The bright lights and attractions of Las Vegas did nothing to disturb the concentration of a Vernon 15-year-old.
Lillian (Lillatron) Marchand, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blue belt, was in Vegas Saturday, Oct. 23, competing for the first time as a juvenile on the card at the EUG (Evolve Ur Game) 3 event. EUG is a professional jiu-jitsu promotion famous for its Grand Prix-style tournament.
Marchand fought on the undercard and defeated American Amara Rodriguez, 16. With the win, Marchand is now the No. 1 contender in her division and will compete at EUG 4, tentatively set for early 2022.
“I am beyond grateful for this opportunity and I had a great time,” said Marchand on her Instagram account (@lillatron_bjj). “I am happy with my performance, but I need to work on a few things, so I will be back to training @atosjiujitsuhq soon enough.”
Marchand moved to San Diego to live and train with the Atos Jiu-Jitsu Academy, which labels itself as the best such academy in the world. She began training as a five-year-old at the North Okanagan-Shuswap Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Mixed Martial Arts club in Vernon under the guidance of coach Mario Deveault.
“I also want to take the time to thank all of my teammates at Atos for constantly pushing me to do my best and prepare for this fight,” said Marchand. “Not to mention, the love and support from family, friends and teammates back in Canada. Without you guys, I wouldn’t be where I am today and I can not thank you enough.”
Marchand is a three-time Pan Kids Champion in the sport, two-time Kids International Champion and has also won the American Nationals.
She was promoted to blue belt with her teammates, friends and family in attendance earlier this year.
“I am beyond grateful to be here with all of these amazing people and to have made it this far,” she wrote. “I remember my very first class, a little five-year-old girl, nervous and insecure; now I am 15, confident, strong, and happy.
“It’s been quite the journey, many ups and downs, days where I’ve been burnt out and tired, and others where it was one of my best classes ever; but I love the process and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I’ve only just begun, and I can’t wait to start this new journey as a juvenile and to start competing.”