Jasmine Jasudavicius surrounded by a small group of her Niagara Top Teammates. Photo by Andy Cotterill
By Andy Cotterill
Our lives, as long as they are, are made up of thousands upon thousands of individual moments.
You can tell a lot about someone by their moments.
For St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada fighter Jasmine Jasudavicius, many of her moments are on full display to the world every few months when she steps inside the UFC Octagon and goes to work against a talented opponent in the flyweight division of the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization.
Hundreds of thousands of fans get to see her moments of excitement as she walks toward the cage with a massive smile on her face.
Her moments of skill as she uses moves that she has performed unnumerable times in practise.
Her moments of aggression as she smells blood and stalks in to finish her opponent.
Her moments of exultation as her hand gets raised in victory.
Fight week displays many of these moments for the world to see, and it is good.
But for Jasudavicius, who is on the eve of her second UFC bout against Brazilian Natália Silva at UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Emmett, in Austin, Texas on Saturday night, it was difficult for her to appreciate all of the moments that made up her road to the UFC.
“It was stressful being on the regional scene.” She told MM-eh at Niagara Top Team after one of her last training sessions last week.
“You’ve got to always stay ready because you don’t know what short notice opportunities are going to present themselves. So I was really able to take a couple days off after the Kay fight and visit my family again. I feel like I haven’t seen them in years. I’m there, but I’m not really there engaging with them.”
The “Kay fight” was her UFC debut against American Kay Hansen in January, a unanimous decision win for Jasudavicius.
It was the days surrounding that fight that she felt that she could start to fully appreciate all of those special moments that the rest of the world could so easily watch from the comfort of their homes.
“I remember during fight week I was really trying my best to take in all the moments of it.” She said with a grin, as if she were reliving those moments as we spoke.
“You only have one debut, so I was really trying to sit back and appreciate all the hard work that I did to get to that point and to appreciate where I was. Like the fact that I have to do media obligations on fight week…that’s such an awesome problem to have. Or, it’s like I get to go and fight in front of all my family, it’s such a crazy, crazy life to live and there’s ups and downs to it, but I think it’s the best thing in the world.”
Jasudavicius has embraced the hustle and bustle surrounding a UFC event.
“It’s so fun.” she said, almost breaking out laughing.
“You get to play up to your personality, you get to have a camera follow you…you go down in the morning and they do your makeup and they give you breakfast and they treat you so well. It’s such a cool experience.”
With Jasudavicius’ success so far there are a few side benefits that neither she nor her Niagara Top Teammates fully realized until they were in the middle of it.
“After my debut I feel like it’s inspired them they get be like, okay, this is attainable. They’ve watched me from the very start so I think everyone kind of believes it now that they’ve seen it, you know what I mean? It feels like it’s it more in reaching distance.”
Several days after my interview with Jasmine I was speaking casually with her teammate Jarred Dumond, who is fresh off his pro debut victory at BTC 15 a few weekends ago, and he affirmed her thoughts.
“Seeing Jasmine do that, it’s like real, you know?” He said.
For Jasmine it is indeed real, and she’s enjoying every moment of it.