Count Jasmine Jasudavicius as the latest Canadian fighter to make it to the UFC, following a gruelling fight on Dana White’s Contender Series one week ago.
The St. Catharines, Ontario-based Jasudavicius (6-1) joins fellow flyweight Gillian Robertson, who also hails from the Niagara region and who has become a staple of the division.
Another Niagara hopeful, Aaron Jeffery, will look to win his way into the big show later this month, like Jasudavicius and Calgary’s Chad Anheliger, who also earned his spot earlier this year. Plenty of other Canadian fighters call the promotion home, but the latest season of the Contender Series has brought with it a new wave.
Jasudavicius came close to finishing DWCS opponent Julia Polastri in the opening round. “I really tried to finish her in that first round,” the flyweight told Cageside Press in a recent exclusive interview. “The ref was like standing right over top, and he was saying ‘defend yourself, defend yourself.’ And usually they’re not going to say it more than twice before they stop it. And he was like really slow— I could feel like he was going to jump in there in just a couple more seconds.”
Ultimately the fight went the distance, with Jasudavicius winning on all three judge’s scorecards. The Contender Series being what it is, however, the Canadian was a little nervous waiting to hear if UFC President Dana White would award her the coveted Ultimate Fighting Championship contract.
“I was very, very nervous when I was sitting there. I thought I had a pretty good shot because after the fight, Dana gave me a bit of props,” Jasudavicius admitted. “So I was holding out hope, but my fight did go to a decision, and in the past, he wouldn’t often give contracts out when people would go to a decision. So I was very nervous about that; the whole time I was thinking ‘please please please, please come through for me.'”
“Luckily he did,” Jasudavicius added, but the knot that formed in her stomach made the decision feel “like it took forever.” One factor in her favor was likely her finishing instinct, especially after coming close in the first round.
“I think that was definitely part of it. You could tell that I was obviously really trying to finish,” she said. “Every round, I was trying to finish. I think he understands you’re not always going to get a finish, but if you’re trying for it, that’s what he wants to see.”
“She said ‘I’m going to have to do a bunch more squats and booty exercises to make sure it’s looking good.’ So it’s motivation for her as well!” – Jasmine Jasudavicius on the infamous bet that will see a friend tattoo her portrait on her backside.
With Jasmine Jasudavicius officially a UFC fighter, an infamous bet with a friend is about to be paid off. For those who missed it, one of her friends vowed to get a tattoo of Jasudavicius on her ass if the fighter ever made it to the UFC. At the time, she’d just embarked on her fighting career.
And yes, that placement is firm. Jasmine’s face, her friend’s backside. “That is correct, yup. It’s so funny because right after [winning on DWCS], I messaged her, I said ‘get your ass ready!'”
“There’s been no talk yet about how big the tattoo will be, nor whether it will be photo realistic. “She knows she’s getting it. Even if it’s small, I’m happy with that.” Jasudavicius is even thinking about putting a poll up on social media to choose the style, and her friend has accepted that she’ll have to show it off at some point. “She said ‘I’m going to have to do a bunch more squats and booty exercises to make sure it’s looking good.’ So it’s motivation for her as well!”
With her spot in the UFC assured, Jasudavicius can now look ahead to potential match-ups in the flyweight division. “There’s a couple girls, but I haven’t really checked them out too much yet. Within the next little while, I’m definitely going to go through the roster and start watching more fights, and see who is my best option now. Before, I didn’t want to jump ahead too much. I wanted to focus on my fight, but now that I’m in and I know who’s in the pool, I’m definitely going to start seeing what my options are.
One name that Jasudavicius would like to face is Elise Reed, who represents the only blemish on her professional record. Reed made it to the UFC several months back, taking a fight at flyweight, where the Canadian will compete moving forward.
“Of course! Yeah of course I want to run that back. I think I won that fight, so it’s very interesting, because I’m sure she thinks she won too.”