After Lengthy Layoff, Jason High Says Bout With Nate Moore is a “Win-Win”
Welterweight Says “There’s Plenty of Guys” to Fight Other Than Teammate Tyron Woodley
By Kelsey Mowatt
It may have taken quite a bit longer than Jason High wanted or expected, but finally, after nearly an eight month layoff, the veteran will get an opportunity to extend his six fight winning streak on July 14th. After failing to secure a spot on any of Strikeforce’s three cards so far this year, not only will High return to action in a couple of weeks, he’ll take on American Kickboxing Academy’s Nate Moore.
“I was pretty relieved man,” said High, while discussing his reaction upon finding out he would fight at the upcoming event in Portland. “I’m just trying to get scheduled. Right now it seems like they’re having a show every other month, so, it’s like every other month I’m trying to get on a card. It’s nice to be scheduled again.”
Of course, with the promotion’s Challengers Series no more and fewer Strikeforce cards being held, there are fewer opportunities for the company’s fighters to compete. By this time last year, for example, Strikeforce had already promoted nine events. In April, High relayed to Full Contact Fighter that he understood his sporadic schedule wasn’t anything personal, but that didn’t change the fact he was desperate to fight.
“It never really got to that point but I was thinking about it,” said High, when asked if he had considered requesting permission to take a fight elsewhere as a means to stay busy. “I really like Strikeforce as an organization.”
In Moore (8-2), High will face a man who is coming off a second round knockout of Nathan Coy in January, 2011, the current Maximum Fighting Championship welterweight champ.
“Nate’s a tough guy; he’s probably one of those guys where people that watch Strikeforce know him, but for other people, he’s kind of flown under the radar,” said High. “He’s tough though. He’s one of those fighters that maybe doesn’t have a lot of name recognition but is very tough.”
“I’m definitely excited about getting scheduled, but a win over Nate Moore would definitely help keep me on the right track,” High added about Moore. “It’s a win-win for me.”
Since arriving in Strikeforce, Moore has recorded victories over Louis Taylor and the aforementioned Coy, but in May, 2010, he was KO’d by Tarec Saffiedine.
“He’s got power in his hands, good wrestling, and comes from a good team, so you know he’s training hard and getting good coaching,” High said. “You have to be ready for everything. I think I’m better in a lot of areas but he’s very tough everywhere. You can never discount anything when he comes from a camp like AKA.”
Due to the fact that High is a former, NCAA Division 1 wrestler with the University of Nebraska, and Moore was the captain of Purdue University’s wrestling squad, it will be interesting to see whether the upcoming fight remains on it feet.
“It’s always kind of a wildcard when you’re fighting another wrestler because you never know how guys are going to transfer their wrestling from college to the fight game,” said the 30 year-old “Kansas City Bandit”, who has earned wins over Quinn Mulhern and Todd Moore while competing for Strikeforce. “But I definitely think that I’ve done pretty well making the transition, taking techniques from wrestling that work well in MMA. I think I’ll have the advantage as far as wrestling and grappling in general.”
One of High’s American Top Team teammates, Tyron Woodley, will also be competing on July 14th, as the noted wrestler will take on Nate Marquardt for Strikeforce’s vacant welterweight title. If High records a victory over Moore it will be the fighter’s seventh straight, and although there may be other Strikeforce welterweights ahead of him, the UFC vet continues to rise up the rankings.
“We don’t really want to fight each other man,” said High. “It’s something we’ve talked about, we train together; since we both came down here he’s been one of the main training partners for me, so it’s not something we really want to do. There’s plenty of guys in that division that we can fight, so, I don’t really see why we need to fight.”