An environmental scientist with a zeal for staying active in life, Elizabeth Katherine Mitrović (Lyzz) found herself in love with jiujitsu pretty quickly. She started competing after only 3 months on the mats and has been a consistent competitor since – winning her share of titles including Pans and Worlds while competing in both gi and nogi.
She’ll take on Cassia Paixao tonight in a 165 lbs. match that was turned into a TITLE bout at the last minute considering the accolades of both competitors.
We caught up with Lyzz to get a little more on her prior to the bout.
Hey Lyzz, how did you get into grappling and martial arts?
Since I was a kid I always wanted to wrestle with the boys. Any boyfriend my older sisters would bring home would get the little sister grapple experience or else no dates, (JK, sorta…). It would take years and me going to college at UC Davis to be an Entomologist until I would officially start the journey in to martial arts. The journey started with a Korean Japanese Martial Art called Hapkido. After receiving my Black Belt in 2013 I wanted to continue learning more martial arts. In February 2014 I began Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Dustin Akbari. Falling in love with the competitive scene of BJJ I quickly became an avid competitor after 3 months of training. I have since then started teaching classes to beginning students of Jiu-Jitsu and stopped wrestling my sisters’ boyfriends (mostly because they are married now. No promises though).
What has jiujitsu done for your life?
Jiujitsu coming into my life created a change within me I never knew I would be capable of. It has created a family of misfits whom I may never have met otherwise. This beautiful, sometime violent, art has offered a method to express both my body and strategic mind.
Tell us something about your training. What’s it like? Who influences you?
As many competitors alongside me, training is a grind we face daily. For me, training also comes with Teaching classes at Urijah Faber’s Ultimate Fitness, balancing that full-time work life alongside everyday training. My jiu jitsu influencers are Master Bob Sarason of Rogue Legion Hapkido, Dustin Akbari, Chad Bingham, John Danaher and My Number 1 HoeNKimono; Joy Pendell.
What do you when you’re NOT training? What’s the rest of life like for you?
When I am not training or teaching my beloved Jiu Jitsu classes, I am working full time as an Environmental Scientist where we issue State licenses to grow Cannabis. When I am away from both jobs, people will find me either playing Wargames with my husband and friends or Creating art in some fashion; such as Jewelry, Painting Miniatures or Canvas Art. The grind maybe daunting to some, but later in life, I want to look back and say I lived to the fullest I could.
What are some of the things that matter most?
For me the things that matter most are: People. Connections. Relationships. Love. Passion; without these, tangible happiness is a moot point no matter what path of life you live.
What’s one difficult thing you’ve had to overcome so far?
Coming back from a knee injury after winning my first major title, No Gi Worlds 2015. I took all of 2016 away from training, almost quitting the art completely. I never thought I would be capable of recovering to the same caliber of competitor. It was my friends and coach that gave me the courage to face that challenge of coming back. Since then, I have gone on to win No Gi Pan American Championship and World Championship titles in about a year of being back. Overcoming this hurdle, I remind myself, Life’s problems do not define us. We are defined by how we preserve and solve those problems; so, get up and go become a better you!
This match at F2W 97 – why did you decide to compete? What do you expect out of this match?
Take the risks and preform! The feeling of competing on F2W stage is like no other tournament. There are no points and you are here to put on a show win or lose. I expect a hell of a fight and for her, to quote Drowning Pool” Let the Bodies Hit the Flooooorrrrr…”
For this match I am not focusing on what she will do to me. Rather how I will best implement my game on her, while remaining fluid and open to all opportunities.
Do you have any message for your fans?
Thank you to all my friends and family for the support. I’m humbled by your continued encouragement & support. Can’t wait to put on a show.
Any last words before the match? Anybody you want to thank?
If after seeing F2W97 gets you pumped, don’t just stand there on the sidelines, come join in on learning. “Do it. Do it today, don’t wait until tomorrow. If you wait til tomorrow, someone else will have started today” Missy Estrada. Let’s make F2W97 the biggest party we’ve seen yet in Sacramento! Thank you HoeNKimono Joy Pendell and Coaches Dustin Akbari and Chad Bingham for your continued support and guidance in Jiu-Jitsu. Thank you #TeamNoSleep for putting on these amazing productions and giving athletes another outlet to showcase the art.