Jessy Miele is a mixed martial artist who competes in the Featherweight division for Bellator MMA. She is also the former Reality Fighting Bantamweight champion, and has picked up nine victories in her professional career including five stoppages.
Jessy Miele: How are you feeling uh? How are you doing? How has this whole pandemic been been on you and your family uh, it’s been okay, i mean it’s a little scary. You know nobody has gotten it close to me, but you know you never know what could happen. I have like a grandfather who’s in his 90s, so we’ve been really cautious. My mom is a nurse, so she was like really careful some of us. Well, some people in my family have like kind of like health issues, so just been really careful, but luckily we’ve been okay as a family and uh. It’S definitely changed things, there’s not much hugging and kissing anymore, there’s more like elbowing, but uh. You know i got ta get good with my elbows anyways for my fight, so how is the uh? How does that play a factor and whether or not you accept a fight throughout the pandemic? I know a lot of people are like. I don’t really care i’m just gon na fight anyway, but i’m sure these thoughts are on the back of your mind. You know, obviously you don’t want to put your family at risk, your friends at risk. So what sort of things do you balance when taking a fight uh during all of this um? Well, yeah? That’S that that makes you make a good point about putting people at risk so um. You know i just i considered in general. Just you know if there was a fight opportunity being patient and having that opportunity would be awesome, because you know what i’m getting older and there’s not going to be much uh going, i’m 35. So you know if this the whole thing pans out for like the next 10 years. Nobody can fight or do anything and then i’ll be like 40 50., so i you know, definitely would be taking fights regardless, but um. I was planning no matter where it would be to quarantine uh for the like. You know, two weeks after, if i did come home and i did travel luckily, i am in the state of connecticut um. So i am right where i live, so i don’t think i’ll do the 14 days, but i will be careful. I probably won’t go see my grandfather. I barely do now like i’ll see him, but i won’t really like hug and stuff like that. Just to be careful just in case i was how was training been throughout the entire thing. I’Ve talked to a lot of fighters and most of them been like i’ve kind of dialed down on the expiring and whatnot, because i can’t but they’ve been doing more cardio and running. So so, what’s that been like for you and what sorts of alterations have you made uh throughout the entire pandemic yeah? I think a lot of us are in the same boat. I was kind of doing like two to three days or two to three sessions a day, whether it just be like a strength and conditioning and then going to the gym and sparring and doing some like just regular shadow boxing and uh drills with uh classroom or Classes but um that obviously jim’s had to close. They can’t have people touching and sparring with mixed martial arts, specifically even wrestling. I was really getting. Um really excited with my wrestling, and you know that’s almost like the worst okay, like you’re, like, like literally that um. So that was a little tough but yeah outdoors, a lot of things. My best friend and coach and his fiance live in a lake, so i learned how to swim in a lake, even though it’s a little creepy versus the pool, there’s things underneath it. I don’t know: what’s in there um biking, i got my bike: fixed uh try to kind of figure out what was going around my house, because i don’t have a bike rack. So i was just driving the bike around and the boyfriend, and i we were doing some some lifting at the house um, but yeah just trying to get it in any way. We can. I started a garden, you know, so i’m moving around at least outside. So you were scheduled to compete, was it back in? I think it was in march. I think you were one of the last events to to really kind of like cancel because of the pandemic. Describe the the roller coaster of emotions, i mean you’re getting news that it might cancel, but yet it’s not officially canceled, so you’re still kind of prepping for it so describe all of that up until the cancellation kind of like everything, that’s kind of unfolding yeah, i Mean it was weird because um we were hearing like there might be something coming up with kobe. They might have something, but i was kind of like just make the weight focus on the weight cut, focus on getting there thursday and just like being don’t worry about anything else. So i didn’t really have like that emotional like. Oh, it might get canceled. It might not, it was just just do the same thing. You normally do and don’t change anything um and see what happens and at that point we made weight. We went to, you