UFC standout fighter spends Thanksgiving in Jasper

While Jasper is known for being home to some tremendous athletes over the years, a current UFC contender says the Walker County town is her “second home.” Macy Chiasson, 28, is the winner of The Ultimate Fighter Season 28 and currently competes in the bantamweight division. She is originally from New Orleans, but currently fights out of Dallas. For the past several days, she has called Jasper her home, staying with family for the Thanksgiving holiday. “Growing up, we came to Jasper every single year,” Chiasson said. “Nearly all of my grandfather’s family lives in Jasper, and this has always been one of my favorite places to go.” When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, Chiasson’s family relocated to Jasper for a short time. “I’ve always called Jasper my second home, because my family is here,” she said. “Even though it is a small town, it’s always been one of those big towns to me since I was a kid.” Chiasson was a standout softball and soccer player in high school. She started mixed martial arts (MMA) at 19 after being bed-ridden for nearly four weeks while recovering from a car accident. “I needed something intense to get back in shape, and I loved the aggressiveness of the sport,” she said.

Krav Maga (self-defense) classes was her start before transitioning to full MMA training. It wasn’t long at all after she began training that she started to compete as a professional. Chiasson had her first fight in 2017 and went 2-0 before she was accepted into The Ultimate Fighter competition series. She defeated Pannie Kianzad in November 2018 to win the women’s featherweight tournament. Since that time, she has improved her record to 6-1 with her only loss being in September when she lost a decision to Lina Lansberg at UFC on ESPN+ 18. “That was my first loss ever,” she said. “It happens. I came into the UFC young, and I have to give myself a little bit of a pat on the back, but I will bounce back from it. There are no easy fights in the UFC.” While making her way to Jasper, Chiasson said she received notification that her next fight will be in February. Her opponent hasn’t officially been released by the UFC, but Chiasson says it will be a great fight against a person who she has wanted to get into the Octagon against. Currently ranked No. 11, Chiasson said she wants a title soon. “I don’t want to just be in the UFC and be happy with that. I want to be a belt holder. I want a legacy. I want a title. I want to hold that belt at least one time,” she said. Chiasson was in the news in June after a construction crane collapsed onto her Dallas apartment building. She lost everything in the accident. During her time in Jasper, family members took Chiasson shopping as she is still replacing things lost in the crane incident. A self-professed “coffee lover,” she also said her frozen coffee from Lavish was “as good as anywhere.” “The shopping here is great,” she said. “The downtown in Jasper has transformed since the last time I was here. It is so beautiful and there is so much going on. The city has really come around. I’m used to New Orleans and Dallas, but there is nothing that compares to a small town where people know each other.”