Oh Canada. It’s no shock that the physically largest country in North America has a wide range of people and lifestyles. Outside of the indigenous population, Canada has everything from hipsters to athletes to high-powered businesspeople and everything in between. And, there is, of course a large section of the Canadian culture in that falls into the outdoorsy, hunter-gatherer type of people.
Jamey-Lyn Horth falls into a few of those categories. She grew up in Squamish, British Columbia, which is a beautiful wilderness area north of Vancouver. A child of the 90’s, she was sort of on the front end of the technology boom, so she was very much about the outdoor life – much of which came as a result of her upbringing in rural B.C.
“It’s a small town, you know?” Horth told Combat Press. “There’s a local newspaper, so I was in there a lot for soccer and other athletic events growing up. It’s a little bit roughneck with the logging industry. I’m 31, but even when I was growing up, we had some fast-food restaurants, and like a White Spot and a Boston Pizza, but there was not like fine dining here. It’s a logger’s town, so a lot of plaid shirts, hunting and fishing, and that kind of stuff.
“My dad worked at the pulp mill for 25 years before it shut down. He hunted for our family. I have a large family – there were nine of us kids. My biological father had two boys before he met my mom. And, when my mom and him got together, he had me and my two sisters, so then there were five of us. Then, they split up, and my stepdad had two boys. My mom and my stepdad went to have a kid together, and they had twins. At one point, there were seven kids and two adults that all lived together, so there were nine of us. We had a Suburban, and we all had our own seats.”
Growing up in such a large family, the children, of course, all had their own friends, but when it was time to go anywhere, all of the seats in the Suburban were full, so the family spent a lot of time together. They never took trips to Disneyland or anything like that, but they had a camper and would spend a couple months every summer camping by the lake.
“I learned a lot,” Horth said. “I hunt. My sisters hunt. My brothers hunt. Not all of us do, but there are three or four of us in the family that do. We learned how to provide for our family in a natural way. I used to go fish. I’d go camping with my dad, and get up at 4 a.m., and go fishing. When we were 9, 10, 11, 12 years old, he bought us Swiss Army knives, so we were carving things – doing like old-school kid things. I didn’t have a cell phone. We didn’t have computer time. We had a desktop, so we’d get 15 minutes or a half hour after school, because there was so many of us. For the most part, we were outside playing, and my parents would yell, ‘Dinnertime!’ and we’d come home.”
Horth was also an athlete her whole life. In fact, in addition to her passion for mountain biking and motorcycles, she played soccer growing up, which eventually led to a college scholarship. She was a striker, and started her college career at Quest University in Squamish, before transferring to Capilano University in Vancouver, where she eventually earned a Bachelor of Arts and Science degree. However, it was soccer that eventually led into her post-university career.
“I got into martial arts around 2013, 2014, as a cross-training piece,” Horth explained. “I started doing some tournaments, and I started seeing some success. I’ve always loved competition and the adrenaline from it. So, here I am. I’m still fighting and winning and challenging myself and learning new things. The rest is history.”
Horth started out training in kickboxing at a local martial arts academy, Squamish Martial Arts. After about six months, she did a tournament and won her division. About six months later, she had a kickboxing fight, and then started training in jiu-jitsu. Before she knew it, she tried MMA, and had her first amateur fight in Vancouver in Nov. 2016.
The former soccer standout won her first three amateur fights by decision. The first two were over Lupita “Loopy” Godinez, who is now a former Legacy Fighting Alliance strawweight champ, is 2-2 in the UFC, and is also a regular training partner of Horth’s. In Mar. 2018, Horth made her pro debut, and she is now 4-0 as a pro with all of her wins coming by stoppage. She attributes her success to the people around her, which includes her coach and fiancé Kasey Smith, owner of their current gym, The Sound Martial Arts.
“To be honest, I think I’m successful, because of the really good group of people I surround myself with,” Horth explained. “I have really good training partners and coaching staff. I come from a small town and a community that’s very athletics-based. We have a lot of very good athletes here, and people are very supportive of those athletes. It’s really motivating.
“I think my will to win, and my desire for competition, and the adrenaline of having a challenge, that motivates me and pushes me. I love having a goal. I love the process. And, I love riding the waves up and down.”