know, enjoy our food after and the next day you know hair braiding ready to go for the fight like i think we were eating lunch, and that was when the rumors really started coming in with the messages and things because when i’m cutting Weight too, i’m not really looking at, like you know the internet, or talking to my friends, i’m like just focused on the fight making weight and then i’m like studying what i’m gon na do in the fight against my opponent, so uh. That was like the day of the fight when the whole, like okay, it’s official you’re, not gon na fight, i’m like until i hear it from an actual person from bellator, i’m not gon na change anything and then, like officially, they told me so i was like Okay and yeah i mean it is what it is emotionally. It did suck, but i’m just you know, i understand they have to be safe. They don’t want us to get sick um. So i just you just kind of just dealt with it and just went forward. You know yeah, so it was supposed to be the biggest fight of your career, possibly uh against leslie smith and it kind of worked out because you got, in my opinion, an even bigger fight coming up coming this weekend. Um and julia bud so kind of describe uh. I guess the emotions here fight week, uh the biggest fight of your life. How are you feeling a few days out? I feel great. You know every fight is uh. One of the i kind of like trying to be in the moment you know every fight is the biggest fight at the moment. Um. Sometimes people will be like oh you’re fighting julia, but what do you think of cyborg, i’m like hey? How about i’m right now? Fighting julia bud, so that’s all i’m thinking about at the moment. Okay, so just yeah, i’m excited to just get in there and and get the job done. So it’s gon na be fun. What does your fight week routine? Look like um it’s fight week. So i’m sure i’ve heard a lot of people say like raphael scott’s like he watches netflix, he just kind of relaxes kind of tunes, everything out. What’S it like for you and how is this, you know having to go and quarantine for 48 hours. How has that kind of like affected uh your your fight week, preparation? Well, i don’t sit still very well, so i could say that so being in a room, i’m here with my best friend and my coach’s fiance missy, and i’m thankful that she’s here, because if it was any of the coaches, i love those guys, but they probably Would have killed me by now because i’m like um so yeah, i have um an actual rower in the room. So i’m able to do some exercise with that and we have some plans to do some other yoga and all kinds of just you know. Burpees and jumping jacks, i have a jump rope and you know something that we’re moving around. At least i might even just jump on the bed randomly just because i can so i’ll find ways um to just like kind of get those calories in. But it’s definitely different, like normally um i’d, probably wake up go to the pool just to get that extra cardio in the morning and then i would either be writing in my notebook notes and going over strategy with my coach and a couple other people and then Training so um it would be light, but still like doing something where i’m interacting with a lot of people. So it’s a little different being in a room but missy’s here and i’m happy at least she’s here i know you said uh, you know every fight to you is your biggest fight, but you have to look at julia budd and look at her accomplishments. I mean she was bellator champion. Her only losses are the three of the greatest females of all time. How do you view her as an opponent and what sorts of uh alterations to your uh, like your mindset and your training goes into this, knowing how good she is and and her background yeah she’s been in the game? I think over 20 years or about 20 years, you know she has a lot of experience. A lot of cage time ring time. Um she’s, you know she’s patient you can you can there’s a lot of video footage on her, where i can watch her fights um. So this time around, i think the difference actually for the last year and a half um before the leslie smith fight was me kind of studying my own fights more and studying like how i would fight myself and working with my coaches on you know finding where My areas of opportunity for my opponents, uh, would be so i can capitalize on understanding like oh well. If i was gon na fight myself, i would do that so um. That has helped me a lot and uh that has changed um and then just in general. Just being really uh cautious on like studying her footage to see like where she’s really good and where she has, where their vulnerabilities are for fighting her, so um yeah you’re, coming off too too close uh, two close victories. How do you like? Do you review those tapes and being like okay? Look, they were close fights. These are areas where i can improve, or do you focus more on her like? How do you balance it like? Do you watch more