Jharely Reyes first burst onto the MMA scene when a video of her fighting against a boy went viral
Reyes was the star of a viral video from 2018, in which she schools a boy in the art of MMA.
In the video, Reyes was seen heading into a bout against a boy that looked bigger than her in stature – not to mention it was a male. But the gender gap apparently didn’t matter considering she took the boy down and submitted him in less than a minute.
When she recalled the incident, she revealed some interesting information about how the bout came to be.
“Before going into that fight, I had seven previous fights without losing. I was on a winning streak. I was meant to be fighting another girl but, unfortunately, during the tournament, that girl couldn’t arrive because she lived very far away,” Reyes told CBS Sports.
A surprise short-notice replacement is a staple in amateur MMA however it’s rarely so drastic as to involve an individual of the opposite gender. Reyes rolled with the punches and revealed that that win got her parents to support her in going pro.
“They found me an opponent and the only opponent that was left was a boy who was the same weight. They decided to let me fight and the only condition was that this boy was not going to be subtle. He was going to do his best to fight me. ”
“I knew this boy was not good at jiu-jitsu. I didn’t even get touched by this guy. He had nothing on me. My parents were very excited and, at that point, they were super confident that I was meant to be doing this professionally.”
Reyes has now signed with Combate Global and is set to make her professional debut on May 20 in Miami, Florida.
Reyes will fight fellow debutant Melissa Gomez in a three-round strawweight bout.
Luthfi Prawiro is a writer based in Jakarta, Indonesia. He has a strong passion for combat sports and a BA in Psychology. His undergraduate thesis was on the Sports Psychology of MMA.