In the closing minutes of her fight with Jasmine Jasudavicius, Cortez reacted angrily to what appeared to be a Jasudavicius foul. The bout featured several hard-fought clinches that saw both women grabbing at the back of the other’s head, but replays seemed to confirm that Jasudavicius held onto one of Cortez’s braids in Round 3, prompting an exchange of words.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) September 17, 2023
Cortez recounted the incident on The MMA Hour, declaring in no uncertain terms that she was peeved about the incident.
“She did pull my hair,” Cortez said. “There was a moment where we’re clinching and her fingers are in my hair and I’m like, ‘What the?’ And I’m defending and then she goes and grabs the other side and she’s pulling on the back of my braid here, and I feel it. There’s a different angle, a top angle, and you see my hair is getting pulled, and when she lets go, that’s where I get head-kicked. She follows it up with a head kick.
“I’m looking at her and I didn’t even say nothing yet. I’m just looking at her like, ‘Are you f****** serious right now? You know what you did.’ She follows it with, ‘I didn’t f****** pull your hair.’ I was like, ‘No, you pulled my f****** hair.’ We’re professional in here, but that one did bother me.”
The three-round scrap was a back-and-forth affair, with both women landing solid strikes and grappling hard against the fence. It wasn’t until the bout was almost over that tempers flared, though Cortez feels justified in being upset with Jasudavicius.
In her eyes, there was nothing unintentional about the foul.
“I don’t know,” Cortez said. “I just know I’ve never pulled hair in there. With the clinch and everything we get into, it’s, in my opinion, not an accident.”
In the end, it was Cortez that left the octagon with a unanimous decision win. The victory was an emotional one for the 29-year-old, who was competing for the first time since May 2022. Several injuries kept Cortez out of competition, but she is now 5-0 in the UFC with three wins in the flyweight division (including one catchweight bout where Cortez missed weight).
Despite her unbeaten streak, several contenders have passed Cortez in her absence. Still, she sees herself as being in the title mix sooner rather than later.
“Honestly, I don’t think I’m far,” Cortez said. “I’m undefeated in the UFC, I’m 5-0. I don’t think I’m far, but I just know that there is some girls I’ve got to get through before I get there. There’s girls that have been active, and I’m not only just going based off my record, but I’m also going based off the layoffs and how active other fighters have been. Make sure they get their opportunity because it’s only right.”
This article was originally published on www.mmafighting.com