When your knockout win is viewed over 2 million times, finding an opponent can become a difficult thing, but Jinh Yu Frey believes those struggles are behind her with her debut at Invicta FC 8 September 6th against Jodie Esquibel.
Corey Smith: Like many others, you initially entered into the world of martial arts for the fitness aspect. What caught your attention and kept it in regards to martial arts?
Jinh Yu Frey: I’m a very competitive person and martial arts are the epitome of competition.
CS: Most of your immediate family has a history with martial arts. How do they feel about your fighting career?
JYF: Everyone has been really supportive. My older brother has actually started fighting as well, and my nephew competes in Jiu Jitsu. My niece just turned 5, and I believe she wants to start Jiu Jitsu too.
CS: Speaking of careers, you manage to fight professionally, maintain a career, and pursue an MBA. How do you balance all three aspects of your life?
JYF: I don’t know myself sometimes. Some days are pretty crazy. I just have to be a diligent steward of my time because I don’t get a lot of free time. Luckily, I have a very supportive husband who understands what the demands on my time are. He does most of our house work and prepares most of my meals for me. He also helps set my training schedule for the week.
JYF: Recently, he purchased wrestling mats for our guest bedroom so that we can do extra drilling at home. My work is usually pretty easy going about my fighting and gives me time off when I need it.
JYF: In the MBA program I attend, most of it is group work and my classmates have been generous in doing a little extra when I can’t and vice versa. To sum it up, I think I am just blessed to be surrounded by such supportive people.
CS: Fighting was also responsible for your marriage to your husband. How did that come about?
JYF: I was helping a team mate with her weight cut and was there to support her for her pro debut which also just happened to be on a card that my future husband was fighting on as well. After the fights everyone was out celebrating and we hit it off pretty well, even though he had been hitting on my little sister at the weigh ins. (He swears he thought I was with someone, so he hit on her)
CS: In just your second professional bout, you scored what many considered the best knockout in all of MMA for 2013 against Darla Harris. The KO went on to become a viral sensation. What was that experience like for you?
JYF: It was pretty surreal to see the extent at which it blew up. I wouldn’t by any means call myself famous, but I am still blown away by the attention my fighting has garnered. I’ve actually been on another continent and met someone who has seen it.
CS: The video also caused problems for you in regards to finding willing opponents. Do you believe that will still be a problem in Invicta FC? How has your experience been like thus far with the company?
JYF: Not at all. Invicta FC has been great. They are extremely professional and I think the long wait will be well worth it.
CS: Your opponent on September 6th, Jodie Esquibel, has had a slightly longer career, and brings a wealth of knowledge with her via Jackson’s MMA. What are you expectations of yourself and your opponent in the bout?
JYF: I think I’m taking a big leap in competition in accepting a bout with Jodie. She has quite a bit of experience and a lot of ring savvy. She comes from a very strategic camp and is a very good athlete. That being said, I also believe in my abilities and my camp. I have been working extremely hard and I’m anxious to see the fruits of my labors.
JYF: Jodie will be a good test of where my skill is. I don’t believe there are any easy fights coming out of Jackson’s camp, but I know I possess the needed determination, ambition, and perseverance. There are very few things that I have failed at once I set my mind to it.
CS: What is your mood on fight night? Do you have any routines or superstitions that you have to perform?
JYF: I just try to stay calm and mellow. I usually go over things in my head that I may have had trouble with over the course of my camp. I also go over in my head what to do if I get put in a bad position.
JYF: That way, if it should happen, it’s fresh in my mind and I can stay composed. I don’t have any routines and I’m not much for superstition. Little things like that do not change the work I’ve put in.
CS: Aside from fight preparation, how much MMA do you watch purely for enjoyment?
JYF: I love watching MMA. I don’t watch any other sports besides combat sports. I like watching other people’s styles and flow.
CS: Outside of the gym and MMA, what types of activities do you enjoy for fun? What helps you to relax?
JYF: I’m an avid world traveler. I love getting out of my comfort zone and off the beaten track with my husband and our backpacks. We’ve recently started trying to climb a mountain in every country we go to. We started off climbing Ben Nevis in the Scottish Highlands, then the Peruvian Andes on our trek to Machu Picchu, and this year we tried to summit Cotopaxi in Ecuador. We fell about 2,000 feet short of the summit, but 17,000 feet is still much higher than I have ever been. I’ve done missions work in Kenya, seen original Van Gogh’s in Amsterdam, surfed in Fiji, and I still haven’t even put a dent in my bucket list.
JYF: I’m also a bookworm. When I’m not in school or training for a fight, I can easily devour 5 books a week.
CS: Lastly, MMA takes a team to succeed alone inside the cage. Who would you like to thank?
JYF: My husband, my coaches, my manger Adolph, my team at Mohler MMA, the people at Team Takedown where I cross-train, and Invicta FC for believing in me enough to give me this opportunity.
JYF: Also, my amazing sponsors who help me on this crazy journey of mine: Gamma Labs, Apocalypse MMA, KV Cattle Co, #FritzFowler, and Damage Control Mouthguards.
Invicta FC 8 takes place September 6th live from the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri. The full card will air live via UFC Fight Pass. Click below for tickets, or to subscribe to UFC FightPass.