Elisabeth Clay is an American black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. She is known for her ruthless leg locks and vicious knee bars, which have helped her cruise through some tough opponents, dubbing her aptly 'Easy E' among the Jiu Jitsu community. She won ADCC West Coast Trials as a 16 year old and has taken out the 10 names in the sport since then competing for UFC Fight Pass, IBJJF, WNO, ADCC and many other promotions.
She was born on June 10, 2000, in Katy, Texas, USA, where she lived up to her 8th birthday. Clay then moved to Oklahoma where she spent 2 years before setting in Alaska with her family.
Connected with sports from the time she was a toddler, Clay joined gymnastics classes when she was 18 months old, following her older siblings’ footsteps into the gymnastics world, eventually switching to Jiu Jitsu.
As a young athlete, Elisabeth hoped to represent her country at the Olympic Games. Unfortunately, once the Clay family relocated to Soldotna, Alaska, the level of coaching and the team’s lack of ambition led Elisabeth to abandon her Olympic dream. Clay was 11 years old when she started looking for an alternative sport, finding the competitiveness she looked for in mixed martial arts at a small, local club. It was while training all aspects of MMA that Elisabeth discovered her preference for grappling.
Committed to everything she loved, Clay started dedicating 100% of her spare time to Jiu Jitsu, drooping in with coach Mason Ryder Spadafore when she was home. After 4 years of training in her hometown, the teenager was ready to step it up and join a bigger team with a more diverse practice room. For that, Elisabeth opted to join Jordan Kontra’s Legacy Jiu Jitsu in Anchorage, a gym affiliated with the international grappling team, Ares. Under the guidance of Kontra, 16-year-old, Clay rose to grappling stardom after her medals at the World, Pan, and ADCC trials.
After showing tremendous potential on the international circuit, Clay opted to move to the Ares Jiu Jitsu Team headquarters in Modesto, California, midway through 2018. There she continued to progress and show her skill set while working with two of the top grappling coaches in the nation – Osvaldo Moizinho and Samir Chantre.
Although forced to return to Alaska in 2019 for family reasons, Elisabeth continued to make regular trips to the Ares basecamp, while competing against some of the toughest athletes in our sport. Her tremendous achievements on the professional circuit, particularly in no-gi, earned Clay her black belt from coaches Samir Chantre and Osvaldo Moizinho, in November 2020.
Traditionally BJJ Heroes has only accounted for adult black belt records as they signify an athlete’s entry into our sport’s elite ranks. Clay, however, is a special case as she’s been competing in the pro-grappling circuit since prior to her ranked status. Not only was she competing against the upper echelon of our sport, Clay was also beating those top tier athletes on a regular basis despite her lack of experience. This has left BJJ Heroes with a delicate predicament of defining when to start accounting for the young prodigy’s match records.
Considering the historic value some of these matches had, BJJ heroes and other accounts have decided to add Clay’s 2020 clashes in the pro-circuit to the list of accomplishments.