Well, the waves can be brutal in the fight game. And, in Canada, it can be challenging to find opponents for female fighters. Horth hasn’t actually had a fight, outside of training, since she beat Jade Masson-Wong at Battlefield Fight League 65 in Feb. 2020, right before the COVID-19 pandemic began shutting everything down. So, when the LFA came calling for a vacant flyweight title fight tonight at LFA 120, she was down to scrap.
“At first, I was just like ‘hell yeah,’” Horth said. “I wouldn’t even let them finish their sentence. For being a female and where I’m at here in Canada, it’s just been really hard to find fights. I’ve had six no’s in the last year. Any opportunity that arose, we said we wouldn’t say no to it. This is a great opportunity. It’s a title fight against a really well-rounded fighter. It’s a great challenge for me, and it’s going to be nice to see where I fit in.”
Horth’s next opponent is Brazil’s Mayra Cantuária. She is only a year older and sits at 9-3-1 as a pro. The Brazilian jiu-jistu black belt is coming in off another vacant flyweight title fight, when she picked up a knockout win at Standout Fighting Tournament 27 in July in Sao Paulo. Horth knows just enough about her opponent to be ready to make a statement tonight.
“I know she’s got a BJJ black belt,” Horth said. “She’s well-wounded. She’s a Southpaw. She’s good everywhere.”
Horth is good everywhere as well. She really tries to model herself after champions like Valentina Shevchenko, Amanda Nunes, and especially Canada’s own Georges St-Pierre.
“He’s an athlete on and off, and I think he carries himself super well,” said Horth. “I think that emulates sort of who I am. I’m not like a trash talker, and I feel like him and I are very similar in a lot of ways – like dieting and doing gymnastics, and other things that pertain to the sport.”
And, Horth has her own wild card, which not all fighters do. She is a hell of a kicker. In fact, in her last outing, she actually won with a nasty body kick in the third round.
“Obviously, with a soccer background, kicks and stuff came easy to me,” Horth said. “I’ve learned a little bit more about my hands and my confidence, and how to get behind them. It came natural to me with my kicks and being able to pull off my kicks. I have a pretty good IQ of my body awareness. I’m able to place things perfectly with power.”
Horth is the type of athlete who loves the thrill of competition. And, it’s not just the fighting aspect. She loves the training, the preparation, and the path that leads to victory. And, at this point in her career, she has one destination on her mind.
“I’d like to make it to the UFC now,” said the lifelong athlete. “I was supposed to be on the Dana White’s Contender Series last November. I feel like that’s where I belong. I train with UFC fighters. I’ve been with the pro team for a while now, and I’ve seen the process of it. I think that’s the ultimate goal – to be in the best league in my sport.”
Outside of training, life is still very much what she was used to growing up. She spends a lot of time taking nieces and nephews out for a little donuts and kickboxing. She also loves baking, which she actually does a lot of during fight camps. When she can’t eat the good stuff, like all the yummy sweet baked goods, she makes them for others. However, the little bit of self-proclaimed redneck in her still is all about being on two wheels or being out in the field on the hunt. Whether it’s deer, sheep, elk or another big game, it’s fun to be able to provide natural foods for her family. In fact, not too long ago, she had a pretty interesting hunt.
“The moose was like insane,” said the native Canadian. “It’s huge. It was pretty freaking crazy. We had to quarter it up. And, it wasn’t in a place where we could just like drag it out with a truck or anything. They got the moose, we had to quarter it up with a chainsaw. Then, we had to load it up on the front of the quad, but we were in these valleys, so the quad was almost like flipping back. Two of us would have to hold the front down to like drive it out. The thing was freaking heavy.”
There may be more than one way to skin a cat, but from the sounds of it, there is only one way to get a moose out of a rugged valley, and Horth has firsthand experience in that realm.
Tonight, live on UFC Fight Pass, Horth will enter the cage for the fifth time as a pro, and this one has huge implications. As the past several years have shown, an LFA title is almost a sure ticket into a UFC contract, which exactly where she wants to be. This will not be an easy opponent, but Horth is more than ready to headline LFA 120, live form the Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake, Minn.