CES 54 is a big event in the history of the CES organization as well as for many of the fighters competing on the card. The importance of this event for the promotion sits in its inaugural broadcast on its new home of UFC Fight Pass. For title challengers like Kris Moutinho and Bryce Logan, it is an opportunity to prove themselves in the biggest of moments. In the world of Jessy Miele, it is an opportunity to showcase where she belongs. Something that has become increasingly difficult to do.
Trying to Find Fights
Connecticut fighter and IMB Academy of Connecticut product Jessy Miele, not too long ago, found herself at a loss for fights. Her last competition took place in 2017 when she defeated Calie Cutler by second-round submission at Reality Fighting. Since then, finding opponents became nearly impossible. The 9 fight veteran did have a few opportunities here and there during that span but a list of circumstances destroyed those matchups. One being her try-out for the 28th season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’.
Before traveling to Las Vegas, Nevada for the try-out, Miele booked a fight. As luck would have it, her opponent also flew out to Nevada for The Ultimate Fighter try-out. Due to the timing, the fight fell through.
“I didn’t take it off [two years] by choice. I think I had three or four set up, fight wise. One of them, the second to last one that was scheduled, was during the ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ tryouts for the 145 lbs. Women’s [division]. (My opponent and I) both tried out and we were unable to fight because of that tryout… There (were) a couple other opportunities that I had but things happened where I was offered a fight and they pulled other people in for other reasons. It wasn’t really by choice at all, I just couldn’t really find a fight.”
Nature of the Beast
This issue of finding fights, while annoying, is the nature of the beast. Women’s MMA doesn’t have sheer mass numbers of willing participants in each and every region. While some areas have an influx of talented female martial artists, regional level promotions aren’t necessarily enticed to pay for their travel. The money simply isn’t there to fly fighters in who don’t sell tickets or bring a large portion of eyes to the broadcast.
“I truly believe, after going out to Vegas and trying out for ‘The Ultimate Fighter’, there were so many girls out there that they range from 135 to 155, 160. And They fight within that range. Just to see so many opportunities, so many girls it just looks like there’s a lot of opportunities out there. It’s just a matter of getting matchups having promotions match us up and get us some fights. I think there’s definitely a lot of talent out there it’s just a matter of let’s make this happen.”
At her age, this is the perfect moment for Miele to move her talents from the regional circuit up to the top organizations in the sport. With a record of 6-3, she has more than the necessary experience to compete with the best in the world. Over the course of her 9 fight professional career, Miele fought Ultimate Fighter Season 18 contestant Peggy Morgan, Charmaine Tweet, and Lissette Neri.
Despite her impressive wins over women like Neri and Morgan, the status of Miele’s exposure is a bit lower than she expected. This notion does all but bother her. Now, the opportunity of fighting for CES being broadcast on UFC Fight Pass is something she doesn’t take for granted. Of course, UFC Fight Pass doesn’t have the prestige of competing on national television. But, it does provide CES fighters with a direct outlet to UFC fans. And who better to be in your corner as prospective UFC fighter than the adoring fans of the promotion?
“I’ve been training for 11 years in the MMA community. I’ve been all over the place, I’ve been to multiple JJ tournaments, I’ve fought in Canada, I’ve fought in US, I’ve fought in California. I don’t really know why but for some reason, I don’t really have as much exposure as a lot of these other fighters… This is awesome, I’ll be able to get more exposure. I’m really excited about it. People who fight for CES in the future will be able to be seen by multiple people that already subscribe to UFC Fight Pass most likely if they already watching the UFC.”
The Opportunity of CES 54
At CES 54, Miele takes on the young Massachusetts prospect, Kylie O’Hearn. O’Hearn bumps up two weight classes in only her second professional fight to face Jessy Miele. While O’Hearn lacks experience and size on paper, Miele prepared fully for this matchup.
“I think at the end of the day it’s really mental. Who’s going to be able to outsmart the other person, manipulate, get in there, get the job done the right way. That’s how I see most of my fights. Anybody can be bigger. Especially if you consider Jiu-Jitsu there’s a lot of times when I’m rolling with bigger guys, there’s always a way. I know MMA is different, there’s punches and elbows involved. I think that it could play out anyway it doesn’t necessarily matter if you don’t let it matter… I’m not going to expect to be the better fighter because I am bigger.”
Renewed Life for Jessy Miele
For Miele, this fight is more than just an opportunity to step back inside the cage. It is an opportunity to prove where she belongs. Her 11-year long journey with MMA is on the verge of coming to fruition.
“I feel like in the past people haven’t given me a chance to see what I can do. So I really just plan on going in there and applying everything that I already know. [Applying] what I’ve been training and drilling since I first started. I first started training, I started MMA overall… I didn’t just start in one area for 5 years then decide to take up boxing, I started off (doing MMA) and it’s been 11 years of training, practicing and working my ass off so I’m really excited to show people what I can do.
I have the talent, I think I need to execute and improve. Some of these people that are on that level that need to see to me fight again. A lot of people said that I haven’t fought in two years so that could be an issue. I need to show what I can do, that’s what I think is necessary. Whether it’s this fight or the next fight, I don’t know. At the end of the day, I have to fight I have to get out there. I have to continue to fight to show the world what I can do so that they can make their decision whether they want me to fight for their organization. I think I deserve a shot at those higher level organizations and I’m going to prove it on Saturday.”