Canada’s Jasmine Jasudavicius has been spending some time at Syndicate MMA in Las Vegas, but brought the warm weather with her back to Southern Ontario recently.
Caseside Press caught up with the UFC flyweight last week, to discuss her newly announced fight on June 18 against Natalia Silva, among other topics. The trip to Vegas allowed the St. Catharines, Ontario native to get some different looks from a wider array of training partners.
“I have Diana Belbita out in the Stoney Creek area, and I get good work with the guys, but it’s really nice to have high-level girl partners, and so many of them,” she told us of the trip. “So it’s pretty nice for that.”
For those who aren’t yet familiar with Jasudavicius, she fought her way into the UFC last year on Dana White’s Contender Series, then won her debut at UFC 270 against Kay Hansen.
Now, she’s accepted the fact that yes, she is a UFC fighter. “It took a little time, I was riding high for a while, but now it’s sunken in,” Jasudavicius said. “This is my job. It’s really cool actually, being comfortable in a promotion, and not chasing like ‘oh what’s the next fight?’ There’s a calmness to being in the UFC, being with one promotion.”
That level of stability — as Jasudavicius put it, “less juggling” — alleviates concerns about fights, or even entire cards, falling through. The sort of hijinks that can happen on the regional scene.
The Niagara Top Team fighter has also been blown away by how warm her fans online have been, especially given the internet can get a little dicey at times. “It’s been awesome, because everyone’s been so supportive. I’ve received so many messages just like ‘hey, just rooting for you, when’s the next fight?’ Just so much positive reinforcement that it’s so sick, I feel like I have really nice fans.”
That sort of thing can go either way, and Jasudavicius is perhaps lucky in that she got the call to the UFC in her early 30s, rather than her 20s. Former opponent Kay Hansen got a ton of blow back online after a string of losses, something Jasudavicius is aware of.
“Props to her for handling the pressure and everything when you are young,” she said of Hansen, who got her start as a pro in her teens. At the same time, “I have the life experience to handle uncomfortable situations,” she noted. “I think it’s valuable to be older in this sport.”
Jasudavicius also had some supportive words for fellow Canadian Mike Malott, who made a splash in his recent UFC debut. The pair both won their way into the promotion on the Contender Series last year, and have trained together as well.
“He looked great. He trained with us for this camp. Just seeing him in the room every day, there was no doubt in my mind that he was going to get the finish. Mike’s an animal. He’s so talented, and he’s such a student of the game,” she said. “I couldn’t be happier for him. I’m looking forward to getting back home and actually talking to him about his experience. Mine’s still fresh in my mind, my debut, I remember all the feelings, and so I’m really looking forward to talking to him, and talking about both of our experiences.”
Keen-eyed UFC fans might remember that Jasudavicius’s upcoming opponent, Natalia Silva, was supposed to make her UFC debut a couple of years back, until injury sidelined her. Which makes her something of a question mark ahead of their June showdown.
“She hasn’t fought in two years, so who knows what she’s going to be like. In two years, you could be a completely different fighter,” Jasudavicius observed. “So I’m just going into this fight with my eyes open. It’s like going into a new gym, you don’t know what people have to offer. So it’s just like that. I’ll figure it out in the octagon, and I’m very fortunate to have strong wrestling, so I feel like I could take it to the feet or the ground regardless. So I think it’s a favorable match-up.”
Jasudavicius is of course hip to Silva’s jiu-jitsu and Taekwondo background, so “obviously I’m going to be aware of that, I’m not going to put myself out of position.” One thing she’s not counting on, however, is any rust on Silva’s part, despite the time off. Time away, she suggested, is “however the person perceives it. It can be an advantage or disadvantage.” In other words, you can see it as a disadvantage for your opponent, because then it’s an advantage for you — but then, they’ll think of it the other way around.
And Jasudavicius isn’t sure ring rust really exists anyway. “I don’t think there’s ring rust. There’s a girl on my team, Ashley Nichols, and she didn’t fight for I think it was three years or four years or something like that. And she just got in there, and she’s an animal. There was no ring rust at all. I don’t think that that’s really a thing.”
Jasmine Jasudavicius faces Natalia Silva at the UFC’s June 18, 2022 Fight Night event.