[Masthead] Mostly Cloudy ~ 63°F  
High: 63°F ~ Low: 45°F
Sunday, May 1, 2016

Philippus set for pro debut

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Marshall's Jessica Philippus is primed for her first pro opponent Saturday in the Invicta Fighting Championships 2 event.
(Photo contributed)
Mixed martial arts fighter Jessica Philippus of Marshall is ready to turn pro.

Philippus, 29, will step up from the amateur ranks Saturday on the undercard of the Invicta Fighting Championships 2 program Saturday at Kansas City's Memorial Hall.

The former Missouri Valley College wrestler got herself back in fighting trim May 12, ending a 15-month period of inactivity inside the cage while she had her second child, a daughter born Jan. 21. Although she defeated Amanda Hein with a arm triangle hold at the 2:53 mark of the first period, Philippus admitted the match "was hard."

"There was definitely a big learning curve," she said. "I had some cage rust."

That was understandable considering that the invitation came by e-mail only a week before the fight. Philippus response was immediate: "I just said, 'Sure.'"

"I got hit the first couple of times" during the early sparring, Philippus noted. "It took me a couple of hits to get in the right frame of mind to fight back."

Philippus fought at 115 pounds then, but will drop 10 pounds to compete in the Atomweight division as a pro.

"Getting that baby weight off, getting in shape and preparing for my opponent" are the priorities of her current training regimen, Philippus said. "It's been above and beyond a normal fight."

Philippus' foe also demands intensive attention. Ranked No. 1 at 105 pounds following a 7-1 amateur career which began three years ago, she'll take on second-rated Liz "Li'l Lightning" McCarthy of Tigard, Ore., who is undefeated in six bouts.

"It's been a long time coming," Philippus said of the bout. "She's got good boxing and excellent jiu jitsu skills."

The only thing diverting attention is the minor decision of picking a walk-out song for her introduction, which she's doing by on-line poll. The fight itself will be live-streamed through the www.invictafc.com site and available for free.

Meanwhile, her husband Robb -- also a former Viking grappler -- plans to enter the pro ranks after one more amateur tilt, having compiled a 7-1 mark.

For the moment, little of that matters.

"I've hired the appropriate coaches to get me where I need to be," Philippus said. Because she's familiar with both her foe and the venue, "I feel comfortable, feel at home. I feel pretty confident."

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on marshallnews.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

McCarthy blew that eye up! What a fighter that girl is.

-- Posted by Long Bottom on Sun, Jul 29, 2012, at 2:02 PM

Best of luck. Kick some patut.

-- Posted by Condor on Fri, Jul 27, 2012, at 9:30 AM

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: