Jessica-Rose Clark had an amazing performance at UFC Vegas 11, dominating Sarah Alpar across three rounds before violently finishing her in the third round with some mean muay thai. While it didn’t earn her a Performance of the Night bonus, it did put her on many people’s radar at women’s bantamweight.
Unfortunately, it now looks like that will be all we see of her this year, as “Jessy Jess” has just announced on her Instagram that ACL surgery will keep her out of competition until mid-2021.
“So ... got some bad news,” Clark reported. “I hurt my knee in camp for that last fight and then I hurt it again in the fight. And then it turns out I have a torn ACL and I need to get ACL surgery now, which is going to put me out for about nine months. So it looks like I won’t be fighting until mid 2021.”
“Obviously I’m pretty bummed out about it,” she continued. “In fact I feel like the last couple of years have been pretty rough to be honest. Like, I lost and I got injured and was out for almost a year. And then lost again and then I got injured again. The one thing I’m grateful for is that I still had a really great performance against Sarah. And that kind of shows me that I’m on the right path with my training, my mentality, to become a better athlete, to become a better fighter, to become a better human being. I’m on the right path, I’m figuring out my plan and the right things for me.”
“So I am grateful that if this had to happen, it’s happening while I’m in a situation where I’m at now at CSA [Combat Sports Academy],” she concluded. “But yeah, it sucks. It really does. But on the other side of that, if I had a performance like that and I couldn’t kick, all camp I couldn’t stabilize on this leg. I could kick with it, but only if I could land clean with my shin. If I hit with my foot, then I was in agony. Anyone who goes through an ACL injury is gonna tell you, it’s pretty f**king painful. So I’m glad I’m in the position I am now, and sad I have to take so much more time off. But I think it’s a good opportunity for me to work on some external revenue streams, come up with some plans on how to make a living outside of fighting.”
As the end of her statement made clear, this isn’t just a hit to her career, it’s a hit to her wallet, which wasn’t exactly overflowing with greenbacks before the news broke. After finding out she’d been passed over for a $50,000 bonus, Clark shared her pre-fight bank account balance of $17.70. While we’re sure the UFC Vegas 11 win dumped a much needed lump sum back in there, you have to figure a bunch of that went to paying her camp and expenses. Maybe the UFC’s vague health coverage plan will pay for the ACL surgery or maybe it wont. Either way, “Jessy Jess” still has to make that one purse at least nine months.
Based on what we saw against Sarah Alpar, Jessica-Rose Clark has a bright future at 135 pounds ... but surviving until she makes it back into the cage sounds like it’s gonna be rough. So show your support, maybe buy one of her “Lil Thiccc” t-shirts when they come out or something.