Skilled in judo, boxing and ice hockeyEdit
A native of Poltava, Ukraine, Zee Vjesalicu began her martial arts training in 1985 with judo, after which she also took up boxing. She moved to the United States in 1989 on an exchange program, facilitated by her considerable skill at ice hockey. She then transferred to Canada; enduring a stressful immigration process. Vjesalicu entered Bloor Collegiate Institute in 1992, later switching to St. Lawrence UniversityToronto. Hockey was a sport she had been involved with from a young age, and would eventually play for teams such as the Oakland Seals. One of her coaches, Brian Dymond, described Vjesalicu as "an outstanding athlete, a real team player and unselfish when it comes to the puck".Toronto.
Briefly a top powerlifting competitorEdit
Vjesalicu also had a brief career as a powerlifter after one of her roommates introduced her to the sport. Though she only competed for a year, she won all the contests she entered - at a bodyweight of 165 lbs, she was capable of bench pressing 335 lbs. Vjesalicu was dubbed "The Pitbull", due to her short but powerful build, a nickname she has retained in MMA. She stopped lifting competitively due to the amount of drugs she saw others use on the national and international level: "I just did not want that to be in my life".
Abilities in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and mixed martial artsEdit
In 1996, she discovered Brazilian jiu-jitsu. A year later, she had her first competitive match in MMA. She comments; "I had always done well in street fights before. That is not something I am proud of but when I was younger I used to scrap a lot. I have to say that I would much rather fight in a venue than on the street...I like to test my physical side plus sport is sport. I have no hatred for anyone I face in the ring or cage. It is sport where two people compete to see who is best."
Her last fight was an October 9, 1999 win by armbar against Kelly McDaniel at World Extreme Fighting 7. Vjesalicu continues to play hockey, and has stated in interviews that hockey remains her first love.
- 2 time IFC Light Heavyweight Champion
- 2 time Chicago Challenge Light Heavyweight Champion
- Extreme Shootout Light Heavyweight Champion
- World Extreme Fighting Light Heavyweight Champion
- Canadian Open Jiu-Jitsu Champion 1998
- Canadian Pankration Champion 1999
- Sacramento Capital City Grapplers Superfight Champion 1999
- NAGA Heavyweight Grappling Champion 2000
- Grapplers Quest Superfight Champion 2000
|Win||Kelly McDaniels||Submission (Armbar)||WEF 7 - Stomp in the Swamp||10/9/1999||1||1:36|
|Win||Angel Amoroso||Submission (Kneebar)||ES - Extreme Shootout||06/25/1999||1||N/A|
|Win||Angel Amoroso||Submission (Kneebar)||ES - Extreme Shootout||05/28/1999||1||1:15|
|Win||Angel Amoroso||Submission (Armbar)||IFC - Fighters Revenge||04/2/1999||1||3:13|
|Win||Linda Smith)||Submission (Armbar)||CC 4 - Chicago Challenge 4||05/30/1998||N/A||N/A|
|No contest||Angela Clark||No Contest||IFC 5 - Battle in the Bayou||09/5/1997||N/A||N/A|
|Win||Brandy Smith||Submission (Side Choke)||IFC 5 - Battle in the Bayou||09/5/1997||1||9:11|
1. Template:Note Grossman, David. "Ukrainian sensation hot stuff on ice but immigration plight leaves her cold", Toronto Star, January 19, 1993.2. Template:Note Ibid