According to an Oct. 26 post from Bluegrass MMA, Gina "Jellybean" Begley (4-2) of Richmond, Kentucky, submitted Missouri wrestling standout Hannah McNitt (3-1) via rear-naked choke in the second round of action at Saturday's Warriors for Heroes: MMA vs. PTSD MMA event in St. Louis, Missouri.
Begley, 32, said heading into the fight that she was expecting a wrestler with some BJJ submission experience, and that's exactly what she got. However, the Kentucky native's ground game proved to be too much for the 19-year-old phenom.
"Jellybean" got herself fired up after overhearing a conversation between McNitt and her coaches, where they essentially discounted her BJJ game.
"Her and some teammates were in front of me walking and talking to where I could hear. He went on about how she would hit a double leg take me down, ground and pound and 'if she gets up to do it again and see how good her jiu-jitsu is' then," Begley said on Oct. 26 in an exclusive interview with Long Island MMA Examiner Eric Holden. "It was kinda funny cause basically they had me promise not to knee her in the head or they wouldn't do the title fight because she didn't train for those rules.
"Considering they were counting out my jiu-jitsu and eager to take my striking tools away I'm extremely happy since she was a 3-0 fighter. It was great to make her quit after the team sounded so confident she would out wrestle my 10th planet jiu jitsu blue belt."
Despite the rule discrepancy over knees to the head, Begley fought on and finished in a timely fashion. She says she is pleased to have taken home her first ever MMA title belt.
"She had also already signed an agreement for knees to the head. But, I wanted this title and I know it was a prestigious promotion and it means so much that I won and with a submission to represent my jiu jitsu," Begley said. "I am extremely happy."
Begley, now the Warriors for Heroes flyweight champ, already has her next fight lined up, as she's slated to fight Alyssa Vasquez at V3Fights on Nov. 23 in Memphis, Tenn.
"I very much would like to make a pro debut very soon. I have five MMA fights and four Muay Thai fights," Begley said prior to her fight against McNitt. "But I'll have to sit down with my coach and manager and evaluate what I'm ready for before taking that step."