Jessica-Rose Clark looks to go back-to-back to her roots when she steps into the cage on Dec. 15 opposite Andrea Lee at UFC on FOX 31. But outside the cage she’s made some major changes that she hopes will not only make her a better fighter, but a better person.
Suffering her first loss in the UFC back in June, the 30-year-old took a step back and identified some of the problems that led to that unanimous decision setback against Jessica Eye.
“I needed to make changes in my camp, I was focusing on the wrong things.” Clark told MMA News. “I’ve changed a lot this camp, it’s been very different. I’m super excited to see how it comes out on fight night. I’m a lot happier. Last camp I wasn’t very happy and I think that makes a big difference as well. I changed camps. I left Syndicate MMA. It’s a great gym, amazing coaching I just didn’t feel like it wasn’t providing me with what I needed to be really successful. I’ve started working with a couple of different coaches and focusing a lot more on MMA as a whole instead of striking. I think I spent too much time on striking and becoming a kick boxer. That was very clear in my last fight with Jessica where I didn’t do anything. The two fights before that I won with my grappling and wrestling. I realized I got to get back to my roots in grappling.”
Clark (9-5) lost for the first time since Mar. 2017 and snapped her three-fight win streak in the process. Prior to that, the Invicta FC veteran had defeated Bec Rawlings and Paige VanZant in the octagon. One of the other big changes she’s made this camp is quitting alcohol. Instead of going out and partying, she’s traded wine for video games.
“I quit drinking and then I had nothing to do at night so I bought the PlayStation. It was will be five months on fight day [being sober] I’ve struggled with alcohol addiction since I was 19-years-old. In and out of camp. I realized how negatively it was affecting my performance, mentality and personal life. I woke up one day and I was like I can’t do it anymore. I have too big of an opportunity right now and I didn’t want to f**ck it up because I couldn’t put down the bottle. So I went cold turkey, nothing else. It’s been hard more for the fact that once I quit, and stop kind of I guess numbing my problems. I actually started having to start dealing with them more. Realizing that I might have had issues or that there were things that I wasn’t happy with that I didn’t know I wasn’t happy about them because I was drunk all the time. That was actually one of the things that promoted me to leave Syndicate MMA, was that I was sober and I realized it wasn’t the right environment for me.”
UFC on FOX 31 takes place Dec. 15 at at Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The main event features a lightweight rematch pitting Kevin Lee against Al Iaquinta.