Jessa Khan - Young BJJ Black-Belt Champion

Jessa Khan - Young BJJ Black-Belt Champion

1. Jessa Khan’s Details

Jessa Khan’s Details
Name Jessamine Jada Khan
Nickname Jessa
Born Corpus Christi, Texas, United States of America
Age 22
Date of Birth October 8, 2001
Nationality Mexican, American
College/University N/A
Weight Division  Peso Galo (48.5 kg/ 107lbs)
Last Weigh-In 49 kg
Height 5 ft
Fighting Style Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Disclosed Career Earnings N/A
Rank BJJ Black Belt
Awarded By Guilherme Mendes
Head Coach Guilherme Mendes
Last Fight With Thamires Aquino (World Championship)
Fighting Out Of  N/A
Favorite Technique Open Guard
Lineage Carlos Gracie > Carlson Gracie > Andre Pederneiras > Ramon Lemos > Guilherme Mendes > Jessa Khan
Team Association AOJ

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2. Jessa Khan’s Biography

Jessamine Khan (Jessa Khan) is a jiu-jitsu black belt holder under Guilherme Mendes, the founder of the Art of Jiu-Jitsu (AOJ) Academy. Khan became famous as a teenage martial artist after winning different International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) Championships.

2.1. Early Life

Being born in Corpus Christi, Texas, USA on October 8, 2001, Jessa Khan spent most of her childhood in different places because her father was a navy officer.

2.2. Activities Before Jiu-Jitsu

Before venturing into jiu-jitsu, Khan eagerly played different sports, including soccer, football, and karate. She also participated in soccer competitions.

2.3. First Martial Arts Venture & Jiu-Jitsu Training

Khan started martial arts training at the tender age of six. However, she was unable to continue karate training after her family relocated to Hawaii. Luckily, Jessa found a jiu-jitsu club in Hawaii and decided to train the gentle art under Onzuka Brothers and Shane Agena at 02 Martial Arts. Her passion for grappling was immediate, which led her to add Judo and wrestling to her grappling training.

2.4. Earning Yellow Belt

Khan received her yellow belt from Shane Agena (Onzuka brothers). However she continued her jiu-jitsu training in other areas where her family relocated to. Over the years, Khan had developed sharp grappling skills. By the age of 12, Khan had already resolved to pursue BJJ professionally.

2.5. Orange Belt Promotion

Since Jessa Khan had relocated to New Hampshire after Hawaii, she received her orange belt from Kevin Watson of Kevin Watson Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

As an orange belt, Jessa enrolled at the Art of Jiu-Jitsu in Costa Mesa, California, where she inspired young BJJ students to work on their skills. Khan’s natural aggressive grappling style helped her quickly adapt to her instructor’s methodology.

As a result, she became one of the top-tier grapplers in no time.

2.6. Green Belt Promotion

Khan received her green belt from Gustavo Machado, the head coach and founder of Gustavo Machado BJJ Academy, Virginia.

2.7. BJJ Adult Belt Ranking

As for the adult BJJ belt ranking system, Jessa Khan received her blue, purple, brown, and black belt from Guilherme Mendes, her current head coach.

2.8. Jessa Khan’s Black Belt Moment

The black belt was awarded in a function held just two days before her nineteenth birthday (October 6, 2020), making her a teenage BJJ black belt.

Jessa expressed her happiness about becoming a black belt in the following words on her official Instagram account:

“Today was a very memorable day, I received my black belt in jiu-jitsu from Professor Gui! I am happy to say that I achieved one of my goals - becoming a black belt at 18 years old and also becoming Art of Jiu-Jitsu’s first female black belt and first black belt from the kid’s program.

What a wonderful journey this has been! I started Jiu-Jitsu when I was 8 years old, back in January 2010. I started training Jiu-Jitsu in Hawaii, I knew from just trying the first class, that I would love this sport in a way the sport chose me.

She further writes; “At a young age, I did not feel that Jiu-Jitsu was a hobby for me. It was a lifestyle when I was an orange belt, and I knew I wanted to do Jiu-Jitsu full-time as a career. It was the only thing I liked and felt I was good at. I would not be here without the help and support from my family, they could have easily told me not to do Jiu-Jitsu as a career, seeing as there is not a lot of money and opportunities for females in the sport. Instead, they gave me the tools that I needed to succeed, like, getting me extra training, buying me new Gi’s, signing me up for every tournament, having me compete against the boys, and bigger opponents, and motivating me to give my best every day. Without them, I would not be the person I am today nor the athlete. Thank you, Mom and Dad. I love you.

I would like to thank all my professors and coaches that have helped me along my journey. My first instructors are Shane Agena, Mike & Chris Onzuka at o2 martial arts in Hawaii. My second instructor is Kevin Watson BJJ in New Hampshire, my third instructor is Gustavo Machado at Gustavo Machado BJJ in Virginia, and lastly, Gui and Rafa Mendes at the Art Of Jiu-Jitsu.

