Strikeforce welterweight Jason High understands that if he wants to continue to compete at the highest levels of MMA, he’s got to train with equally skilled individuals.
And so it is with that in mind, that during preparations for his bout at Friday’s Strikeforce Challengers 19 at The Palms in Las Vegas, he trained with one of the best teams in the sport.
“I went down to American Top Team for four weeks,” he told MMAWeekly.com. “It’s a lot more organized down there than it is here, and the caliber of training and partners is just a lot better.
“You’ve got to have good workout partners. That’s the main reason (I went there). You’ve got to have people that are pushing you every day – that’s how you get better. There’s nothing really like that here in Kansas City. It’s nice to go down there and be challenged.”
While he feels that the promotion isn’t quite sure what to do with him, he’s glad to be given an opportunity to prove himself and work his way up the ranks.
“I feel like I’m still in a feeling out phase, but it doesn’t really matter, I’m just happy to get fights and be active,” he said. “There was a time in Strikeforce where some guys were sitting on the shelf for a really long time, so I’m just fortunate that’s not really happening to me.”
At Challengers 19, High will face off against Todd Moore, a fighter also looking to find his place in Strikeforce, which brings his own challenges to the match-up.
“He’s not one of those guys who is a specialist, he’s good everywhere, so I’ve got to train to be ready for wherever the fight goes,” said High.
“Sometimes it’s a little more difficult to train for guys like that because you’ve got to choose where to split your time at; whereas in my last fight I knew pretty much what the guy was going to throw at me.”
With all the rumors swirling around about the fate of Strikeforce and its roster following the buyout by UFC owners Zuffa, High is not allowing himself to get caught up in it, and instead focus on fighting, no matter what the name of the company is.
“I’m just paying attention to what I’m doing, what’s in front of me, because it’s kind of easy to get caught up in that stuff,” he said. “It doesn’t really help anything. You’re not going to accomplish anything worrying about that stuff.
“Pretty much every day we hear something new, like (being absorbed) in January, or when the Showtime contract is up – I don’t pay any attention to that. When the UFC rolls around, you’ll still be doing the same thing like preparing for fights and then going out and fighting; so what’s the difference really?”
While he’s still finding exactly where he fits in the grand scheme of things, High is sure on the fact that he’s going to do all he can to work his way up and show he can an elite fighter wherever he competes.
“That’s the plan, to keep moving up,” he concluded. “I’ve had a few setbacks, but I feel that there’s more than enough people that I could fight somebody with a Top 10 ranking and get there too.