Jackson’s Jewels by Trula Howe – Women in Combat Sports Series

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Julie-KedzieJulie “Fireball” Kedzie has been a professional fighter since 2004, fighting of Jackson/Winkeljohn MMA with a record of 16-9.  Her most recent fight was for Strikeforce on July 30 of this year, and she was scheduled to fight for them again in September, but was forced to drop out due to an injury.  She is well known for fighting in the first televised women’s MMA match, against Gina Carano, for Elite XC.  She has headlined for the Jackson’s MMA Series, participated in a reality TV show (which has not yet been released), and has multiple titles and accomplishments.

She began training in Tae Kwon Do from the time she was 5, moved to Indiana when she was 12, and attended Indiana University, where she received her BA in English Literature.  She started training at Monroe County Martial Arts, where she studied with Steve and Linda Scott, later went to train with Debi Purcell (first female winner for KOTC), then on to James Clingerman at the Indiana Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy.

In 2006, she met Greg Jackson at one of her fights, and he invited her to come and train at his facility.  Shortly afterward, she was scheduled for a fight in Russia, and decided to call Jackson to see if he would corner her.  He agreed, on the condition that she come train at Jackson’s.  She considered the offer, and accepted, wanting to face a whole new pool of opponents. After the fight, she left her job, her boyfriend and all of her life in Indiana, and moved to Albuquerque, where she has been ever since, training and working for Jackson as his full-time personal assistant.  When she is not training or working for Jackson, Kedzie enjoys spending time at the lake and the zoo, going to art museums, and reading.


momma d“Momma” D Jo Jones is a conditioning/fitness/nutrition coach to several fighters at Jackson’s MMA.  Although occupied full time by her various clients, she feels most defined by her passion of motorcycle riding and prefers to ride by herself.  She got her start in fitness and personal training 26 years ago, when she got a wake-up call from her doctor.  At that time she was unhealthy, borderline hypertensive, and together with a high-risk family history, she decided to take her health into her own hands.

She started by changing her basic behaviors in diet and exercise, and now healthy living is just a part of who she is.  Three years ago, while working as an extra on the set of  Terminator, filmed here in NM, she met Jackson’s professional fighter, Jerome Martinez.  While discussing fitness, he realized she could help him in his own personal conditioning and asked her to come to the gym with him.  She showed up to Jackson’s on Big Bertha, her motorcycle which was recently inducted into the National Motorcycle Museum, in full cowboy gear, including hat and chaps, with her knives strapped to her legs.  Since then, she has worked with many other fighters, such as Tom Watson, Jake Murphy, Diego Sanchez, Clay Guida, Brian Stann and Johnny “Bones” Jones.

The ability to work with whomever she chooses did not come easily, “but I’ve paid my dues,” said Jones.  Now, she is the one approached by fighters wanting to take their conditioning to the next level. When asked what her routine is, she responded “Each fighter trains differently, and I train them and treat them each differently depending on personality, toughness, and discipline.” In general, however, she trains them in cardio first, and strength training, followed up by full massage and muscle work. She continues takes her own fitness very seriously, and conducts her own workout first thing in the morning, before she meets with any of her fighters.  She is certified in strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, personal training, and group exercise, but she feels that her actual experience in training, past all of the education and papers, is what gives her the true knowledge and understanding of the athlete’s body.


Michelle-Watterson-prefight pics - 134Michelle “Karate Hottie” Waterson is a professional fighter out of Jackson/Winkeljohn MMA, with an impressive record of 8-3.  She grew up learning karate from the age of 10, with local church instructor Charles Wood, eventually attaining her black belt in American Free Style Karate.  She has also trained in Chinese Wu Shu, and Muay Thai and even went to Thailand with her mother when she was 19.

She moved back to Denver, where she became a ring girl for local fight promotions.  In 2006, she decided she wanted to fight, so she began training with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.  She went directly into professional fighting, with only 4 amateur kickboxing matches and no MMA bouts. She trained for 4 weeks prior to her professional MMA debut, which she won by decision.

prefight-pics-114Waterson made her television debut, when she participated in the Oxygen network special, “Fight Girls”, which aired in June 2007. She fought 3 more times in Colorado; then in 2008, Cerrone encouraged her to move to Albuquerque to begin training at Jackson’s.  Since then, she has won 6 of her last 7 fights.  Her most recent professional fight was in April 2010, but she also took part in the MTV show, Bully Beatdown Season 3, in 2010. She has taken the last year off, to have her baby and spend time with her family.
Over the years, she has worked at Hooters and various modeling gigs, and when people found out that she was also a professional fighter, she was regularly asked “why do you do that?”  Her answer – she has always been interested in martial arts, and has a dream of being an instructor, but she felt she had to become a fighter first, before she could teach. She has begun training again, and has tentative plans to fight again in November of this year.

UPDATE:  Major Congratulations are due to Michelle.  As of last month she now fights in the UFC!  Great job!

heather clark - by HCMeet Heather “Hurricane” Clark, professional fighter out of Jackson/Winkeljohn MMA and daytime photographer.  An Evolution Combat Series fighter with a record of 3-1, she has trained in Ukidokan Karate, which she began to study at 8-years-old with her father, who holds a black belt in the art.  Although she has that solid martial arts background, she actually went to college for theater, getting her degree and performing professionally for two years.

In addition, she also played Division I and professional hockey, and participated in amateur boxing.  She moved to Maui, which is where she first developed an interest in photography.  During her time there, she actually ran a surfing school and a photography business for a local ATV adventures company, and taught surfing and acting classes.  She moved back toLos Angelesin 2008, and began to train at a local chute box gym,PiccininiTrainingCenter, under Coach Roberto Piccinini, of Chute Boxe in Brazil.

She moved to Albuquerque in June 2009, and began to train at Jackson’s.  She tried to get some amateur fights, but when that proved difficult, she began looking for a professional fight.  In April 2010, she got her wish, and faced Karina Hallinan at Victory Fighting Championship 31, with no amateur experience.  She lost that initial fight by decision, but has gone on to win her next 3 fights, 1 by submission, the other two by KO.  She has also participated on NBC’s Ultimate Women’s Challenge.

Clark is slated to fight at Fight Strong for the Cure, a Freestyle Cage Fighting event, at Firelake Grand Casino, in Shawnee, OK, this Saturday, October 1, 2011, against Sarah “The White Tiger” Schneider (4-5 out of America Jiu-Jitsu Academy).  Also, look for her to fight in the next Evolution Combat Sports Championship series, due to take place December 10 this year.

Heather is also a consummate photographer, working during the day for Kim Jew, but also freelancing in both wedding and action photography.


Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm (2-0 in MMA) is the world’s top ranked women’s boxer and one of the best draws and biggest stars in New Mexico.  Holly Holm trains at Jackson’s/Winkeljohns and as a Boxer is (32-2-3, 9 KO’s). Holm most recently in the ring defeated Diana Prazak by unanimous decision at the December 2012 Fire & Ice event that took place at the Legends Theater inside the Route 66 Casino. Inside the cage Holm has competed twice in the cage defeating Christina Domke by TKO and then knocking out Jan Finney.