Former TUF Contestant Jamie Yager Fighting His Way Down to Welterweight

October 21, 2011

If you don’t remember Jamie Yager, clearly you haven’t paid enough attention to the hairstyles on The Ultimate Fighter.

“Fro-Cop” came on the set of the UFC’s famed reality show displaying an athletic kicking style while rocking an afro (hence the nickname “Fro-Cop). His aggressive stand-up led some to pick him as the early favorite to win season 11 of the series. After headkicking his way onto the show, Yager won his opening-round fight and set a tone as a threat in the TUF tournament.

Unfortunately, Yager didn’t make past the second round and fell to Josh Bryant in the quarterfinals. Initially, per The Ultimate Fighter format, the match was considered a draw after two rounds and called for a sudden victory third round. Yager was unable to continue after the second frame.

His UFC tenure wasn’t done there, however. Yager fought on the show’s finale on June 19, 2010, in Las Vegas, but that result wasn’t positive either. A second-round technical knockout loss to Rich Attonito would prove to be the last time “Fro-Cop” saw rounds in the UFC’s Octagon.

The finale against Attonito is one Yager feels he would have won had it not been for stomach issues. “I fought in the finale, which is a fight I feel I should have won, but I had food poisoning last June when I fought,” Yager told

Fortunately, the timeframe after Yager’s UFC tenure has shown better results, as the fighter training out of Kings MMA in Huntington Beach, Calif., has reeled off two wins in a row and prepares to headline Samurai MMA Pro on Friday night against Mozzy Arfa. The fight is part of Yager’s journey down a weight class from middleweight to the 170-pound world of welterweight, and will be contested at a catchweight of 175 pounds.

The process of cutting down to welterweight has been one that Yager feels he needs to do because there are obvious advantages to being the bigger fighter in the cage on fight night. It’ll be different than what Yager is used to because the former college football player has to cut almost no weight to fight at 185 pounds.

“I’m working on changing my weight class,” he said. “I had a fight at 180 (pounds) and now, this fight is going to be at (a catch weight) of 175 (pounds). So I’m getting ready for the welterweight weight class and work my way down.

“I walk at 185, 190 (pounds), so I really don’t cut to fight at (middleweight).

“I should be making the cut, that way I have a better height (and) weight (advantage).”

As for his opponent on Friday night, Yager admits he’s seen a few videos of Arfa, but there isn’t enough out there to do any analytical studying on his opposition. No matter, though, according to Yager. He’s not focusing on what his opponent can do; he’s more worried about himself and what kind of damage he can inflict once the bell rings.

The game plan is simple: train your behind off and show up ready to fight. Everything else seems secondary when preparing for the main event at Samurai MMA Pro. And the fact that it’s not the UFC putting this event on doesn’t mean that one can let up in the gym. No, on the contrary, preparing for a fight on this card is just as important as the fights Yager fought while under the roof of The Ultimate Fighter household.

“I feel like a lot of people put a lot of their energy on their opponent,” said the former TUF contestant. “I’m going to do what I do best; I’m going to show up ready to fight, ready to go.

“I’m not changing anything, I still train my hardest for every fight that I got, regardless of if it’s in the UFC.”

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