Jessamyn Laurel Duke (June 24, 1986) is an American female professional wrestler and former mixed martial artist, signed to WWE as part of their NXT brand. She formally competed for Invicta Fighting Championships in the women's bantamweight division.

Mixed martial arts career

Early career

Duke started her amateur career in 2010. She fought mainly for Absolute Action MMA and Tuff-N-Uff. She obtained the amateur featherweight title in both organizations.

In 2012, Duke moved to professional mixed martial arts and signed with Invicta FC.

Invicta Fighting Championships

Duke made her professional and promotional debut against Suzie Montero on July 28, 2012 at Invicta FC 2. She won via TKO in the third round.

Duke faced Marciea Allen on October 6, 2012 at Invicta FC 3. She won via submission due to an armbar in the first round. This victory earned her a submission of the night bonus award, which was split between Duke and Stephanie Frausto, due to her submission victory over Amy Davis in the same event.

Duke faced Miriam Nakamoto on April 5, 2013 at Invicta FC 5. The result was originally a KO victory for Nakamoto, but was later overturned by the Missouri Office of Athletics to no contest due to an illegal knee.

The Ultimate Fighter

In August 2013, Duke was announced as a cast member of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate. She defeated Laura Howarth via submission due to a triangle choke during the entry round and was the second female pick of Team Rousey.

Duke faced Raquel Pennington in the elimination round. Pennington defeated Duke via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) and the performance earned both participants Fight of The Season honors.

Ultimate Fighting Championship

Duke made her promotional debut against TUF 18 teammate Peggy Morgan on November 30, 2013 at The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale. She won via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

In her second UFC fight, Duke faced Bethe Correia at UFC 172. She lost the fight via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27).

Duke faced Leslie Smith at UFC Fight Night: Cerrone vs. Miller on July 16, 2014. She lost the fight via TKO early in the first round after taking several punches to the face and body.

Duke faced Elizabeth Phillips at UFC on Fox 16 on July 25, 2015 in a rematch of their amateur bout at RFA 2 - Yvel vs. Alexander. Duke lost the fight via unanimous decision and was subsequently released from the promotion.

Professional wrestling career

World Wrestling Entertainment / WWE

On May 7, 2018, WWE announced that Duke, along with Marina Shafir, had signed with WWE and reported to their Performance Center for training.

NXT (2018-present)

Duke debuted during the August 25 NXT house show, teaming with mixed martial artists Marina Shafir & Shayna Baszler in defeating Deonna Purrazzo & Io Shirai & Kairi Sane in a tag match. Duke returned during the August 30 NXT house show, again teaming with Marina Shafir & Shayna Baszler in defeating Dakota Kai, Io Shirai & Nikki Cross. On September 8 during a house show, Duke teamed with Marina Shafir to defeat Io Shirai & Kacy Catanzaro. The following week at the September 13 house show, Duke and Shafir teamed again to defeat Candice LeRae & Kairi Sane. During the September 14 house show, Duke, Marina Shafir and Shayna Baszler defeated Dakota Kai, Io Shirai and Kairi Sane in a rematch. During the September 22 house show, Duke, Shafir and Baszler defeated Dakota Kai,Candice LeRae and Kairi Sane in a third rematch with elimination tag team rules. The following week during the September 27 house show, Duke, Shafir and Baszler defeated Io Shirai & Kairi Sane & Xia Li. During the following night's house show, Duke competed in a NXT Women's Championship No. 1 Contendership battle royal eventually won by Jessie Elaban. She finished the month with Marina Shafir in a tag match during the September 29 house show, defeating Taynara Conti and NXT recruit MJ Jenkins.

Duke returned the following month for the October 12 house show, teaming with allies Marina Shafir and Shayna Baszler in defeating Io Shirai, Jessie Elaban and recent NXT recruit Lacey Lane in a tag match. During the following night's show, Duke & Marina Shafir lost a tag match by disqualification to Io Shirai and NXT recruit Mia Yim. Six nights later at the October 19 house show, along with Shayna Baszler, Duke & Shafir avenged their loss, defeating Io Shirai, Mia Yim & Kairi Sane in a six-woman tag match. Duke & Shafir returned the following month during the November 1 house show, where they defeated Dakota Kai & Kairi Sane. They defeated Dakota Kai and Kairi Sane in a rematch on the November 3 house show. On November 15 during the Live event in San Jose, California, Duke and Marina Shafir won a tag match defeating Dakota Kai & Kairi Sane. She made her first televised appearance of the month during the November 28 tapings (aired during the December 19 episode of NXT), during which Duke & Marina Shafir lost a tag match against Dakota Kai & Io Shirai. During the month's final house show, Duke ended with a victory with teaming with Marina Shafir & Shayna Baszler defeating Lacey Lane, Mia Yim & MJ Jenkins.

The following month, Duke returned during the December 6 house show, teaming with Marina Shafir in a rematch lost to Dakota Kai & Kairi Sane. During the following night's house show, Duke, Marina Shafir & Shayna Baszler lost a tag match against Candice LeRae, Dakota Kai & Kairi Sane. The following night during the December 8 house show, Duke won her first singles match of the month, defeating Candice LeRae. The following week during the December 13 house show however, Duke lost her second singles match of the month against recent NXT recruit Mia Yim. During the following night's house show, Duke & Shayna Baszler won a tag match defeating Candice LeRae & Kacy Catanzaro. The following night during the December 15 house show Duke & Shayna Baszler defeated Kairi Sane & Mia Yim in a tag match.

In wrestling

  • Finishers
    • Roundhouse kick
  • Signature moves
    • Running spear
    • Running clothesline
    • Neck twist
  • Entrance Music
    • Legendary by CFO$
  • Nicknames
  • "The Gun"
  • Managers and valets
  • Teams and stables

Championships and accomplishments

Mixed martial arts

  • Ultimate Fighting Championship
  • The Ultimate Fighter 18 Fight of the Season vs. Raquel Pennington
  • Invicta Fighting Championships
  • Submission of the night (one time) vs. Marciea Allen
  • Absolute Action MMA
  • AAMMA amateur featherweight title (one time)
  • One successful title defense
  • Tuff-N-Uff
  • Tuff-N-Uff amateur featherweight title (one time)
  • Muay Thai
  • World Muay Thai Association WMA welterweight (152 lb) title

External links

2019 PWI Top 100 Females
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