Strikeforce’s Jason High Frustrated About “Sitting For Months and Months at a Time”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Despite a six fight win streak which includes wins over an established vet like Hayato Sakurai and prospect Jordan Mein, these are frustrating times in the career of Jason High. Although “The Kansas City Bandit” has gained considerable momentum since he was let go by the UFC in 2010, nearly ten months could go by before High can follow up on his September victory over Todd Moore.
When you’re 30 years old and eager to assert your presence in the world welterweight rankings, that’s not the kind of schedule you want to be keeping.
“It’s really frustrating,” said High, who informed FCF it does not appear like he will fight on Strikeforce’s next card in May, but possibly on an event in July. “I turn 31 years old this year so I want to stay busy. I need to stay busy.”
“Of course it’s also hard financially,” High added. “Thankfully we have the gym that we opened, but definitely, fighting is one of my main sources of income. So it’s definitely hard, but it’s not so much that; you’re at your sharpest when you stay busy.”
As 2011 came to a close, pessimism regarding the future of Strikeforce had turned to optimism, after it was announced that Zuffa and Showtime had reached a new television deal to keep the promotion operational in 2012. Although the deal ensured that many fighters will see action under the promotion’s banner after all, the 2012 schedule for Strikeforce has been dramatically reduced.
According to High, he has four fights left on his current Strikeforce contract, which likely will not be completed within 2012.
“Next year we’ll see what happens, but right now I’m just worried about finding fights on this Strikeforce contract,” High noted, who opened the HD MMA Gym alongside LC Davis in Leawood, Kansas last year. “I really do think that Strikeforce is an awesome organization, but man, it’s really frustrating when you’re sitting for months and months at a time.”
In fact, High is so anxious to fight, when asked if he would rather fight on the preliminary card in May or take a higher profile fight in July, he responded:
“If they told me I could fight whoever in May, I would take the May fight,” High conceded. “Right now I just want to fight you know?”
Of course, High isn’t the only established veteran who is anxious to fight and resume their work towards a title shot. Or depending on what happens in the long term, a UFC transfer.
“That’s the thing, if there’s a silver lining I guess, it’s not just me,” High said. “It’s not like they hate me or something you know. They have a lot of guys in Strikeforce right now and it’s just an organizational problem.”
One notable welterweight bout that appears to be lined up for the May 19th card is a reported fight between undefeated contender Tyron Woodley and UFC vet Nate Marquardt.
“I think that’s a great fight for Tyron and I think he’s going to beat him,” said High. “I’m actually going to train with him next week or the week after in St. Louis.”
“The thing about him, everyone saying he’s boring, blah, blah, blah, but he hasn’t had full camps to train,” High added about the undefeated Woodley. “He’s been called on relatively short notice for his last few fights. Once he’s had a full camp I think you’re going to see a different fight from him.”