Jason High has experience and flexibility on his side. He has experienced the highs—UFC wins—and lows—being cut from the UFC roster due to a loss—and he has battled back, stronger than ever before. His strength is not only physical, but mental. In other words, he knows when to bend like a palm tree in a Miami hurricane.

High was set to use that experience and strength in the cage on Jan. 15 at UFC Fight Night 35 against Beneil Dariush, but a ruptured appendix has derailed those plans.

Originally slated to fight Adlan Amagov, a striker from Jackson’s MMA who was forced out of the fight due to an injury, High was able to keep his place on the card when Dariush agreed to step in as a replacement for Amagov in the contest. However, just two weeks out from the fight, it was High’s turn to withdraw.

“Injury is part of the game. Changes are too,” High explained in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner just days before his own withdrawal. “The hardest part of the sport is training. Sure, the fight is tough, but the training is—well, the training and the weight cut are the hardest. The trick is to train hard and to go hard without trying to hurt anyone. I am training now at American Top Team in Coconut Creek, and the guys that I spar with, they have fights they are prepping for, too.”

High resides in Kansas City and owns and trains at High-Davis (HD) MMA for most of the year and finishes his fight camp at ATT.

“I train with some tough guys all year long at HD,” High said. “They really push me. But two years ago, some mutual friends brought me down to train with Thiago Alves before one of his fights, and I’ve been coming down ever since. They definitely have some of the best coaches and training partners that help me go to the next level. All kinds of guys. You never know who you will be working with, and that is great.”

Before High agreed to fight Amagov, and subsequently Dariush, he had other plans. Those plans didn’t even involve the welterweight division.

“I can fight and win at 170 [pounds]; I’ve proven that,” High said. “But I am doing it against guys that are way taller than me. My frame says I need to go to 155.”

However, when the UFC called with a fight, High put those plans on hold.

“I have the cut for 170 down to a science, so now it’s pretty easy,” he admitted. With his career now on hold while he recovers, it is quite possible that High will resume his plans to make the drop to lightweight.

One aspect of life that can certainly teach one to go with the flow is that of being a parent. High has a four-year-old daughter, and she even gets in some time at the gym.

“Being a dad is fun,” High said. “I was fighting before she was born and I’ve been fighting ever since. It’s great to take her to the gym, where she can work out and play with the other kids. I don’t have her training seriously, though. I will if she asks to, but I don’t really want her to be a fighter. I am sure it’s hard to watch your child fight.

“My mom didn’t mind me wrestling, except she would get nervous before my matches. I don’t think she likes seeing me get hit, though. But if my daughter decides she wants to fight, I will support her.”

Most fighters have to learn to go with the flow. After all, the natural instinct of a fighter is to fight. High has shown a willingness to make the best out of any situation, and though he now has to sit and wait for his next chance to step into the Octagon, he will eventually welcome his opponent with strong arms, a strong heart, and a willingness to bring the fight to them no matter what.

High knows what he wants. He wants a shot at a belt, whether it is at 170 pounds or 155. And he knows how to get there, too. He is willing to put in the extra work, sacrifice time with loved ones, and learn from the best. You can bet he will find a way to make the winds work for him once he returns to action.

Jason would like to thank the team at HDMMA, ATT Coconut Grove for all their help and support. Follow High on Twitter: @KCBandit and at: www.highfighter.com.

About The Author

Staff Writer

Amber currently resides in Tampa, Fla., a hotbed of MMA. She was introduced to the sport Memorial Day weekend in 2006 and quickly became addicted. Amber loves the fact that the biggest and strongest don’t always win, the respect the competitors show and that women are finally getting their shot. She also writes a blog for Fight It Out gear. When not watching MMA, Amber can be found at the beach playing volleyball, in the gym learning from Tampa’s only female BJJ Black Belt, cheering on her eight-year-old daughter in tae kwon do, or at her day job. She has a girlfriend, daughter, too many dogs and a cat who lives in the attic. Communication highly encouraged at amber at fightitout dot com.