UFC’s Rising Star Jason Knight: ‘Get Ready Ricardo Lame-A** And The Rest Of The Featherweight Division! I’m Coming!

If you’re a UFC fan, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the name Jason Knight.  Knight was born and raised in Mississippi and won his first professional MMA fight by submission just months after turning 18.  A student of Alan Belcher, Knight’s game is exciting to watch for grapplers, as he plays a dynamic sportive guard in a realm where high level grappling is often put on the back burner.

Many watched as Knight made his UFC debut against MMA veteran Tatsuya Kawajiri.  Though he lost, Knight made a loud statement: his dynamic game is going to be a staple of the sport for years to come.

This Saturday night, headlining the preliminary card on what is arguably one of the biggest cards of the year, Jason Knight will be facing off against Ricardo Lamas.  I had an opportunity to chat with Jason about his career, his future, his upcoming fight with Lamas, and the state of jiu-jitsu in MMA.

First off, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at what brought Jason Knight to the world of MMA.  What his background is and how he got to where he is today…

I was 14 and just a bad kid always getting into street fights. I had a buddy that wanted to teach me how to fight, so we started training in my backyard. A few months later he found a place called The Fight Club and we asked if I could fight being so young, and they told me if my mom signs a waiver…  That’s where my MMA journey began.  I started training in my back yard and at the time the only BJJ I knew was from Eddie Bravo’s book, and what I saw on TV, after about a year I heard of Alan Belcher MMA, which was called Remix MMA at the time, so I went down and signed up at age 15 and I have been there ever since.

I got my blue belt at age 16, and never lost a jiu-jitsu match as a blue belt, I got my purple belt at age 18, and the few tournaments I competed in I either got 1st or 2nd in each. I was awarded my brown belt just a few months ago and still haven’t gotten to compete with it. My UFC career is pretty demanding!

There aren’t many in the MMA world that use jiu-jitsu the way Jason Knight does.  If you watch his fights, he uses a sportive style that is not characteristic of MMA jiu-jitsu, and that is part of what makes Jason so compelling to watch.  I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of how he is able to do what he does.

When Alan Belcher was getting ready for the Denis Kang fight, he went out to train with Eddie Bravo for a while. When he came back he showed me some basic rubber guard stuff and I fell in love with it, and I’ve been working my rubber guard for about 8 years now, and it evolves a little bit with each training camp.  A few of the younger kids at Alan Belcher MMA are getting good with it. They have learned from watching me and I’ve tried to help them as much as possible. One in particular is a young girl named Emily Ohr. She is getting nasty with it and will be an awesome competitor in the future. I love watching her grow with it. She has a jiu-jitsu super fight coming up July 29th.

One aspect of Jason’s game that is hard to reproduce is how tough he is. He has never been stopped in any of his 22 professional fights thus far.  I was curious to learn about how he’s gotten so tough, how he has been able to keep scrapping the way he does, and most importantly what his long term goals are for MMA.

I believe the reason I am so tough is because I trained with a lot of older cats that made me be tough.  They didn’t take it lightly like they do nowadays. You got your ass kicked or you learned to kick ass. The reason why Jiu-Jitsu is so good for MMA, I have never done just jiu-jitsu; it’s always been Jiu-Jitsu for MMA.  I don’t think any street fighter in the world can really hang with an MMA fighter or Jiu-Jitsu guy. Skill beats brute force any day. Aside from being knocked out, skill always wins.  I want to one day be the feather weight champ for the UFC and I want to go down as a UFC hall of famer. Also I would like to open my own MMA gym and just secure my future for my family.  It will definitely be an affiliate gym. My roots are deeply planted with Alan Belcher. He is like a big brother to me.

I was also curious about Knight’s thoughts on traditional BJJ as it applies to MMA; specifically, Demian Maia’s approach, and the importance (or lack thereof) of gi training for MMA.

I train in the gi off and on, but I am primarily no-gi.  I believe it is a good thing for MMA fighters to train in the gi. It helps with your grip strength and your overall jiu jitsu. I just think when you get close to a fightm you should do away with the gi.  I would like to stand and bang, but I am open to ground work as well, and most jiu jitsu guys can’t hang without stand up, but Demian Maia is a different breed…

In closing Jason Knight had the following thoughts:

Get ready​, Ricardo Lame-Ass and the rest of the featherweight division!  I’m coming…  I think that this fight will be tough but I am prepared.

Jason’s shout outs/thank yous go to:

Big thank you to my friends, family, and fans, all of my coaches and training partners. Phuket Top Team all of my sponsors who helped me for my previous fights and to my beautiful fiancé for planning to spend the rest of her life with me. I love you Paris Redd. Can’t wait to make you Paris Knight!

Jason fights Ricardo Lamas this Saturday, July 29th as the headliner of UFC 214’s preliminary card.


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