Author: Jess Mouneimne

Jess Mouneimne is an MMA fighter and certified health coach (PHCI), and trainer. She is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) purple belt, 200 HR YTA yoga teacher, and strength and conditioning coach under the number one voted MMA strength and conditioning coach, Phil Daru. She co-owns an MMA gym in Cape Town, where she coaches BJJ and teaches Yoga. Jess has a keen interest in the growth of women in the combat sports space and teaches women’s self-defense using trauma-informed coaching.

If you had asked me three years ago if I ever saw myself going pro, I would have had a good giggle-and yet here we are, set for an EFC debut on 5 March! As I sit and write this, I am reminded of a disagreement I had with an ex-fighter from our stable several years ago. Jadyson Costa, the former lightweight champ. While I can’t remember what our disagreement was about, I remember his attempt at insulting me in broken English. “Mommy MMA,” he said. As the wife of one of Africa’s top MMA coaches, I have been involved…

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Many women report experiencing clumsiness, lethargy, slower reaction time, poor judgement and a drop in coordination during their period. This is caused by the low levels of oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone in the body just before and at the start of menstruation. None of these are elements anyone wants to deal with in a fight.

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I had the privilege of meeting Valentina Shevchenko in 2017 while on holiday in Dubai. We had caught wind of a regional MMA fight night taking place nearby and snapped up two tickets without knowing much about the fight card. To my surprise, there she was casually strolling through the crowd. Naturally, I requested a photo. Standing next to Valentina, I was immediately taken aback by how small she was. While she wasn’t all that much taller than me, her presence and star power towered over me! We chatted casually for a few minutes about her planned move down to…

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For the longest time, I watched fighters come and go through the gym that I co-own with my husband. I watched out-of-shape men morph into lean, fighting machines in a matter of weeks. I also watched as these same men reduced back to their former swollen, flabby selves in a matter of days post fighting. I listened as they boasted about how much weight they were able to lose or gain; as they rattled off about the mountains of food they were able to shovel down their gullets after making weight. Watching depleted, dehydrated and starved men, “power-up” using food…

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