On Friday March 3rd, Melissa Stricker will compete in the first Women’s Heavyweight Grand Prix. The event takes place in Austin, Texas and also includes World Champions Ana Vieira, Andressa Cintra, and Nathiely De Jesus. In the last 14 months, Melissa has won gold at the Worlds, Pans, and World Masters, displaying a well-rounded and technical game that have helped her achieve the best results of her career.
“I think I achieved greater prominence in my career only in the last two years, but it’s been at least eight years since I’ve dedicated myself a lot to accomplishing my goals, including becoming an adult black belt World Champion. So I think I needed to align everything, like food, training, my mentality, and being in the right place to really reach my goals as an athlete.”
Currently training out of Alliance in San Diego, California, Melissa has a world-class facility and training partners at her disposal. Since late 2021, when she first started representing the team, Melissa has trained alongside #1 ranked Fellipe Andrew, World No-Gi Champion Leticia Cardozo, and Worlds silver medalist Luciana Mota. The highly skilled and accomplished training partners and the collaborative environment have been a huge part of Melissa’s competitive success.
“I think that in addition to having intense workouts, we need to be in a place where we feel good and in tune with the people around us. The atmosphere in the academy is very good and my teacher is a very experienced guy and attentive to everyone who trains there. He is different and I’m surrounded with a lot of good people. After I started training at Alliance, a lot of good things happened in my career. I really love being there.”
Melissa’s dedication to training have led to tremendous results and have earned her a spot in the first IBJJF FloGrappling Women’s Heavyweight Grand Prix. Her opponents Ana, Andressa, and Nathiely have thirteen World titles between them, making this Melissa’s biggest challenge to date.
“I was very happy with the invitation to compete in this GP and I’m very excited to show my work. I feel ready. I’ve fought Andressa Cintra a few times at blue, purple, and brown belt, but we’ve never met at black belt. I fought Ana Vieira once when I was a brown belt in a brown and black belt event. I think all athletes are very good with a well built name in the history of jiu jitsu. It is a pleasure to have this opportunity. I’ve always thought that to make history we need big challenges and this will be one of them, which I’m ready and excited to face. This is going to be awesome.”
Melissa won’t be slowing down after the GP and will begin working towards her ultimate goal for 2023. “My plans for after the GP are to fight in the Pan and some opens until the Worlds and to be absolute champion at the 2023 Worlds.”
Be sure to watch Melissa compete at the IBJJF FloGrappling Women’s Heavyweight GP on Friday March 3rd. You can watch her matches exclusively on flograppling.com.