By TXMMA Staff // Felix Rodriguez // Cover photo by Charles Nguyen
Knockout-minded as ever, Jinh Yu Frey prepares to debut in Invicta FC this Saturday and wants to show the world that the hype is real
Jinh Yu Frey (Mohler MMA, 2-0) is one of the most promising and popular female mixed martial artists to come out of the state of Texas. The atomweight fighter found national notoriety after her thundering KO of Darla Harris and is looking to capitalize on that momentum when she meets Jodie Esquibel at Invicta FC 8 this coming September 6th. Frey is part of Allen Mohler’s stable of MMA fighters and is based out of Coppell, TX. She has “roughly six years” of MMA experience and currently trains along the likes of William Campuzano, Amber Stautzenberger, Tristan Grimsley and the rest of the Mohler MMA crew. Jinh starting off “with just striking, but since coming to Mohler’s MMA [coach] has turned [her] into a pretty competent grappler [that’s] completely comfortable with either.” Frey has learned to rely on her “mentor and coach,” whom she described as “wealth of knowledge, not only about jiu jitsu, but life in general” and blossomed into a dangerous mixed martial artist who is equally adept at finishing opponents with submissions or with cracking strikes and kicks.
Another important part of Frey’s support system is her husband, Douglas Frey. Aside from being her spouse, the other Frey also serves as her nutritionist and strength and conditioning coach. She noted, “I wouldn’t have made it this far without him. He is my support system and biggest believer in me. He cooks all of my meals while in camp, oversees my weight cutting, puts me through hellacious conditioning and wrestling practices, and doesn’t take it personal when I give him a few choice words about his training methods – or my portions of food while cutting.”
With her coaching and nutrition under control Frey takes care of the third variable – quality training partners- by sparring with some of the meanest and brightest female fighters in the DFW area. “We have quite a few girls, though some just box, some just do jiu jitsu. Amber, me, and a girl named Deborah are the only 3 actively fighting right now. But we also get a lot of girls that cross train. I’ve been out to Team Takedown quite a bit with Montana Stewart. I’ve worked with Karen Kovach out of Genesis, Tatiana Cuellar from Snow Jiu Jitsu, and Alice Yauger from TFS,” said Frey. Each one of these ladies has helped Frey prepare for Esquibel during a hellacious training camp, which Frey described as “the hardest I think I’ve ever had – even harder than training for championship rounds. Maybe because the stakes are higher this time. No one in my camp gave me a single inch. I would say it took me to my physical, mental, and emotional breaking point. But it didn’t break me and now I can look back on it and say I’m that much stronger for it.” Her training camp was trying both physically and mentally, towards the end of it she got to attend the wedding of two of her training partners, but abstain from enjoying all the great foods traditionally associated with this kind of celebration, “I would have liked to partake in the wedding festivities, but alas, not this time. I’m not a big fan of cake, but there was this amazing looking rice crispie treat cake.”
Frey will be fighting the most high profile fight of her brief professional career on Saturday, September 6th. Although she only has two pro fights under her belt she also stepped into the cage 5 times as an amateur and turned pro with an ammy record of 3-2 after dropping her last match to Jordan McDonald. When discussing her decision to turn pro coming off of a loss Frey told TXMMA, “I guess my last amateur fight was probably my hardest. Not necessarily in terms of the opponent, but just fighting on such a large platform and the mental stress that came with it. I was fighting for my first title in Las Vegas. I had just started training at Mohler’s and hadn’t quite reached the level of comfort and comradery that I enjoy now. Mostly though I would never let myself rest. I kept thinking that I had to push through and it would make me better and tougher and frankly I didn’t even care come fight night. I just wanted it over because I was so tired and burned out. I actually hadn’t planned on going pro. I had signed up with the promotion for an amateur fight, but the only opponent they had in my weight class was pro. It had been so long since I had a chance to fight, plus I was going on vacation and could use the extra cash so I reluctantly agreed to fight as a professional.” The decision to turn pro paid off immensely though. Frey is undefeated as a pro, has become one of the most hyped female fighters in the country and has not looked back since.
Frey will be fighting for Shannon Knapp’s Invicta Fighting Championship, the largest and most prestigious WMMA-only promotion in the world when she faces Jodie Esquibel on September 6th. The significance of this opportunity is not lost on Frey, “I am very excited and honored to be a part of Invicta. I have a pretty lengthy contract with Invicta and so far they have been nothing but professional. They have done so much for WMMA and I don’t see myself going anywhere anytime soon.” Zuffa will air the fight card through their Fight Pass Channel, an arrangement that Frey sees as having some pros and cons, “From what I’ve read it streams to 167 countries, that’s a lot of exposure, will broadcast her fight. Unfortunately thought, that is the only platform to watch the fights if you cannot go to the event and I know quite a few people don’t like the UFC fight pass format,” said Frey.
Fight fans who tune in will see her face a hungry 3-1 Esquibel, who is coming off of a loss and does not want to make it two defeats in a row. Frey believes her opponent is “a very experienced boxer training out of Jackson’s in Albuquerque” that poses some challenges and will be a “tough and a good test.” Frey is more focused on what she can do than what her opponent might try to do so her gameplan is more focused on herself, “I typically don’t really gameplan. I train hard and come fight time my body knows what to do,” said Frey. One of the things Frey’s body knows how to do is finish fights in emphatic fashion. Part of the reason her career has progressed so splendidly quick is because of her viral KO of Darla Harris, which made Jinh a bit of an overnight Internet sensation. The fight has helped catapult her career forward, but has also brought forth a slew of negativity from the darker side of the Internet. Frey told TXMMA, “I get a lot of messages from creepers lol. I already had pretty thick skin, but this experience has made it much thicker. Whenever the video made mainstream media, the things that people would comment were terrible. I actually try not to keep up or read most of the things written about me. I don’t need all that extra “noise” in my head.” Now Jinh is capitalizing on the momentum of the Darla Harris fight and doing her best to stay on the right side of that type of Youtube video, “. I fight in a dangerous sport and anything can happen. I train hard so hopefully it doesn’t, but you can’t live your life in fear. As the saying goes, at the end of the day you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did do.”
Make sure to tune in to Invicta FC 8 by ordering the fight through UFC Fight Pass at http://www.ufc.tv/page/fightpass and support Texas-based fighter Jinh Yu Frey.