At the 2022 Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championships, AOJ’s Jess Khan put on one of the best performances of her career. Although she had hit the podium at big tournaments before, her victories at the Pans secured her first major black belt title. “It was a special moment for me when I won Pan Ams this year. It was my first major title in the black belt division that I won. It kind of gave that reassurance that I belong here. Everyone loses, but after awhile it makes you think about whether you should continue. I’m just glad I could prove to myself that I do!” Jessa is currently ranked #3 in the world in the black belt light-feather division.
In a super fight at the IBJJF Absolute Grand Prix, Jessa will take on Kaori Hernandez in a light-feather bout. “I am very excited to be on this card. It’s nice that it is close by and I have other teammates competing alongside me.” In addition to competing in a familiar location close to home, Jessa will also be taking on a familiar opponent. “I have fought against her many times. I have not fought her since we were purple belts though. It will be exciting to see how much we both have evolved over the years.” With their last match being at purple belt in 2019, it’s likely we could see a very different match come November 18th.
On October 28th, the first ever female grand prix took place in Austin, Texas. Janaina Lebre of Gracie Humaita became the first ever female GP champion after two wins over multiple time World Champions. Jessa commented on the event and the growth of female jiu-jitsu. “Yes, I did watch the female GP. I thought it was great. It was very entertaining and had great female athletes involved. I think it’s great that IBJJF is starting to have more events for women. If they were to have other female GP at a lower weight, I’d love to be included.”
As female jiu-jitsu continues to grow more and more each year, we’ll see more athletes pursuing the sport full-time. Jessa offered some advice to females looking to make jiu-jitsu a career. “My advice would be to make sure you are willing to put in the work and really believe you can be successful with the sport. It’s like anything in life, if you are confident and a hard worker, I believe anything is possible.” Don’t miss Jesse’s match on Friday November 18th, live on FloGrappling. The event is brought to you exclusively by Black Armor Kimonos.