When CFFC 93 goes down later this month, there will be a small but determined Canadian contingent on the card. Alongside teammate and house mate Aaron Jeffery will be Jasmine Jasudavicius (4-1), a standout flyweight prospect from St. Catharines, Ontario.
Despite the Niagara Region spending the bulk of the past several months between a stay-at-home order and severely restricted “grey zone” lockdown, Jasudavicius has managed to prepare for her fight with Ashley Deen perhaps better than expected. “We’re still able to make it work. We’re getting in our training sessions,” Jasudavicius told Cageside Press recently.
Jasudavicius and CFFC 93 headliner Jeffery, along with his partner, live together, sharing the same house. Niagara Top Team coach Chris Prickett, Jasudavicius’ beau, owns the property. That set-up allows for “a lot of one-on-one attention from our coaches,” Jasudavicius noted, “so Aaron and I have really benefited from this time. Which I guess is making a best out of a bad situation.”
While her last bout was for the CFFC strawweight championship, Jasudavicius returns to flyweight when she meets Ashley Deen in two week’s time. That doesn’t mean she has written off 115lbs entirely, however.
“I would definitely consider dropping down again.” noted Jasudavicius. “Right now I’m happy at 125. It’s nice to be able to go through camp and actually have real meals, not just tiny bits of food to get me through to the next practice. It’s crazy how different it is, dieting down to 115 as opposed to 125. Those 10lbs, for me personally, it’s huge. I’m pretty tall, I’m 5″7, I probably weighed 120lbs in high school. So it’s a pretty sh*tty cut for me in all honesty.”
As Jasudavicius sees it, “cutting weight is a mental thing. You’ve got to have big balls to cut a lot of weight. Just because I can do it doesn’t mean I should do it, but I would 100% if the opportunity is there.” That would require the proper training “and taking the time to bring my weight down naturally and healthy,” she added. Still, “for sure” she would consider 115lbs again. “But 125 is nice, I’m loving it.”
Her last fight, a loss to Elise Reed in a split decision with gold on the line back in August, was a tough pill to swallow initially. One judge, and many onlookers, scored it for Jasudavicius. “I thought I won too. I thought the takedowns sealed it. But you never leave it in the judges’ hands,” she observed. Jasudavicius feels like she was actually trying too hard for the finish, over-extending herself. And maybe, she added, she didn’t have enough respect for her opponent’s movement.
The lesson learned? “In life and in MMA, I learned to actually chill a little bit more. Enjoy the process more, enjoy being in there,” said Jasudavicius. “Don’t be trying to push, push, push. Wait for my opportunity, kind of stalk my prey instead of just going at it full force.”
“[The loss] cut deep because, if it was a loss that I knew I lost, then it’s like, okay this is what I have to work on. But I thought I won the fight, I thought I was doing the right thing,” she added. In hindsight, Jasudavicius recognizes there are things she could have done differently. “But in the time, I thought that I was doing the right thing. So initially after the loss, I was very confused, because I didn’t know what I was doing wrong.”
Having put some distance between herself and the loss has helped bring clarity, however. “After a little bit of time, the loss sinks in. After you set the emotions aside and really look at it, that’s when you can actually learn the lessons from it.”
To kick off 2021, Jasmine Jasudavicius now turns her attention forward to CFFC 93 in Philadelpha on March 12. She’s looking forward to getting back in the cage. And the plan is “to just let the fight go naturally where ever it needs to go. If it’s a standup fight, awesome, if it goes to the ground, awesome.”
“I’m not going to put too much force into it. I’m going to let it organically find its way to the finish that I want,” she stated, no doubt with that last loss in mind.
Crossing the border for this bout could get interesting, however. Traveling Canadians are currently under heavy quarantine protocols should they go abroad. Those flying have a mandatory three-day hotel quarantine, at their expense, followed by a standard two weeks of isolation. Those crossing the border by land can forgo the hotel stay, according to government resources, but the 14-day lockdown still applies, even if vaccinated. Even with a negative COVID-19 test.
“If I do have to do it, then I’m going to have to do it regardless. So we’ll see. I’m going to cross the border, and then figure it out from there,” Jasudavicius said of jumping through the numerous hoops cross-border travel will require. “The fight will be done. I just care about getting to the fight. Getting home — whatever.” She might just have to live in Philly for a year, she joked.
While it is her in-cage ability that has put Jasmine Jasudavicius on the map, she’s become notorious for another reason: a bet made early on with a friend, who must get a tattoo of Jasudavicius’ face should she make it to the UFC. And the placement is set. “It has to be on her ass, for sure!”
For those curious on how it all came about, “both her and I were at UFC Ottawa [UFC Fight Night 89, in 2016], and we were watching the fights and I’m like ‘I think I’m going to take a run at this.’ At that point, I hadn’t been training, literally I hadn’t done MMA. I went to a couple practices just to see what it was all about, but I hadn’t done MMA or anything like that.” Upon hearing Jasudavicius’ plan, her friend jokingly said “if you make it to the UFC, I’ll get your face tattooed on my ass.”
The next day on the drive home, Jasudavicius asked her friend if she’d really go through with it. Her friend agreed. “She’s already accepted that one day, there’s a very high likelihood that ‘I’m going to have to get Jasmine’s face tattooed on my ass.’ She’s already talked to her boyfriend about it and everything.”
Now that’s a dedicated friend. “Luckily, it probably won’t be too big,” Jasudavicius added.
If you’re wondering why a talented young prospect is crossing the border to fight during a pandemic, the answer is simple: opportunity. Or lack thereof, at least in Ontario. For the past several years, fight cards in Ontario have been scare, with only BTC and PFC hosting events on a regular basis. Much of that has to do with regulation.
“It’s really hard to get a fight here, and it’s hard to get the medicals done. Ontario has pretty severe stipulations on the medicals,” explained Jasudavicius. “It’s expensive, too. It’ll cost $2000 pretty much, I think that’s what it was. $2000 to get your medicals done to fight. If they’re not paying you more than $2000, why would you take it? That’s some peoples thought on it.” That U.S., meanwhile, offers fewer complications at a lower price.
At the same time, Jasudavicius believes that everyone should fight at home if they get the chance. “I liked it. I think people should take the opportunity if they have the chance to fight in their hometown, even if they’re losing money.”
Don’t miss Jasmine Jasudavicius take on Ashley Deen on Friday, March 12 at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, PA. The card airs live on UFC Fight Pass.