‘It’s gonna be much different’ – Jasmine Rocha chasing a rematch with Ffion Davies at ADCC

Recent ADCC West Coast Trials champion Jasmine Rocha is hungry for a rematch with Ffion Davies at ADCC 2024.

At the 2024 ADCC West Coast Trials, Jasmine Rocha punched her ticket to the big show with one of the most impressive Trials performances in recent memory.

With victories over the likes of young phenom Trinity Pun, multiple-time IBJJF world champion Tammi Musumeci, and current IBJJF no-gi world champion Alex Enriquez, Rocha solidified her status as one of the planet’s top 55 kg grapplers.

The 22-year-old black belt recently spoke to Grappling Insider about her run through the West Coast Trials, potential opponents and rematches at the 2024 ADCC World Championships, as well as her upcoming Who’s Number One match against Emily Fereira.

Check out the full interview with Jasmine Rocha below.

After making it to the podium of several previous Trials tournaments – including the Sao Paulo Trials just two weeks prior to the West Coast Trials – Rocha’s gold medal performance was a testament to her perseverance. 

She credits a crucial shift in her mindset, with the help of mental performance coach Sam Antonen, as key to her competition success:

“The mindset of having to win. Anybody with a last name like mine, probably has that ‘I have to win’ mentality. I have to go up to that legacy, reach that potential. It’s adding pressure that you don’t need. 

“So you start to fix little things that you tell yourself. The having to win – change it to wanting to win. It totally changes your mindset. There’s just so many little things that he’s helped me change in my mindset, that people don’t realize that you tell yourself that aren’t beneficial, but once you get that mindset in you, man, nobody can beat you.”

Rocha can now look ahead to a talent-laden 55kg division at ADCC 2024. Of the competitors currently qualified for the event, three athletes – Anna Rodrigues, Ffion Davies, and Mayssa Bastos – own victories over Rochas.

Understandably, she’s excited for a chance at redemption:

“Obviously, my receipts, I’d like to get all those back. There’s a good amount in that division… Whether it’s a rematch between me and Ffion, I know everybody wants to see that. I want that one, too. Whether it’s another rematch between me and Mayssa, maybe. That would be cool. Or maybe a new match, maybe me and Margot [Ciccarelli] or maybe even, I think Adele [Fornarino] will probably win the Trials, so probably Adele, too. So I think no matter what happens at ADCC 2024, the 55-kilo division, first round, are bangers… Every matchup is gonna be absolute fireworks. Bianca Basilio would be another matchup. We haven’t fought… Anybody who is in front of me is gonna have a hard day.”

Beyond potential rematches, Rocha is particularly looking forward to a possible clash with 2015 ADCC world champion Mackenzie Dern.

She explained:

“I definitely think that Mackenzie Dern being in that division is just like an honor. I would love that fight. I don’t care, first round, give it to me. I remember watching Mackenzie as a kid and going ‘I want to be like her.’ I remember growing up watching her and going ‘wow, I can’t wait to do that.’ And not to mention she’s a daughter of a legend… I used to have that pressure, that weight on my chest, I gotta perform. I remember hearing a story that back in the old days, it used to be Megaton’s daughter. Nowadays, it’s Mackenzie Dern’s dad. The perspective changes when you look at it like that. She sets a great example and I think she’s an amazing jiu-jitsu athlete, and she’s done so much in the UFC now too, and that’s an amazing fight that I would look forward to.”

Perhaps more than any other possible matchup at ADCC 2024, Rocha most wants a rematch with reigning ADCC champion Ffion Davies – a woman widely recognized as the sport’s top pound-for-pound competitor.

Rocha and Davies squared off last August at Who’s Number One (WNO). In the lead-up, Rocha created plenty of buzz around that match, calling out Davies for her “basic knee cut.”

Ultimately, though, Davies would secure a dominant decision victory to retain her WNO title.

Undeterred, Rocha looks forward to a rematch at ADCC and thinks it would play out differently:

“I think I respected her too much when I fought her at Who’s Number One. There was obviously a lot of pressure for that fight. A title fight… talked my shit, but I think it’s gonna be much different. 

“I’m gonna be much more aggressive. I also think with the weight class it’s gonna be much different, she’s gonna be a little bit smaller so I think that is also gonna play a big advantage into this. And it’s also ADCC rules so it’s gonna be very hard for her to be able to score on me. I think it’s gonna be an amazing fight. I think everyone is going to want to see that.”

After her loss to Davies, Rocha received her fair share of flak for her pre-match comments. She says she’s still hearing criticism, but it doesn’t concern her in the least.

According to Rocha, her comments drew extra attention to the match, which, she says, is her job when competing on a show like WNO:

“I’m still getting s*** for that. Haters are gonna hate, but it doesn’t really matter to me. My job when I sign a contract, especially a Who’s Number One fight – a lot of people think it’s just to go out there and win a fight. It’s not. When you sign a contract for a fight like that your job is to perform and bring eyes. I did that. I don’t think there’s ever been a Who’s Number One women’s match anybody’s watched more than mine and Ffion’s. That speaks volumes. I definitely do still get a lot of hate and feedback from the whole ‘basic knee-cut,’ but who cares? It really doesn’t matter. It’s her best move. I literally just called her out on her best move. That’s it. If I didn’t say anything, nobody would have watched.”

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

Ben Coate has 1166 posts and counting. See all posts by Ben Coate