To say that Lyzz Mitrovic wears many hats would be to suggest that she limits herself to just hats. The BJJ black belt, who will be competing tonight against Silvia Araujo at Fight 2 Win 168, has seen the fruits of her dedication as a jiu-jitsu athlete, medaling at No-Gi Worlds and Master Worlds as a black belt and building an impressive collection of gold medals from Worlds, American Nationals, and No-Gi Pans as a brown and purple belt.
For all the time and dedication achieving this level of success in jiu-jitsu requires, however, Mitrovic has somehow managed to explore a number of other passions, too.
Mitrovic has always held a special curiosity in her heart, and that desire to ask the question “What else?” was what led her to jiu-jitsu in the first place. She told the Jiu-Jitsu Times that after being promoted to black belt in Hapkido, she wanted to expand on her knowledge of martial arts. “Since Hapkido has aspects of Judo and Taekwondo, I wanted to round out my understanding of ground-based martial arts,” she says. She began training BJJ in February of 2014, and it wasn’t long before she was hooked. She would go on to receive her black belt in 2019, marking a huge milestone in a challenging journey.
“BJJ has been one of the most rewarding struggles I’ve ever experienced,” she says. “Pushing your limits mentally, physically and if you compete, emotionally.”
That last one has been prevalent in Mitrovic’s BJJ path since the beginning. She’s been an active competitor at virtually every level under a variety of rulesets, experiencing many highs and lows along the way. But despite her impressive competitive resume, what gives her the most pride isn’t the memory of a single day on a podium, but what she’s found every day on the mats where she trains.
“If I had to choose a proudest accomplishment, it would be to have found a team of incredible people to share the mats with. A true family with a common love of jiu-jitsu and warrior spirits.”
Mitrovic knows that for her jiu-jitsu career, there’s plenty more to look forward to. But as she pursues greatness on the mats, she’s also making the absolute most of her twenty-four hours every day. She currently works full-time with the state of California as an environmental scientist. “We get to look at Cannabis Cultivation sites for compliance with state regulations and prevent potential environmental impacts,” she says. “Before working for the state, I was worked for UC Davis in a research lab geared towards early detection of citrus greening, or Huanglongbing (HLB), a systemic bacteria vectored by Asian Citrus Phyllid, or ACP.”
She expounded the subject of her work at UC Davis, “HLB is a systemic bacterial disease that has ravaged the citrus industries in India, China and Southeast Asia for decades and in 2012 was discovered in California. Currently, there is no cure, and citrus trees that contract the disease die in as little as five years (Which is a big deal as california sells mostly table citrus fruits).”
For all the work she puts in on and off the mats (which, yes, includes teaching as well), Mitrovic has somehow found time for additional hobbies, including jewelry-making, tabletop wargames, board games, and RPGs. It’s no surprise that she says her greatest challenge is time.
“To help overcome the time crunch, I try to make to schedules, routines and asking myself (especially when exhausted), ‘How bad do you want it?’ Knowing life is so short, too, I do take a large serving of passion. So if it doesn’t fit in with happy, then reanalyzing those goals and priorities is okay. What I have learned is, there is so much in this beautiful world, it’s hard to do everything, but do everything you do with all you got.”
Tonight, Mitrovic will be giving her all on the F2W stage, hoping to improve her 2-1 black belt promotional record. Her match will take place on another Female Fight Night card, and both she and Araujo will be just a week removed from their most recent matches — Araujo won her match at Submission Hunter Pro, and Mitrovic came away victorious from Arte Suave Elite.
This will be the second all-female F2W card that Mitrovic has competed on, though she’s been a part of all three. “The all-female cards are always action-packed and full of inspiring jiu-jitsu for every belt level. It’s such a phenomenal event, I want to do everything I can to be a part of them all! Competing on the first, commentating the second; it’s an honor to have the opportunity to compete on the third. I am a big fan of them and also hope with more interest we can infiltrate the other two weeks of F2W cards for full female takeover!”
Regardless of the result tonight, Mitrovic will, unsurprisingly, be staying busy. Her focus will shift to no-gi for No-Gi Pans, where she seems to take particular interest in the fact that the adult black belts will be able to use heel hooks. It will be a whole new challenge for her, but since when has she let the thrill of something new intimidate her? “I am both exhilarated and anxious for all the new opportunities these rules bring.”
F2W 168 streams live tonight on FloGrappling.