It will have been roughly eight months between fights for Canadian UFC women’s flyweight Jasmine Jasudavicius when she steps into the octagon next month.
That’s longer than the Southern Ontario native would like, and when she does return to action, it will be against a fresh face in the form of newcomer Gabriella Fernandes. That’s after original opponent Cortney Casey was forced out of the bout.
Speaking to Cageside Press in an exclusive interview this week, Jasudavicius (7-2) revealed how she received the news — and how it almost arrived late. “When I was in Florida, it actually was kind of bad, because I have a Canadian phone plan, but if I were to try to do it in the States, it would be like $10 a day in addition [to the monthly plan]. So it just didn’t make sense, so I just got a phone there to use just for data and to make phone calls, whatever. And so I would only check my Canadian phone every couple days,” Jasudavicius recalled. “I don’t even know exactly which day it was, Mick [Maynard, UFC matchmaker] messaged me and he said ‘hey, Cortney’s out, but Fernandes, she’ll step in.’ And so I don’t know, hopefully it was just that day, I don’t want to look bad to Mick or anything.”
Jasudavicius immediately accepted the switch, and informed her team, with the contract arriving the next day. That was roughly a week ago. Now, Jasudavicius has a new opponent to focus on, though in total she gets roughly a month to prepare.
“I think it’s a good match-up. She’s a southpaw kicker. We’ve changed the game plan, we’re preparing for her instead of Cortney now, but I think it’s going to be good,” she said of the switch.
“Of course you have a little bit of game planning. I’ve obviously watched her and my team watches her, but at the end of the day, you never know how they’re going to come in,” the Canadian said when asked whether she tended to focus more on herself, or her opponent. “We’ll have a little bit of a plan, but it’s all about me and what we’re doing and what we can control. That’s mainly kind of the focus now.”
Natalia Silva, Jasudavicius’ previous opponent, took her the distance, serving up the Niagara Top Team fighter’s first loss in the UFC, and just her second as a pro.
“You learn something from every camp and every fight. Unfortunately I didn’t walk away being the winner of that fight, but I feel like I did learn a ton from that fight. A loss forces you to learn and to really work on a lot of things,” Jasudavicius observed. “I feel like in that fight I was trying to do to much, I was trying to make it a show and was trying to do all this. I just have to go in there and fight, I can focus on fighting and winning the fight. Not get all caught up in the hype and how exciting it is. I really do, I love competing and I enjoy being in there, but I have to focus on it being a fight.”
On the plus side, Jasudavicius got 15 minutes of cage time under her belt against Silva. “There’s no substitute at all. No matter what you do in the room or anything, there’s no substitute for literally active competition. And for me to be able to do that for 15 minutes, it pays so well, for knowledge, for everything.”
F*ck you, watch this.
Feb 25th ⚔️ @ufc pic.twitter.com/4Swd5PzT7s
— Jasmine Jasudavicius (@JasJasudavicius) January 22, 2023
In recent months, the 33-year old has been more active on social media, launching a series of videos entitled “MMA is F*cked” and hosting polls and MMA-themed questions. One of those recently asked what fight fans would change the outcome of; her own answer was Jones vs. Cormier 2 at UFC 214.
Jasudavicius is of two minds on the social media front it seems. On the one hand, she sees herself potentially exiting social media entirely when her fighting career wraps up. “I look forward to being done fighting and not having to worry about social media at all. I’m going to be one of those people that has a land line only, leave a message, like no one talk to me, I’m not going to have a cell phone, nothing when I’m done. Maybe I will, we’ll see, but right now, that’s my thinking.”
On the other hand, she’s learned to see the benefits an active social media presence can bring. “I didn’t really realize how important social media was, and engaging with the fans, and really kind of showing who I am. Because people don’t know who I am, so for me to show my personality, it makes it a bit more intimate. So that’s why I’ve been trying to be more active on social media. And in addition with that comes better sponsorships, and more eyes on the fight and everything, so it’s kind of all-encompassing.”
In the meantime, Jasudavicius sees herself earning the win over Fernandes next month, and her goal past that is to stay busy.
“I want to be active. Just like I said before, I’m here for a good time, not a long time. I don’t want so much of a layoff, [like] from my last fight,” she stated. “God forbid, I take no damage this fight, and I can get back home and start another training camp that Monday, or whatever, two Mondays from after the fight or something like that. I want to be super active this year and really climb the ranks.”
Part of the reason for the lengthy layoff between fights this time out was holding out for a rumored Canadian UFC event. The promotion has not headed north of the border since 2019, prior to the onset of COVID-19.
“They were talking about a Canada card, and so we were like ‘oh maybe we’ll wait for that card,’ because it was rumored that was going to be like January. I think that’s what part of it was. But now moving forward, when the fight’s done, I’m going to be trying to get something right away.”
In the meantime, Jasudavicius is keeping her fingers crossed, hoping the UFC does make it to her native Canada soon. “I hope so. Me and Mike Malott, we always talk about how sick it would be to fight in Toronto. I want to fight at home so bad.”
Watch our full interview with Jasmine Jasudavicius, where she gives her thoughts on the return of Jon Jones and more, above. Jasudavicius faces Gabriella Fernandes at UFC Vegas 70 on February 25, 2023.