Month: January 2022

The Book of Jasmine Jasudavicius, Chapter 3

The Book of Jasmine Jasudavicius, Chapter 3

By Andy Cotterill

Every fighter on the UFC roster has their own first-UFC fight story.

For St Catharines, Ontario’s Jasmine Jasudavicius, her first UFC fight was technically held last September at Dana White’s Contender Series (DWCS), when she defeated Julia Polastri in a one-sided decision.

In that series, fighters compete to see who can impress the UFC boss and get awarded a coveted UFC contract.

So yes, that fight was inside of a famed UFC Octagon, inside of a UFC venue, and with UFC President Dana White overseeing the whole thing.

It was in essence a UFC fight…but not a “UFC fight.”

That all changes in Anaheim, California this Saturday at UFC 270, when Jasudavicius (6-1) faces California’s Kay Hansen (7-4) in a much anticipated Flyweight bout between two hot prospects.

Now just days away, Jasudavicius says that she’s nervous, but that’s both normal and okay.

“Of course I’m nervous,” she told me, “but every time I have nerves and every time I get over it and I understand that they’re just part of the process.”

That’s a practical attitude for anyone to have, but perhaps counter-intuitively, Jasmine adds that she’s also excited that the fight is taking place in Anaheim, which is in Hansen’s back yard, and where her opponent is sure to have overwhelming support from the fans.

“Going into enemy territory is nice. I’ve done that my entire career and I like being the one that they’re hating on, and they always become my fans afterward which is sweet.”

So it is that Jasmine has her focus on Hansen, and Hansen alone.

Her Niagara Top Team coach Chris Prickett doesn’t have that luxury, however.

“I’m planning years ahead.” He told me, “This is a marathon, not a sprint.”

I would have been remiss had I not asked him to expound on this statement, so I did.

“She’s (Jasmine’s) the best in the world. I honestly believe that. In her weight class, I think she can beat them all. I know she’s still relatively young in her career as far as fights in the UFC, and we’re going to get more work before we get a shot with Valentina (UFC Champion Shevchenko) or one of those top couple girls, but she’s trained with a lot of these girls inside of the top 15. I know exactly where she’s at. She’s going to be a world champion, it’s just a matter of time.”

Followers of the fight game recognize this as a very bold statement, one which they’ve heard before from other fighters and their circles. Sometimes they’re accurate, but most often they’re not.

What does Jasmine think about what her coach said?

“That’s the plan. I believe in my skills and abilities. You learn from each fight, and eventually when I get that opportunity I’ll be able to take advantage of it. But as of right now I only have Kay Hansen on my mind.”

So now we all wait together for Saturday night.

To watch Jasmine turn the page.

To see where her story leads her.

NTT Jan 2022

NTT Ready To Punch 2022 Right In The Face

NTT READY TO PUNCH 2022 RIGHT IN THE FACE

Photo by Elyane Rogier

As Niagara Top Team approaches our third anniversary, 2022 is shaping up to be our most successful and productive year to date.

Despite the challenges faced by Covid restrictions we are so fortunate and thankful to have had such a loyal and dedicated student base, and appreciate each and every one of you.

From our Marvelous Mini Martial Artists, to our Killer Kids, to our Awesome Adults, the coaching staff has been blown away by all of the dedication and progress that we’ve seen, and the fact that all of our students are so positive, friendly, and respectful is a huge bonus.

Whether you’re training for fun, fitness, or getting ready for competition, we’re thrilled that you’ve chosen us to be on your journey with you.

Let’s show 2022 who’s boss!

Sincerely,

Head Coaches Matt DiMarcantonio and Chris Prickett

FIGHT TEAM UPDATES!

The Niagara Top Team competitive athletes are all chomping at the bit to show the world what they’ve been doing behind the scenes.

22 Jan – Without a doubt the most high profile and eagerly anticipated fight in the history of our Team, Jasmine Jasudavicius will be leaving for Las Vegas this week to get ready for her UFC debut, when she faces American Kay Hansen at UFC 270: Ngannou vs Gane, in Anaheim, California on January 22nd.

Jasmine earned her spot in the world’s largest MMA organization by defeating Julia Polastri at Dana White’s Contender Series 39 in September.

29 Jan – Aaron Jeffery will be making his first title defence of his Cage Fury Fight Club (CFFC) Middleweight crown when he takes on Pennsylvania’s Rex Harris at CFFC 105 in Philadelphia on January 29th.

It is said that a champion isn’t a Champion until they defend their belt, and as he always does, Aaron has been putting in the work on the mats day in and day out to make sure that he’s ready, and we’re confident that that his success will continue in 2022.

11 Feb – Sporting a 10-1 professional record, Anthony Romero has already proven that he is one of Canada’s top lightweight fighters, and will continue to make his case when he faces Nashville’s Charlie Alexander in the main event of Fury FC 57 in Humble, Texas on February 11th, for the Fury FC Lightweight Title.

25 Feb – Ashley Nichols might be an unfamilar name to followers of Niagara Top Team…for now. This 5-time World Professional MuayThai Federation Champion and K-1 Kickboxing Champion is an accomplished striker who has also had MMA fights in both the TKO and Invicta organizations.

Ashley visited NTT last fall, and must have liked it because she moved to Niagara permanently shortly after and has quickly become one of our most dedicated athletes. We’ll see if this dedication pays off when she steps into the Legacy Fighting Alliance cage against Hilarie Rose on February 25th.

05 Mar – BTC Fight Promotions continues it’s push to be the pre-eminent MMA organization in Eastern, and perhaps all of Canada, when it holds it’s 14th event, on March 5th in London, Ontario. This event, titled CLASH, will feature a handful of NTT fighters. Look to see our standout athletes Xavier Nash, Cody Chovancek, Luke Roberts, and Vinny Dias on the card.

09 April – A dual citizen from both Canada and the United States, Mike Malott spends many of his days as a coach at the lauded Team Alpha Male in Sacramento. His family, however, lives in the Burlington area, and when he’s in town he often avails himself of the high-level coaches and training partners at Niagara Top Team.

Like Jasmine Jasudavicius, he also won entry into the UFC by way of a victory at DWCS, and his UFC debut “Proper” will take place at UFC 273 in Brooklyn, NY versus Mickey Gall.

Teshay Gouthro – There is a possibility that Teshay may be joining Ashley Nichols on the LFA card, and we’ll update you when we know more.

Zackery Powell – After the disappointing last-second Covid-cancellation of the TOFC event scheduled for Niagara Falls in December in which he was set to fight, “Pow Pow” is desperately searching for a last minute fight…anywhere. If you’re a promoter who’s looking for a tough and skilled lightweight, please reach out to us.

Also currently looking for fights are professionals Jarred Dummond and Kevin Bastien Popowick, and amateurs Alex Moher, Ligrit Sadiku, and Khaya MacKillop.

Niagara Top Team athletes are skilled, professional, in-shape, and always come ready to represent one of the top MMA gyms in Canada!