Zee “The Pit Bull” is one of female NHB’s pioneers of the sport, she has an impeccable record of 10-0, and is one of the sports Top lady contenders. What drives this lady to train so hard, WHY has she not fought in at least a year, and what makes her tick? Some have said that she’s is one of the most ducked female fighters in the sport today, find out what she thinks of that and more.
Female MMA Fighter Zee Vjesalicu
FG: Zee could we have your full name.
ZV: Zvyonzek Radzhek Vjesalicu
FG: How about your height, weight and date of birth?
ZV: 5’4 ..I don’t like to tell people my age, as I do not want to be judged
By it, but I will say that I am over 30 but under 35.
FG: Where were you born, and why did you decide to move to America?
ZV: Poltava Ukraine. I came here to attend school on an exchange program but sport had lots to do with it as well.
FG: What age did you start martial arts training and why?
ZV: I started Judo in 1985, did some boxing training..then found Jiu-Jitsu in 1996.
FG: What belts do you hold in MA.
ZV: 2 time IFC Light Heavyweight Champion
2 time Chicago Challenge Light Heavyweight Champion
Extreme Shootout Light Heavyweight Champion
World Extreme Fighting Light Heavyweight Champion
Canadian Open Jiu-Jitsu Champion 1998
Canadian Pankration Champion 1999
Sacramento Capital City Grapplers Superfight Champion 1999
NAGA Heavyweight Grappling Champion 2000
Grapplers Quest Superfight Champion 2000
There could be more but I don’t remember all the fights I have fought.
FG: Do you train full time or part time, and can you tell us a little about it.
ZV: Training is part time right now as work takes first place. There is not enough money in fighting right now for me to do it full time. I am working more on stand up right now as I know the value of being able to be multidimensional in MMA.
FG: What is your record?
ZV: 10-0 in NHB
FG: Tell us about your first MMA fight.
ZV: It was in the IFC in Baton Rouge back in 1997. I won’t lie here. I was scared not of the fight itself but more of losing as people, especially my friends had expected me to win. But once we tied up and were in the clinch there was no time to be scared. It was autopilot from there on. I have to say after that fight I was hooked.
FG: What made you want to fight MMA the first time?
ZV: I guess I wanted to try something new and I had the Judo background. I thought what the hell, I had always done well in street fights before. That is not something I am proud of but when I was younger I used to scrap a lot. I have to say that I would much rather fight in a venue than on the street.
FG: How was it for you as a female fighting so long ago, did people accept you?
ZV: I think at first they thought it would be like a freak show. But I never provided people with thoughts of anything but “I am for real”. I guess it also in the way one carries themselves
FG: Why do you fight, what makes you tick?
ZV: I like to test my physical side plus sport is sport. I have no hatred for anyone I face n the ring or cage. It is sport where two people compete to see who is best.
FG: You were a power lifte, correct? Could you tell us a little about that?
ZV: Yes, I started through one of my roommates who lifted and I got me involved. I competed only for one year but won every contest that I entered. My favorite and best lift was my bench press. My best Bench was 335 lbs at a bodyweight of 165 lbs.. I stopped lifting competitively because of the drug issue. Basically most of the people who competed at the National or International level were on something and I just did not want that to be in my life.
FG: You play/played hockey for a lot of your adult life, how did you get started in that?
ZV: My brothers and father played. So, It was natural for me to play as well. I love hockey, actually I live for it. There is nothing that I would rather do, as much as I like MMA, Hockey is my best sport by far. I also have been teaching which is rewarding. I just got back from Vancouver playing AAA hockey there. Wherever I live, there has to be hockey, otherwise I won’t move there.
FG: What do you think about how female MMA is viewed, and what do you think could be done to help improve it?
ZV: Actually, I think it is changing big time because there are so many good fighters fighting now. I think when I started people were not sure about it.
FG: Who would you most like to fight and why?