your tape and see areas you can improve, or do you look at her tape and find flaws and errors she makes and how do you go yeah? It’S more about me. Like i’ve, i started with everything i started boxing doing jiu jitsu. I have more jiu jitsu tournaments under my belt, just because you don’t have to get blood tested and all that stuff uh. So i was able to jump in as much as i could but um and then there’s a lot of other um, a lot of skills that i have that in a lot of my fights. I don’t necessarily see myself applying them and it’s just you know, there’s an adrenaline rush. Sometimes you’re like i just want to get the job done like. Let me you know, so anything can happen in the cage. It’S different for everybody, so um yeah. I do study myself a lot to see. Oh wow look at what i’m doing there um but yeah. I just um. I think that’s more something that i do is study a little bit more about myself than the other people, because sometimes there’s no footage on another person. That’S your opponent and you just have to go in there and get the job done anyways. So do you think? That’S a perk as well, knowing that you know your footage, some of your footage may not be as accessible as hers. It might be a little bit harder to find some of your tape. Do you think that’s an advantage for you um i mean maybe but like at the end of the day, like i i feel like every fight i try to um. I want to apply more of my game plan, i’m the better fighter. Every time i get in there, so i don’t know if it’ll matter to be honest, if even if there was a lot of footage out there, i know you uh. I know you said you didn’t really want to talk about a potential matchup with with chris cyborg, but but i have to ask if you get this thing done um on friday night is that is that a fight you’d be interested. I’M sure it’s something that you’d love to and uh to have but uh, and how would you match up with with chris cyborg yeah? So, first of all, when i get this thing done on friday, night is the terminology i would use and uh yeah. You know i’m not gon na. It’S awesome. You know it’s a great opportunity to fight julia, but it’s a great opportunity to potentially be able to get to the next level and fight chris cyborg, but no matter what there’s just there’s always. You know i’m always learning and i’m always going to progress and i’m not going to turn that fight down and you know she’s an amazing fighter. Both of them are but there’s always everybody’s beatable, there’s always a way. So there’s another fight um that night uh ryan bader is headlining that card against vadim nemkov. How do you uh? How do you pray that predict that one going um you know? I’M not i’m not sure i feel like to be honest. It’S been a little bit crazy because the kovitz, so i feel like for me, for example, during the whole kobe thing, i have developed a lot more patience and appreciation. So um, i really don’t have a prediction. I think anything can happen like coming out of that. Covid um craziness that we’re all in a different place now, so i’m just kind of excited to be able to hopefully watch it after my fight so we’ll see, because sometimes i got ta wait and go in the back and then you know so that’ll be kind Of fun, though, if i can watch it, i want to ask i’m sure you watch a lot of uh women’s mma, i’m sure you’re you’re, a big fan. I mean i’m. I’Ve looked at the list: gina carano ronda rousey, chris cyborg amanda nunes, i’m like who would i consider the goat and i’ve been back and forth the past little, while recently i’ve been leaning, amanda nunes. As someone who fights i mean i’m just seeing this from the outside someone who’s been in the octagon, what what is or been in the cage who do you have as number one uh female fighter of all time um. So i think that everybody, first of all number one female fighter of all time is everybody – has something like gina carano during when i was first starting out was number one female at all time, female fighter of all time. At that point, you know what i mean right now. I see chris cyborg as the uh number one female fighter of all time, even though she did get beat by amanda nunes. She you know doesn’t mean that amina nunez could do it again. You never know you know so um. I still see chris cyborg as right now, the number one for at least my division um. You know 145, 135 area. That’S what i see. I want to talk about that. The 145 division, because i mean in bellator builders starting to kind of establish it they’re kind of building it up. Ufc’S really just got like the four or five girls there. What do you think it will really take to to build this division to make it as big as uh, 135 or 115? Do you think that there’s just not enough talent or do you think that maybe they just need to kind of like find a way to unite them, or how do you? How do you get this division up and running? I you know, i went out to the ultimate