I have trained at many different gyms and learned many different styles of Jiu-Jitsu. Each one of my instructors played a different game, I picked up something special from each one of them to help form the competitor and athlete I am now. All of my success is much mine as it is yours.

Thank you each and every one of you for supporting me along my journey, and thank you for taking the time to send me messages and comments 🙂

Now, it is time to build my legacy!

2.9. Black Belt Career

Pursuing Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a black belt, Khan debuted in the Who’s Number One event against Danielle Khan, resulting in a victory by a united decision. On the other hand, she lost against Mayssa Bastos in a super fight held on April 3, 2021, at the Evolve Ur Game event. Once again, she returned to Who’s Number One on May 28, 2021, this time beating Patricia Fontes merely with an armbar. This match led to Khan’s invitation to fight in the WNO women’s strawweight title. In the first round, Khan easily submitted Jessica Crane with a heel hook. However, Grace Gundrum submitted her in the semi-final by a twister. In the consolation match, Khan faced Amanda ”Tubby” Alequin who submitted her with a toehold.

2.10. First Black Belt Title

In 2022, Khan conquered the Pan American Championship and bagged a gold medal.

She posted multiple pictures on Instagram to share her victory with fans. And expressed her elation in the following words:

First major title as a black belt! I am super happy to have achieved this goal. Still feels like I was a yellow belt fighting Pan kids and here I am, just won black belt pans! Last year was very hard for me but I told myself that I would do my best to make this year better and that’s what I did. I made sure that I was constantly looking for things to improve in training and reflecting on past competitions. This time I actually felt more like myself competing, I feel like last year was a whole entirely different challenge than what I had experienced before and that kind of made me not fight to my full potential. I am happy with my performance, and can’t wait for the next one! Swipe to see me competing with Pan Kids 10 years ago! Thank you to everyone who cheered and supported me.”

2.11. ONE Championship

In May 2022, Khan contracted with the ONE Championship and became the first grappler ever to sign this contract. The promotion arranged a rematch between Khan and Alequin for her debut at ONE 159 on July 22, 2022. However, the match could not take place because Alequin withdrew due to a medical injury. Khan is also reserved for the inaugural match of ONE Fight Night 14’s ONE Championship Atomweight submission grappling title against Danielle Kelly which is expected to be held on September 29, 2023.

2.12. BJJ 2023 Championship

Khan won a bronze medal in the women’s roosterweight division at the 2023 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu European Championship. In April 2023, she won a gold medal in the IBJJF Santa Cruz International Open light featherweight division. Later, Khan returned to the 2023 Southeast Asian Games and represented Cambodia. She won a gold medal in the no-gi ne-waza event and a silver medal in the gi ne-waza event. She donated both medals to the Cambodian Red Cross.

2.13. IBJJF Gold Medal

She participated in the 2023 IBJJF World Championship and 2023 and won a gold medal in the light-featherweight division.

3. Jessa Khan’s Historic Fights

3.1. Jessa Khan vs Lavinia Barbosa

At the 2021 no-gi Pan American Championship, Jessa Khan defeated Lavinia Barbosa in the 51 kg weight division. She submitted Barbossa with a calculator rear naked choke to enter the Pan American no-gi semi finals.

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Stage Weight Class
2021 No-Gi Pan American Lavinia Barbosa Win RNC 4F 51 kg

3.2. Jessa Khan vs Anna Rodrigues

In the 2021 IBJJF World Championship, Jessa Khan faced Anna Rodriguez in the semi-finals. Khan tried to pull Rodriguez in guard, but the latter managed to maintain a dominant position from the start. Khan tried to escape several times but failed.

Rodriguez then pinned Khan down and forced her into a crunched up position using lapel grip. Rodriguez then moved to side control, tried a knee-on-belly, but quickly transitioned to a mount position to score points. After maintaining control for several minutes Rodriguez concluded the fight with a mount x choke. Though Rodrigues managed to submit Khan, it is still considered one of Khan’s best fights. 

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Stage Weight Class
2021 World Championship Anna Rodrigues Loss Mounted X Choke SF 52 kg

3.3. Jessa Khan vs Thamires Aquino

In the 2022 Pan American Championship finals, Khan faced Thamires Aquino. She dominated the match with two points.

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Stage Weight Class
2022 Pan American Thamires Aquino Win Pts:2x0 F 52 kg

3.4. Jessa Khan vs Kaimana Newman

Khan faced Kaiman Newman in the Santa Cruz Open 2023 finals. She bagged a gold medal after submitting Newman with a spectacular armbar submission attempt.

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Stage Weight Class
2023 Santa Cruz Open Kaimana Newman Win Armbar F 53 kg

3.5. Jessa Khan vs Thamires Aquino

Khan conquered the match with two more points against Thamires Aquino leading to her winning the IBJJF World Championship gold medal 2023.

