be the place I am at,” Clark mentioned of her expertise with home violence. “It nonetheless pops up in my head and I hate speaking about him. I am going to by no means say his title, however I can not be upset about that scenario anymore.”