Jason High doesn’t think about the past too much.
The Kansas City fighter doesn’t think about his last fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 2014 or the controversy that surrounded it. He tries not to think about the several months in 2014 and 2015 when he was training aimlessly, no fights scheduled.
He doesn’t think about his last win, which came in November via knockout against Estevan Payan.
Throughout the last several years, High has always focused on what lies ahead. And at this moment, what’s ahead is Mike Ricci. High (19-5) will fight Ricci (11-4) on Friday night in a lightweight (155-pound) bout as the co-main event at World Series of Fighting 31 on NBCSN.
“One thing I’ve learned in fighting and in life is that you have to focus on what you can control,” High said. “If you start worrying about other things that are absolutely out of your control, it’s just wasted energy.”
Even at age 35, High has plenty of energy. He’s spent time since the Payan fight training at American Top Team in Florida, and the last month or so with American Top Team HD in Lenexa.
“I feel really good,” High said. “I don’t see myself slowing down anytime soon.”
Over his last 11 fights, High is 9-2, although only one of those wins has come since his last loss on June 2014. He’s expecting another victory Friday night at Foxwoods Casino and Resort in Mashantucket, Conn. — a victory that could set him up nicely for a title shot.
The way High sees it, he has every advantage in the WSOF 31 bout.
“I feel like I’m better than him pretty much everywhere,” High said. “It’s really just about playing to your advantages — shutting his game down, and getting in there and making him uncomfortable.
“I can get the best of him.”