18 June, 2019
By Andy Cotterill
When most people hear the word “Niagara,” the first thing they think of are the world-famous water falls, the majesty of which attracts millions of visitors every year.
But for submission grappling fans that may soon change as Niagara Top Team’s Chris Prickett and Jasmine Jasudavicius are ready to burst onto the scene at Para Bellum’s Quintet II on June 21st in Oakville, Ontario.
A former National Wrestling Champion, Olympic Alternate, and current Assistant Wrestling Coach for the men’s and women’s National Champion Brock Badgers, Prickett competed in the first Quintet but left disappointed after being disqualified for an illegal knee reap, and is looking forward to redemption against fellow Quintet veteran Jaamal Richer from Battle Arts Academy.
“The first Quintet was awesome and I had so much fun.” Says Prickett. “But most of my Jiu jitsu knowledge comes from coaching wrestling and MMA athletes, so it was my own ignorance for not understanding the ruleset.” He notes regarding his disqualification, but he vows that he and Richer will excite the crowd.
“We’ve spoken over the internet and he seems like a really cool guy just looking to compete and have fun with it.”
Jasudavicius is an up-and-coming mixed martial artist and had been hoping to parlay her undefeated amateur record into her professional MMA debut at BTC 6 on June 1st, but fortunately for Quintet fans her opponent dropped out, allowing her to compete along alongside Prickett in Ontario’s premiere submission grappling event.
“The first Quintet was amazing,” she says, “they put on a very entertaining show and everyone loved it. I really liked how they showcased the wrestling and the Jiu jitsu and I can hardly wait to do it myself.”
Her opponent of the evening will be Angela Neufeld, a multiple time jiujitsu champion, as well as Fight of the Night winner in BJJ super fights.
“I know that she’s a blue belt same as me and a multiple time champion,” Jasudavicius says, “but that being said I think that I’ll feel different to her because I’m an MMA fighter as opposed to a Jiu jitsu practitioner, so I think I have the advantage because of that.”
Prickett says that an event like the Quintet means different things to different athletes. “Jasmine and I are competing in the same thing, but for me it’s completely different than it is for her. Her end goal is the UFC and fighting at the highest level, and for me this is recreational.”
“Recreational” clearly means something different for someone who lives and breathes different types of combat training. “Coaching is my main focus, and I do this on the side,” he says, “and it’s not to say that I’m not taking this seriously because I am, but this is like me going golfing on the weekend.”
Jasudavicius agrees that for her competing in the Quintet isn’t just fun, it’s serving a purpose. “I’m just going out there and kinda what (UFC Champion) Tony Ferguson said – getting my mat time in and getting the competition experience, that’s why I’m doing it.”
Prickett says that while Jasudavicius may seem sweet and innocent when you meet her, it’s a different story once she hits the mats.
“Her biggest strength is that she’s fearless. Skills come from training but I feel like she was born a fighter, it’s just in her, she just has it.” He says, before adding some ominous words, “She won’t say it, but she likes breaking people — taking them down and sucking the wind out of them.”
Jasudavicius smiles as he says that and adds, “Going into a fight it’s like, who’s going to break first? I know I’m not going to break.”
As for predictions? The Niagara Power Couple answer just like you think they would.
“Just win.” Says Prickett. “That’s the purpose of competition. The goal of what I want to get out of June 21st is to get my hand raised, and secondly is to do it in exciting fashion.”
For Jasudavicius it’s even simpler than that. “I predict she’ll be submitted by me pretty quick.”