Jasmine Jasudavicius admits DWCS experience averted Octagon jitters before UFC 270 win

The Underground

UFC newcomer Jasmine Jasudavicius was feeling that larger-than-life UFC spotlight before her promotional debut at UFC 270. However, she says winning her promotional contract on Dana White’s Contender Series played a pivotal role in avoiding the dreaded Octagon jitters.

MMA fighters at any level are filled with nervous energy and adrenaline as they head to the cage. It’s a fight, who wouldn’t feel all sorts of emotions? However, there are even levels to nerves and excitement, and when it comes to a UFC debut, they get no higher. And Jasudavicius (7-1) felt that before her first UFC outing last week.

That first walk to the Octagon can be a surreal moment. It’s one every fighter dreams about, and the 32-year-old says she was filled with nervous excitement, legitimate joy, and needed to snap out of it before her bout with Kay Hansen (7-5) began.

Jasmine Jasudavicius explains DWCS helping to avoid debut Octagon jitters

“It was a little bit [surreal] and a little bit of [enjoyment],” Jasudavicious told MixedMartialArts.com about her first walk UFC walkout. “I started walking and, you know, the fans and everyone cheering right when you’re walking out and I was getting jacked up. Like, ‘Whoa, let’s go!’ I was getting so jacked up. And then I’m getting closer [to the Octagon], and I was like, ‘sh*it, I’m just enjoying this too much. I’ve got to remember I’m going in there to fight.’ So you could see in the video I’m [taking deep breaths]. That was me switching [focus] and getting ready to scrap. It was all business after that. No more fun.”

However, that ability to refocus and make that bout just like any other is not easy for all fighters. For years, the term “Octagon jitters” has been uttered by many competitors unhappy with their first UFC performances, after nerves from that special moment got to them. But the Canadian says she was able to avoid all of that because of her experience competing on the Contender Series in September. Although smaller than UFC events, it’s still a UFC production and has all the elements that can unsettle a young fighter not used to the bright lights of the big time.

“I’m really happy that I did Contenders Series first, and then coming on to this. Because I feel I got used to all of that stuff from Contenders Series. When I fought on Contenders Series it was super nerve-racking. And I really did notice the cameras there,” said Jasudavicius. “And I did notice when they were calling the countdown and I was like, ‘Oh sh*t it’s getting closer and closer.’

“I did notice those things a lot more there, whereas now, for this [debut] I was used to it. I knew how the organization worked. It was a little bit different because it was a numbered card but I was already comfortable. I was super happy that I did Contenders Series first to kind of get that all out of the way.”

Jasudavicius talks playing it safe in her UFC 270 win

Jasmine Jasudavicius
Jan 22, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Jasmine Jasudavicius (blue gloves) celebrates her win over Kay Hansen (red gloves) during UFC 270 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

At UFC 270, Jasudavicius beat Hansen by unanimous decision and logged her first UFC W. However, even though Octagon jitters were a non-issue on fight night, she admits not being entirely happy with her showing inside Anaheim’s Honda Center. And that she fought not to lose, instead of fighting to win in the third round. Something she expects to change in her next appearance in the Octagon.

“I played it safe [in the third round],” said Jasudavicius. “I wanted to get through my debut without any hiccups. It was like, I knew I won the first two rounds and I figured the best way of her beating me was her catching me on something. So I was like I don’t want to start opening up my hands and she gets a takedown, and who knows what happens right? If I end up on my back or whatever. I didn’t want to give her any opportunities.”

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