ZV: I don’t have any one I would say is on my list right now. Anyone right now will do. And I am not being cocky here, it is just that I have not fought in over one year so I am kinda itching to get back in there.
FG: Rumor has it you are going to be fightng Erin Toughill for Ultimate Athlete What is your feeling on this fight, and do you think it will be a easy fight for you?
ZV: I have no problem with fighting Erin. I know she will be good competition and she will be gunning to win like all of us who step up. I don’t underestimate anyones skill because anyone can be tapped out or knocked out if they are not taking other fighters serious. Anyone can land that lucky punch or secure that submission. The level of women fighting now is good enough that we all should be concerned.
FG: There is a signifigant hieght difference between the the two of you, do you feel that will help you or hurt you?
ZV: I have fought people much taller than I, so I dont think of that as being an advatage or disadvantage.
FG: It has been a while since your last fight, are you exciting about doing MMA again?
ZV: Of course I look forward to fighting again.
FG: I have heard that there is a lot for women refusing to fight you, and that is why you have not fought latly is that true? And what do you have to say to those women??
ZV: Well this is what I have heard from promoters. I have spoken with many promoters over the last year trying to get something going, and I even mentioned several fighters names that were in my weight class (Under 200 lbs). And then the promoter came back telling me that these fighters had excuses why they did NOT want to fight me. So, I have to say it is a bit discouraging when there are few competitors to begin with. It is hard to stay motivated or stay in the fighting mindset when there is little or no competition.
FG: Any words of advice for the new up and comers girls wanting to fight?
ZV: Just get the necessary training and listen to your trainers about when they think you are ready to fight. And make sure this is in fact what you want to do. Don’t allow someone to pressure you into doing something for them.
FG: Who coined the name PITBULL? It suits you, BTW.
Pitbull came from my Power Lifting because I was short and stocky build, but strong..No, Actually I am more of a Cat person.. So Pitbull is just a facade.. LOL!
FG: What do you think of the all womens Hook n Shoot card coming up ?
ZV: Well, It looks good so far. I am hoping that everyone shows up and puts on a great show! Good luck to all the participants..
FG: Are you going to attend?
ZV: I would like to attend but I haven’t been invited yet.
FG: Where would you like to see female fighting go in the next few years?
ZV: I would like to see women’s fighting on every card where there are men’s fights.
FG: Do you think women will ever make into pride or UFC?
Well, I spoke with Dana White and he said they are thinking of women in the UFC but the level of skill has to go up a little more before they will put women on. Plus they want to match people properly. Mismatches do not do the sport good. So, matching the best is always a concern.
FG: How much longer will you continue to fight?
ZV: I have no idea? I guess when my body say “STOP”..
FG: What are your future plans?
ZV: I want to continue playing hockey of course and training MMA. My dream would be to open up a MMA School and help others. A lot of people have helped me so I would like to help them back.
FG: Who is your favorite male fighter?
ZV: I would say Sakuraba because he is exciting and unpredictable but also I like Vanderlei Silva because he is fearless.
FG: What kind of music do you listen too?
ZV: I like everything except Rap and Country.
FG: Zee, I have met you in person and from your pictures thought you would come across has very hard, or agressive, but in actuality you are very spoft spoken. Do you suprise a lot of people when they first meet you?
ZV: I think that people do judge people by looks.. sure especially in the fight game but meeting someone in person is much different. I have met many fighters who were nothing like what they look like. I was sitting next to Tito Ortiz on a plane coming back from one of my fights and he was really a nice guy, easy to talk to, which surprised me. Being big and muscular people think I must be hard in personality as well, but I am not. I try to show people that I am not mean or difficult to get along with. I do have a soft side.
FG: If there is one thing you want your fans and other people to know about you, what would that be?
ZV: Gee, not sure about this one. I guess that I am a perfectionist. I like to do things to the best of my ability. I also like to help people acheive their goals.
FG: Zee it has truelly been a pleasure, thank you for taking the time to do this interview.
ZV: Thank you for Interviewing me, I appreciate it.