Exclusive Interview with Invicta FC Fighter Gina "Jellybean" Begley

Image Courtesy of Gina Begley
Invicta FC
A flyweight who fights at bantamweight; with a welcoming personality and packing a punch to match. Invicta's Gina "Jellybean" Begley is dominantly a presence that one would love to both call a friend, and also be reluctant to enter the cage with. Ready to stand and bang or take it to the ground, Gina is a force to be reckoned with. In this interview, we dig a little deeper into the world of Jellybean Begley to learn more about her where she comes from and what's up next for her!

How did you get into the sport?
I first began training in Muay Thai kickboxing for fitness and weight loss. I enrolled my son in the same gym but for the youth jiu-jitsu program. I began jiu-jitsu so I could help him practice and understand what he was learning. About 6 months later I decided to enter us both in a jiu-jitsu tournament to see if we could use the skills we were learning under pressure. It has just progressed from that point. Next, was a muay thai fight, and that led into MMA.
How did you get the nickname “Jellybean”?
Well, people that know me would say I'm a colorful personality much like my favorite sweet treat, “Jelly Belly’s”.
Image Courtesy of Invicta FC
What’s your favorite strike/submission to utilize in any fight?
I enjoy throwing punches the most. It’s fun, I'm good at it and I enjoy boxing. It’s exciting. However, over the course of time, I've found I enjoy jiu-jitsu more than I expected too. With time leg locks have become one of my favorite aspects of the jiu-jitsu game.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
My son is a huge inspiration for me. I want him to see what’s possible when you work hard. I want him to see how far I've come and desire to go even further.
Which team(s) are you training for to prepare for your next bout?
I currently do not have a fight scheduled. But I am always looking/hoping for an MMA or boxing fight. While I wait that out, I am still training and planning to enter local jiu-jitsu tournaments for the additional experience.
How do you train nutrition-wise to make weight? Is it easy or hard for you to maintain weight?
I am a flyweight who has fought a lot at bantamweight just to get a fight period. I have food sensitivity so monitoring my nutrition and eating properly is not difficult because it makes my body and joints feel good. However, I love food so when I do not have anything coming up, I do like to splurge. Nutrition and fitness are what I do so it is not hard for me to "diet". If I have a goal weight, I simply track my calories and macronutrients to make sure I get the energy I need from the right places.
Do you prefer to stand with your opponents or take them to the ground?
I would stand preferably. But no one wants to get hit so when we clinch I'm usually satisfied to go to the ground. I'm comfortable there.
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What does it mean for you personally to be a fighter?
Personally, I learn something every time I fight. It’s not always something about punching, kicking, or grappling that I learn. Sometimes it is something about myself. I love the progression I make as an individual. I like being able to help other women that train with me understand their feelings when going into a competition. Being a fighter to me, means growth.
What separates you from other fighters in your division?
I'm very concerned with the experience and what I can learn and how I can grow from it. Maybe that is different because I am not solely focused on whether it’s a win or loss.
Do you have a dream fight? Who would it be with?
There is no one I'm just dying to fight. I've fought a lot of great people. I always feel prepared for the next challenge and enjoy what each opportunity brings to me.
At the end of your career, what would you like to be remembered for?
I would like to be remembered as someone who helped others. I would like to take my experience and help build others whether it be for fighting, self-defense, or confidence building.
Do you have any advice for young women or youth who are seeking to enter the sport? Yes. Jiu Jitsu, MMA, or kickboxing does not only offer self-defense or fighting. You can learn a lot about yourself. You can learn a lot of great things. You can also meet a lot of amazing people if you are open to it. Always do your research on the gym you are considering.
Anything else you would like to add?  

I would highly recommend you not only train for self-defense or sport, physically, but mentally as well. Read, research, and seek out information. I recommend "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin DeBecker. 
To learn more about Gina, follow her on Facebook or Twitter and watch for her upcoming Invicta fights.
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  1. One of the most favorite sports to me. Player shown so confident. I love it.


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