Heading Into MFC 39, Jason South Says First Pro Loss Did “Nothing But Light a Fire” in 10-1 Fighter
By Kelsey Mowatt
When Jason South fights under the Maximum Fighting Championship’s banner for a second time on January 17th, he’ll be a different fighter than the one who made his promotional debut in October. Not only is South dropping from middleweight to welterweight for MFC 39, but the 31 year-old vet is coming off his first pro defeat.
At MFC 38, Sam Alvey stopped South in the fifth round of their middleweight championship fight. There was just four seconds left in the memorable bout. Although no fighter wants to see losses added to their record, they provide a learning experience victories typically cannot offer.
“Oh without a doubt man,” South relayed on Full Contact Fighter Radio recently, when asked if there is merit to the saying that fighters learn more from their losses than wins. “I try not to do much in dwelling on the past, but that still eats me alive to this day. Obviously this is the nature of the sport and everybody loses eventually, but the fact is I don’t like to lose. Nobody does.”
“You know, I watch the fight again, and there’s just a lot of things I needed to tighten up,” added South, who had won ten straight bouts heading into the October 4th card. “A lot of mistakes I made. There’s some good things I did, but you know, me being stubborn, not wanting to go away, I want to reserve that for my back pocket. I really want to be better than a person and outclass them, and I just flat out didn’t do that in the last fight. I’m really working on improving a lot of things. It’s done nothing but light a fire.”
While defeats are often the final catalyst that prompts a fighter to switch weight divisions, according to South, the loss had no bearing on his move to welterweight.
“No, no, they offered me this fight at 85, with a title shot…I’ve fought all over the place, I couldn’t say no,” said South, while referring to his recent bout with Alvey. “I figured I’d be on the smaller end of it, but my last couple of fights I’ve tried to do 170, but with the circumstances, between people dropping out, or last minute opponents, I’ve had to do catch weights, so I think 70 is where I belong.”
As a result, South reports that the weight cut for his upcoming bout with Gilbert Smith is on track.
“Weight’s good,” South said. “I’m the lightest I’ve ever been before, dropping down this low, I’ve kind of been all over the place. I’ve fought 70, 75, 80, 85; I’ve been all over the place depending on what I needed to do to take a fight at the time. So, as far as 70, this is the best I am weight wise I’ve ever been for a fight so it’s been good.”
In Smith (7-2), South will take on a TUF 17 vet, who is also making the move from 185 pounds to 170.
“I actually didn’t follow him on “The Ultimate Fighter”,” South noted about Smith, who has scored back-to-back wins after he was submitted by Bubba McDaniel at the TUF 17 Finale in April. “I haven’t seen quite a few of the last seasons. As soon as I took the fight, obviously, I took a look at him…he’s always been an 85’er, looks like a solid guy; it’s going to be a good fight.”
MFC 39 will be hosted by the Northlands Expo Center in Edmonton, Alberta on January 17th. The event’s main card will be broadcast live on AXS TV.