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Stage Weight Class
2023 World Championship Thamires Aquino Win Pts:8x6 F 53 kg

4. Jessa Khan’s List of Achievements

4.1. Jessa Khan’s Main Achievements

Year Event Position
2021 IBJJF World Championship 3rd Place
2021 IBJJF Pan Championship No-Gi 3rd Place
2022 IBJJF Pan Championship 1st Place
2023 IBJJF World Championship 1st Place
2023 IBJJF European Open 3rd Place

4.2. Jessa Khan’s Achievements as Colored Belts

Year Event Belt Position
2019 UAEJJF Abu Dhabi World Pro Purple 1st Place
2019 IBJJF World Championship Purple 1st Place
2019 IBJJF Pan Championship Purple 1st Place
2019 IBJJF World Championship Purple 3rd Place
2019 IBJJF European Open Purple 1st Place
2020 IBJJF European Open Brown 1st Place

4.3. Jessa Khan’s Juvenile Achievements

Year Event Position
2017 IBJJF World Championship 1st Place
2017 IBJJF Pan Championship 1st Place
2017 IBJJF European Open 1st Place
2017 IBJJF European Open Juvenile 3rd Place
2018 IBJJF World Championship 1st Place
2018 IBJJF Pan Championship 1st Place

5. Jessa Khan’s Professional Record Breakdown

5.1.Jessa Khan’s Win/Loss Record

29 Matches 18 Wins 11 Losses
By Points 7 5
By Advantages 0 1
By Submission 10 5
By Decision 1 0
By Penalties 0 0
By DQ 0 0

5.2. Methods of Submission

Method of Submission 10 Wins 5 Losses
Armbar 6 1
Triangle 1 0
Triangle Armbar 1 0
RNC 1 0
Inside Heel Hook 1 0
Twister 0 1
Choke from Back 0 1
Toe Hold 0 1
Mounted x Choke 0 1

6. Jessa Khan’s Fight History

Opponent W/L Method Competition Weight Stage Year
Adele Fornarino W Armbar World Champ. 53 kg 4F 2023
Amanda Alequin L Toe Hold WNO Champ. 52 kg RPC 2021
Anna Rodrigues L Mounted X choke World Champ. 52 kg SF 2021
Brenda Larissa L Pts: 7x4 Grand Slam MIA 49 kg 3RD 2021
Danielle Kelly W Referee Decision WNO 6 52 kg SPF 2021
Elizabeth Bonani W Triangle armbar JJ Con 53 kg SF 2022
Fiona Middleton W Pts: 9x2 World Champ. 53 kg 8F 2023
Grace Gundrum L Twister WNO Champ. 52 kg SF 2021
Jessica Caroline L Pts: 2x0 European Open 49 kg SF 2023
Jessica Crane W Inside heel hook WNO Champ. 52 kg 4F 2021
Julia Balmante W Pts: 3x3 Grand Slam MIA 49 kg 4F 2021
Juliana Gassaway W Armbar JJ Con 53 kg F 2022
Kaimana Newman W Armbar Santa Cruz O 53 kg F 2023
Larissa Campos L Pts: 10x2 LA Open 53 kg SF 2022
Lavinia Barbosa L Pts: 2x2, Adv Pan American 49 kg F 2021
Lavinia Barbososa W RNC NoGi Pan Am. 51 kg 4F 2021
Mara Kelly W Pts: 5x0 European Open 49 kg 4F 2023
Mayssa Bastos L Pts: 21x2 EUG 1 49 kg SPF 2021
Mayssa Bastos L Armbar NoGi Pan Am. 51 kg SF 2021
Mayssa Bastos L Choke from back Grand Slam MIA 49 kg SF 2021
Patricia Fontes W Armbar WNO 9 56 kg SPF 2021
Patricia Fontes W Pts: 5x0 American Nats 53 kg RR 2021
Patricia Fontes W Triangle American Nats 53 kg F 2021
Patricia Fontes W Pts: 6x0 World Champ. 52 kg 4F 2021
Rose Sharouni W Armbar World Champ. 53 kg SF 2023
Sofia Amarante W Armbar Pan American 52 kg SF 2022
Thamires Aquino W Pts: 2x0 Pan American 52 kg F 2022
Thamires Aquino L Pts: 9x0 World Champ. 53 kg 4F 2022
Thamires Aquino W Pts: 8x6 World Champ. 53 kg F 2023

7. Top Fight Links

Jessa Khan v Lavinia Barbosa / Pan No-Gi 2021

Ana Rodrigues v Jessa Khan / World Championship 2021

Jessa Khan v Thamires Aquino / Pan Championship 2022

Jessa Khan vs Kaimana Newman / Santa Cruz Open 2023

Jessa Khan vs Thamires Aquino / World Championship 2023

Photo Credit: @jessakhan

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