Kentucky submission ace Gina “Jellybean” Begley (3-2) said on Sept. 29 in an exclusive interview with Long Island MMA Examiner Eric Holden that she’ll be returning to the cage against 19-year-old Missouri wrestler Hannah McNitt (3-0) on Oct. 26 in St. Louis, Missouri.
Begley, 32, is already working hard preparing for the bout, but she kindly took a few minutes from her busy schedule to discuss what she’s expecting from McNitt. Here’s what she had to say:
Q. From what I understand, you don’t like to know too much about your opponents. With that said, what do you know about McNitt and what are you expecting during the fight on Oct. 26?
Begley: I’m expecting a wrestler with some BJJ submissions. I hope to take advantage of the pressure she has fighting in front of the home town crowd.
Q. You are 13 years older than your upcoming opponent. Is it a bit strange to be 32 years old and fighting a 19-year-old?
Begley: It is a little strange. I’m an adult woman. She is still a teenage girl in my perspective although I’m sure she doesn’t feel that way. She probably sees that as an advantage.
Q. On a similar note… you’re in your 30s and this will be your sixth amateur fight if I’m not mistaken, so… Do you think you’ll turn pro with a victory here, or are you just taking it one step at a time?
Begley: I very much would like to make a pro debut very soon. I have five MMA fights and four Muay Thai fights. But I’ll have to sit down with my coach and manager and evaluate what I’m ready for before taking that step.
Q. So you recently lost to Katlyn Chookagian. It was a short fight, but do you feel like you learned anything from that experience that you can use moving forward?
Begley: I learned that getting flash knocked out doesn’t hurt like you think it would.
Q. A brilliant MMA writer recently added you to a ‘Best Legs in WMMA’ list. Do you think such lists set the sport back? Or is it the other way around, helping increase brand awareness, etc?
Begley: I do not believe pointing out positive attributes whether physical or mental about a person are going to set them back as an athlete. I believe the athlete will set themselves back in the sport if they focus on only that aspect.
Q. Besides the fight against McNitt, have anything else in the works?
Begley: I’m hoping to go to a 10th Planet seminar two weeks before the fight. My school is 10th Planet so its an opportunity to train at a seminar under Eddie Bravo. I think it’ll be cool.
Q. Welp that’s fun. Where can people find you on social media?
Begley: Check me out on Twitter at @ginajellyb.