Jillian ‘Lionheart’ DeCoursey gains victory in professional MMA debut – Invicta FC 25

“My pro debut feels amazing.  Truly feels like a dream come true.  So excited for all the future has to bring, can’t wait to do it all over again.” – Jillian ‘Lionheart’ DeCoursey


By: Thomas Vickers (MMA – Journalist)


(Lemoore, California) – On August 31, 2017 Jillian DeCoursey entered the cage for her first professional contest in Invicta Fighting Championships 25 held at the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino in Lemoore, California.  Her pro debut was one year from the day DeCoursey had held her last conversation with her father before he passed away.

It was during that emotional conversation Jillian’s father told her,
“to continue to fight.”

DeCoursey is from Queens, NY and trains at the East Coast United Queens Academy of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  She is currently considered the #1 pound for pound female MMA athlete in the state of New York.  Despite it being her professional debut, the thirty-three year old DeCoursey is no novice to the sport, bringing eleven years of training and a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu into the Atomweight competition. Jillian demonstrated herself to be an intelligent fighter who has gained volumes of experience during her 8 – 1 amateur career.

Many agree DeCoursey is a much needed breath of fresh talent for the professional 105 pound class.  Many believe Jillian has the experience, skills, and determination to make a relatively quick climb to the summit of the Invicta Fighting Championship Atomweight division.

DeCoursey faced Ashley Medina, a gamey fighter out of El Dorado Hills, California in what turned out to be a hard fought fight.  Medina was also making her professional debut and entered the Invicta FC cage with a respectable amateur record of 4 – 1.  It was a competitive pro debut for both combatants.  The Atomweight bout was scheduled for three five minute rounds, with each round being action packed.

The twenty-two year old Ashley began her first professional fight looking aggressive and backing DeCoursey up early in round one.  Medina was able to push DeCoursey to the edge of the cage with leg kicks and sharp punching.  Both competitors demonstrated quality stand up offense.  It was obvious from the start that Medina and DeCoursey belonged at the professional level.  The crowd responded as DeCoursey and Medina engaged in fierce striking exchanges throughout the first round.  DeCoursey seemed to land the cleaner heavier shots, but Medina was eager to trade punch for punch.  It appeared Medina wanted to keep it a stand up affair and DeCoursey seemed willing to comply.  It was a close first round.

The fighters continued the excitement into round two.  Medina was a scrappy opponent who persistently pushed forward.  DeCoursey seemed content to keep it a striking contest, exploding several times with accurate combinations.

“I am satisfied that I got to display some of my striking skills before I decided to take the fight to the ground,” explained Jillian to Queen MMA Media.

Medina fought hard but began to slow down about the halfway point of round two.  In round three DeCoursey took noticeable control of the match and began to confidently dictate the action.  DeCoursey secured a quick take down during the middle portion of round three and dominated the remainder of the fight.  Jillian seemed to win the last round convincingly with an impressive ground attack and was awarded a split decision victory in the eyes of the judges.  When asked by Queen MMA Media if Ashley Medina was surprisingly more challenging then she expected, DeCoursey replied, “I knew Ashley was going to be tough.  You don’t get to fight for Invicta if you don’t have skills.  Props to her for stepping in the cage with me and putting in a good show.”

Jillian DeCoursey 4

DeCoursey shined with the talent and skill set necessary to compete as a professional. Her performance was not like that of a fighter leaving the amateur world and stepping into a pro debut, rather DeCoursey resembled a seasoned veteran who could test the abilities of an Atomweight champion.

Ashley Medina may have come up short in the split decision, but she held her own at times and proved she can be a strong competitor in the Invicta Fighting Championships 105 pound weight class.

“I don’t think it should have been a split decision and most of the people who watched the fight feel the same way, but a win is a win.  Next time I’ll be sure to make it not a question of who the winner is!”  answered Jillian DeCoursey when asked by Queen MMA Media if she felt the contest against Medina was as close as the judges called it.

It would seem fair to conclude, Jillian ‘Lionheart’ DeCoursey is going to be a rising force among the Invicta Atomweights.