BJJ World Champion Jessa Khan: “Competing As A Black Belt Is Much Different Than As A Colored Belt”

BJJ World Champion Jessa Khan: “Competing As A Black Belt Is Much Different Than As A Colored Belt”

Jessa Khan, a 2023 IBJJF world champion, is going to make her ONE Championship debut on September 29…
For the inaugural ONE atomweight submission grappling world title, in a match against Danielle Kelly!

Needless to say, Khan is one of the most successful female BJJ athletes in the world.
However, she had her fair share of doubts when she first started promoting as a black belt.

She shared with ONE the lows she’s experienced as a novel BJJ black belt competitor:

I felt like for me, it was a big change from, you know, being blue, purple, and brown belt, being in the colored belts.
For me, while I was at those belt colors, I wouldn’t say it was easy, but my level was way higher than my opponents.

But once I got to the black belt, then there were already people [who] had been there for years and [who were] black belt World Champions.

So now when I fight in black belt, every fight, those are really tough compared to how it was when I was in the colored belts.

Khan wasn’t used to losing:

I felt like that was a big change for me mentally because, you know, I [would] still train very hard.
And then I did a few major tournaments that year, and it was really tough for me to take those losses because I just felt like I was constantly losing every single tournament.

I had never experienced that before because normally I would be the one on top of the podium.
So I feel like mentally, that kind of messed me up.

But Jessa Khan pushed through. And, in 2022, she earned gold at the IBJJF Pan American Championship.
And then, in June this year, she won her first IBJJF Black Belt World Championship.


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