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.