Jasminka Cive had a crazy idea. She wanted to fight a man.

In 2009, within the confines of a boxing ring, it happened.

“That was as well a dream of mine. To know how I can hang with a man, in the ring,” Cive told The MMA Corner in an exclusive interview. “I persuaded my trainer finally to let me do it.

“As you might imagine, not many men wanted to step into the ring with a woman, but finally we found a freak. At the end it was no good idea, because I knocked him silly. In my opinion, there are still women that fight (in comparison) better than men, so I wanted to show it.”

Cive (Twitter.com/Jas_Cive)

The fight made news in Cive’s native Austria, but it was far from her only notable moment in the forum of combat sports competition. The longtime kickboxer and Muay Thai practitioner has never been afraid to test herself. She had done so in her birth nation of Serbia at the age of 10, when she enrolled in a karate class and earned a blue belt while competing against—and beating, on all but one occasion—boys. She did so again several years later in Austria when she took up Muay Thai and kickboxing at the age of sixteen and accepted any fights she was offered, including contests against much larger opponents. And again, when she claimed the ISKA super flyweight title. And yet once more, when she decided to transition to MMA.

“After a while, I wanted something new, and MMA was the thing, so I added other categories into my training, and I must admit I love the ground game,” Cive said. “We have some good gyms in Austria, so it wasn’t that hard to find good training.”

Before the transition, Cive had spent 12 years, from 1998 through 2010, training and competing in kickboxing and Muay Thai. Surgeries on her knees and hand kept her sidelined for four years in the middle of that stretch, but her resume includes bouts against world champion kickboxers and a future professional boxer.

“It made me ready for MMA, where I just had to adapt the wrestling and ground game,” she explained. “Everyone has [their] background, and I think it’s helping a lot getting used to fighting, dealing with nerves and the process of a fight, days before.”

Cive is now five fights into her MMA career. She remains undefeated, having won her debut by submission and following that performance with a knockout and three TKOs. Glancing at the records of her opponents on the Sherdog fighter database yields a troubling result—a list of four fighters (Cive has fought one opponent, Lilla Vincze, twice) with a combined zero professional wins. But those numbers can be deceiving, and they don’t serve as an accurate barometer of Cive’s competition in the mixed martial arts arena.

“As you might know, in Europe there are a lot of shows and fights that don’t even care about Sherdog,” Cive cautioned. “What I mean is, all those girls had fights before. If you plunge into the deep water, you will find them, but don’t base it on Sherdog alone.

“Lilla has 8 or 9 MMA fights (don’t have the exact number on me right now), but she fought a lot in Hungary and Europe.

“What I mean in general is, don’t judge a book by its cover. We will see where I stand at Invicta.”

The Kansas City-based Invicta Fighting Championship promotion is the next stop for the strawweight competitor. Cive will fight Bec Hyatt at the promotion’s fifth offering on April 5. Beyond her opponent, the fight comes with its own unique set of challenges.

“The flight and all will be 16 hours or so,” Cive explained. “Some days before, I’ll have my own MMA event, the Mixfight Night IV in Austria, which I promote. It will be hard, but I think I can handle those two days and hopefully be back to 100 percent till the fight.”

This will also be Cive’s first excursion outside of Europe for a MMA fight, after a previous attempt to compete under the Invicta banner didn’t go as planned.

“I was scheduled to fight at Invicta 2, but it didn’t happen because of visa problems,” Cive said. “Finally, I can catch up on it now. It was a dream of mine to fight in the U.S., and also a dream to fight at Invicta. I killed two birds with one stone.”

Her opponent, Hyatt, was last seen competing for Invicta’s strawweight belt against Carla Esparza. Hyatt entered that bout as a late replacement and fell short in a unanimous decision loss. Although the Australian fighter gained legions of fans for her performance in the cage and her colorful personality outside of it, she didn’t do much to impress Cive.

“To be honest, she was on her back all the time and didn’t really do much,” said Cive. “One submission or so and some punches, other than that Carla dominated her and deserved the win. In an interview, Bec said that she was never in danger. [But] if I remember correctly, there was a rear-naked choke in round one that was pretty close.”

Although Hyatt comes into this fight on the heels of an unsuccessful title bid and sports the best record—according to Sherdog—of any fighter that Cive has tangled with, the 31-year-old Cive isn’t quite sure where a win over Hyatt puts her in the pecking order of Invicta’s 115-pounders.

Cive (top) works her grappling game (Twitter.com/Jas_Cive)

“Bec was not scheduled to fight for the title, she just filled the hole, so to speak. And I don’t mean this with disrespect, just as fact. That´s why I can’t really tell what a win will bring,” the Austrian fighter admitted. “I think I need at least one more fight against a top opponent before thinking about a shot, but as you know me, I respect all my opponents, everyone that steps into the cage—which means I don´t make that kind of predictions and go from fight to fight.

“There are a lot [of] deserving girls out there that fought longer in Invicta than me. I have to pay my dues.”

One of the things that has made Cive’s opponent so popular is her willingness to speak her mind about her opponents. She has done so in the lead up to this fight as well, going so far as to insult Cive’s fiancé in interviews. Hyatt, who holds two wins by submission and one via TKO, has also claimed that she plans on knocking out the noted striker.

“Of course she is bluffing, but I really don’t care what she does and says,” Cive said. “If I would, I would lose a lot of time, because she talks so much. Like my fiancé said before, it seems she´s on Facebook and Twitter all day. That was the thing why she got all upset and said he trash-talked her and insulted him as having roid rages, made fun of his tattoos, etc. Very childish in my opinion. I want nothing of that and [so I just] focus on the fight.”

Unlike some mainland European fighters, Cive has not fought exclusively in a roped ring. She has seen her fair share of action inside a cage, having fought four times inside the chain link and having trained in a cage too. Cive says she has trained a lot and is excited for this fight. U.S. fans may not know what to expect from the talented kickboxer come April 5, but she can give them some idea of what’s in store.

“You will see the quiet before the storm,” she said. “You will enjoy the match and be on the edge of your seats. It will be fun.”

In the end, this is all about Cive’s continued drive to have fun and test herself with challenge after challenge. At 31 years old, her future under the Invicta banner appears bright. But if she should ever tire of mixed martial arts, there’s always another test waiting around the next corner.

“Maybe when I’m 40 I’ll do some Iron Man Challenge, or something like that, if I get bored by MMA,” Cive said with a laugh.

Another crazy idea? Perhaps. But, for a woman who has already accomplished so much as an athlete, maybe it’s not really that crazy after all.

Jasminka would like to thank her German management, who made this all happen, and also Slade Bittler from Tussle, who helped out a lot. She would also like to thank her sponsors and all her teammates for being there for her. Follow Cive on Twitter: @Jas_Cive

Top Photo: Jasminka Cive (Twitter.com/Jas_Cive)

About The Author

The MMA Corner Staff

Your home for all things MMA. News, Interviews, Event Coverage, Editorials. If it is MMA related, you will find it on The MMA Corner.