Lots of fighters give lip service to the idea of being reborn when they move camps, but Jessica-Rose Clark really means it; you can see a new outlook practically radiating off of her these days.
Although still a fixture at the UFC Performance Institute, Clark decided it was time to move on from Las Vegas’ Syndicate MMA to her new home at 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu in SoCal, where she looks to evolve her self-described “mean and Australian” fighting style.
We caught up with her in Wisconsin, where she faces rising women’s flyweight Andrea Lee this Saturday at Fight Night Milwaukee.
UFC: It’s been a few months since we’ve seen you. How have things been since Singapore?
JRC: Really good! I went through a gym change and a change of coaches and I feel really good about it. I feel way better going into this fight than I did going into Singapore.
UFC: It’s clear you’re always adding new elements to your game. Can we expect to see something new on Saturday?
JRC: [Laughs] Yeah! Especially with a whole new set of coaches, I really feel like…a whole new fighter. I’ve been doing so many different things that I haven’t done any camp. I’m excited about it.
UFC: How have you grown since your last fight?
JRC: In a lot of ways! I changed everything, you know? I realized that my process wasn’t really working for me, mentally, emotionally and physically as well. So I changed everything. Everything is new, everything is fresh, everything is shiny and everything feels really exciting right now.
UFC: Where do you think you have the advantages against your opponent, Andrea Lee?
JRC: I think I’m physically a lot stronger. I think my skill set is a lot broader than hers. She’s pretty set in the way she fights and I’ve fought people like her before. I haven’t had as many fights as a lot of people in this division, and I’m always growing. Especially with the camp change and the coaches change and the style change, it’s going to be completely different than any other fight I’ve had.
UFC: Some have said that 2018 has been the year of the Aussie takeover. Do you agree?
JRC: Definitely! I got signed late last year, and there were already a couple Aussies and Kiwis in the UFC, but I don’t think they were as prominent or getting as much marketing. But it feels like in 2018…Tyson [Pedro], Tai [Tuivasa]…all these really big personalities are now on a worldwide stage. We always knew about them back home—always—but it’s really nice to see the international recognition.
Gavin Porter is a writer and producer for UFC.com. Follow him on @PorterUFCnews