Hometown fighter and amateur 145 pounder Jessamyn Duke has a huge opportunity this weekend to show the world her skills.
Duke is apart of the all-female “Battle Against Breast Cancer” event in Florence, KY this coming Saturday, which will be streamed live on the internet and televised a nationwide on Fox Sports Network a few weeks after. We got to talk to Duke on “Sportsgeeks” this week.
Duke moved to Richmond, KY to attend Eastern Kentucky University, and even though it was a few hours away from home, she found it difficult to adjust to the new surroundings. She took up kickboxing to help her ease the transition, and has been hooked ever since.
“This is one of those things I didn’t get bored with. I always struggled to get better at it,” Duke expressed. “I got obsessive with it and it was like I was in the gym every day.”
If that wasn’t enough for Duke, she was inspired to take Brazilian jiu-jitsu six months later.
“The kickboxing class would end and I would see the grappling class and the Brazilian jiu-jitsu class coming in and working out,” Duke observed. “I was fascinated by what they did. I wanted to learn it, especially as a female for self defense. Even from that stand point, this is something I want to do. This is something that I want to learn.”
Duke’s natural progression was to MMA. After some success, this will be her first match giving her nationwide exposure, which could be a little unnerving. This compounded with the fact that her idol, Strikeforce 145 pound champion Cyborg Santos, will be in attendance. Duke is always ready to compete, however, and sees this as apart of soon-to-be successful career in the sport.
“It’s really overwhelming to me,” Duke admitted. “It’s exciting. It’s awesome, but I feel like I’m ready. I think that’s where everything has been heading.”
“It’s so surprising that it came so soon and now everything is kind of rolling into place.”
“Battle Against Breast Cancer” will be at Turfway Park in Florenece, KY Saturday, and tickets are still available. It will also be streamed online for $10 at cagefightinglive
The event will also feature Kim Couture in the main event, as well as Amanda LaVoy facing Patti Lee. The complete card can be found in our forums.