Jada Ketley left modeling in the rearview mirror to embark on her journey in the world of combat sports. After a short trip over to South Africa in the middle of 2018, she decided to fully dedicate herself to mixed martial arts. Sharpening her skills under the guidance of Richie Quan for the last year has readied her for the opportunities that await.
For her pro debut, Ketley will challenge Casey O’Neill for the strawweight title at Eternal MMA 46 on July 27 in Gold Coast, Australia.
John Hyon Ko of Kumite TV spoke with the Eternal MMA newcomer about her transition to MMA from Muay Thai, Quan University in South Africa, fighting for Cage Muay Thai being a pivotal moment in her development, training with Cris Cyborg, taking her weight cut seriously, and more.
Full video interview down below.
JHK: “Let’s talk about Caged Muay Thai, walking into a cage with small gloves. How different of a game is that?”
Jada Ketley: “CMT, Caged Muay Thai, was not a great experience for me. It was the first time I really lost. I lost one time prior to that at the Nationals but that was a padded fight and I just really, really gassed out. So it was more like just work on my fitness. But this was the first time that I really, I guess, humiliated. But it made me a lot more humble because as I was fighting people often said you’re getting so good, you’re probably going to beat everyone in your division. I was definitely letting it get to my head at the time.”
JHK: “I also saw that you got to train with Cris Cyborg a little bit while in South Africa. Talk about that experience and how it affected you?”
Jada Ketley: “She walks into the gym and she came over and introduced herself and we spoke. I could tell she was like everyone else. She doesn’t think that she is special or better and that same day we were doing jiu-jitsu rounds. I hear her call me from across the mat and I’m walking over to her, so many mixed emotions. I’m rolling with her and I’m trying to understand how a young Australian girl in Johannesburg, South Africa rolling with Cris Cyborg. She’s a beast.”
JHK: “How do you envision this fight playing out?”
Jada Ketley: “Ah man, I envision it all the time. When I’m in the shower or when I’m driving. I believe a lot in visualizing things and feeling like I’ve already won before I have in a sense. I really feel like I can finish this fight early. I think that Casey is super, super talented but I have seen some of the opponents that she has had and I know that I punch really hard. I’ve been told by a lot of people that I’m freakishly strong for my size and that I can hit really hard. And I never got to lay my hands on someone properly in 4oz gloves. I think there is a chance that could happen.”
John Hyon Ko is a South Korean combat sports journalist living the dream of bantering with some of the most dangerous men and women walking the face of the planet.