Canada’s Jasudavicius (4-0) will look to remain undefeated and capture her first professional title when she takes on the United States’ Reed (1-0) with the CFFC strawweight title on the line at CFFC 83 on Thursday night in Philadelphia, PA.
Jasudavicius, 31, said the belt is the only thing on her mind right now, as well as what could be next following a CFFC title win.
“I got my eye on the prize right now. All I can think about is that belt, and I can’t wait to be able to get in there and perform, and do what I do,” said Jasudavicius in an interview with MMA Empire.
“It will be such an accomplishment to be able to win the belt. The last couple girls that fought for this belt went straight to the UFC, and I’m hoping that happens for me as well.”
After a lengthy amateur career, Reed, 27, made her professional debut for Bellator MMA back in October, and now has the opportunity to capture a title in just her second professional fight.
Reed said she’s looking forward to the opportunity, and is looking to take advantage of this one like she did throughout her amateur career.
“It’s obviously an opportunity, that goes without saying. My instructor and I started this journey in 2013 and it’s brought us this far, and I think him and I have the mindset where if we have an opportunity, we want to try and take advantage of it,” said Reed in an interview with MMA Empire.
“Fighting someone that has a career like hers already, and on top that making it for a title, it’s really hard to pass on that opportunity. It’s definitely a go big or go home situation.”
Jasudavicius feeling at home
This will be Jasudavicius’ second straight time competing under the CFFC banner after defeating Gabriella Gulfin earlier this year at CFFC 81.
Jasudavicius said having fought for CFFC before gives her an added comfort and a home-type feeling, which she believes will work to her advantage.
“I feel like because I fought there before, I feel at home there. I understand the ins and outs of how they run their show, and I think that’s kind of my advantage,” said Jasudavicius.
“I already feel at home, even though it isn’t my home.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic having a significant impact on many gyms throughout the world, a lot of fighters have had to significantly alter their training camps.
But Jasudavicius said she managed to continue training throughout the pandemic with a small group of training partners, and said it’s actually been a good and positive situation for her.
“I’m super fortunate to have a very small group that I’ve been able to consistently work with this entire time. There’s four of us that have only been in contact with each other, and they’re awesome partners for me,” said Jasudavicius.
“It’s almost been nice making the best of this whole COVID thing. I’ve been really able to focus on my own weaknesses and trying to build them into strengths. There’s not specific practices that we’re working on things for the team; I’m able to hone in on my own game, so it’s been good for me actually.”
Like many fighters that have been competing around the world since COVID-19 hit, this will be Jasudavicius’ first time competing without a crowd in attendance.
She said she’s interested to see what it’s going to be like, and the unique dynamic it presents.
“I’m actually really excited to see what it’s all like,” said Jasudavicius.
“You’re going to be able to hear everything and I’ll be able to hear my corner perfectly. It’s going to be cool, I think.”
Reed expecting tough test
With the undefeated professional and amateur career Jasudavicius possesses, Reed said she has no shortage of respect for her opponent’s game.
She said she expects Jasudavicius to be her toughest test to date, and is expecting them both to put on an entertaining fight.
“I think it’s going to be a really good fight. Obviously, the record kind of speaks for itself, in terms of 4-0, and a solid amateur record as well,” said Reed.
“She’s definitely the toughest opponent yet for me, which is exciting. She likes to use her knee strikes, which is definitely something we’re addressing.”
Throughout her 7-1 amateur career, Reed said she had a tendency to be aggressive, and constantly push forward.
In her professional debut, she said she dialled back the aggressiveness and worked on using her fight IQ to find success, a trait she’s looking to continue Wednesday night.
“Initially, as an amateur, I was really a go-getter and ran forward all the time. Since then, I’ve been trying to be a little more disciplined in how I fight and how I measure my opponents,” said Reed.
“I want to be able to turn it up and push forward when I can, but I also want to be able to have the fight IQ to step back and kind of understand the opponent a little more before pressing forward.”
Even just one fight into her professional career, there’s no doubting a CFFC title win would put Reed’s name on the radar of some of the bigger promotions around the world.
But for Reed, she said she’s not focusing on what could follow a victory on Wednesday night, but instead staying focused on the task at hand.
“No fighter fights just to get their head knocked in on a few local shows. It’s always the intent of any fighter to go big,” said Reed.
“In terms of my career, it would be great; how do you say no to that opportunity? But in all honesty, I’m really just focused on having a really good fight on Aug. 13 and putting on a show. If that’s something that people want to see and I get the call, then we’ll address it there. I try to make sure I work on only that fight in front of me, and not necessarily trying to set my path.”