fighter, tryouts, the um, the 145 pound division, and there was a number of really amazing fighters that i actually made friends with. We were there for a week. There was probably at least 10 girls that were between like 135 and 155 um that were great. You know they’re fighting for invicta, some for um pfl uh, some right now, one of them’s in the ufc uh. She went a little lighter. Some of them have gone a little lighter one of them, i think, went up to the pfl was 155. I believe so. I don’t force i foresee like if bellator kind of just even like looks at that list of names and like start signing people i mean we could definitely build a 145 pound division. I’M not sure that ufc really wants to do much with it. So you know whoever’s still there over on contract that gets off contract, they could even come on over, like megan anderson and such whatever works. But i don’t see anybody or i don’t. I don’t foresee that there’s an issue with building the 145 pound division. There’S definitely enough people, it’s just a matter of them, calling some girls and get them in with everything that’s kind of unfolded. I mean the only talk for a long time of mma was about fight island. Have you have you considered? You know maybe going to fight abroad somewhere else throughout all of this, or are you like a homebody who’s like i like fighting in the us, i like fighting in my hometown, or are you someone who likes to travel for fights? Oh man, i would love to travel overseas. That’D be great. I had the farthest i fought in canada. I thought charming tweet in canada, uh in regina saskatchewan, so um. You know i’d go back to canada. Happily um! I would go anywhere yeah. I don’t i don’t. I mean obviously um there’s some consideration with like those countries that are got like you know, with the coven had some illness and some issues with that, but um, i’m pretty sure bellator is going to be very protective of its fighters and not just bring us to Somewhere that is not safe, so let’s hope but um yeah, i’m totally open to that. All right i’ll ask you a couple more questions and then i’ll uh and then i’ll. Let you go um. The big thing i find a lot of fighters. I’Ve talked about is kind of the awkwardness of the no attendance. How do you feel that’s going to affect your performance? I mean you’re going to be able to hear both corners you’re going to be able to hear commentary, but at the same time, walking out without without a crowd has to feel a bit weird. Have you experienced anything like that and if not, how do you think it’s going to affect your performance? I mean well, if you consider like you’re in your gym sparring, it might just be, there might not even be like a class going on, so maybe there’s some music on. So it’s not like much different. I feel like that in like a sparring session, where there’s not a lot of people, i got my corner, you know yelling at me and their per their corner yelling at them um. I just i guess. The biggest issue for me is that i’m not gon na have any excuse if i uh, if my coroner tells me to do something, and i don’t do it so i’m kind of like damn it. I can’t be like. I couldn’t hear you so um, that’s the only thing if i’m not listening to them, they’re gon na be like i know you could hear me so last question what sorts of things you do in your in your free time, especially throughout the pandemic i mean i Was bored as all hell and ended up starting and i just decided to interview uh mma fighters? What sorts of things do you do in your free time when you’re, not training and and not prepping, for fights cool, so uh? You didn’t mention video games before our conversation and it’s funny, because my boyfriend is a big gamer and he has a playstation and we’ve played a couple of things with like streets of streets of rage. Um we’ve been, i sometimes will go up and watch him. He’Ll play his games and i will probably watch like movies on netflix, like you were saying to like the kissing booth, actually me, and this you’re watching right now and just some girly movies and or you know, full movie by the way very underrated yeah. Yes, so good, oh, my god and sometimes he’ll watch with me and we’ll mix it up. We have bunny rabbits. He also is a producer and music musician, so he’ll dj in the house – and i will put on my light up shoes and dance around like we’re. Pretty much at a club and then i will shadow box and practice my martial arts. So that’s what we’ve been kind of doing the the whole time during covid and um. It’S been fun, we’ve opened the garage and done it outside. So i got my garden, but yeah that’s pretty much most of it all right. I can’t. I can’t wait to watch you on friday night, all the best, i’m really looking forward to it and a huge huge opportunity, co-main event spot, so all the best. Good luck. Thank you so much thanks for having me, i appreciate it all right, stay safe,