There's no doubt about it, UFC 167 promises to be one of the biggest cards of the year. With great matches from top to bottom, it will likely only be eclipsed by the end of the year card, UFC 168, if at all. This last few days leading into the event will present a veritable cornucopia of media and press related events, for all the main card fighters, and even those on the undercard and Facebook prelims.
In an effort to get a jumpstart on some fighter interviews for our readers, I started my rounds early. Today's feature will revolve around welterweight standout, Jason High, who will be facing off against UFC newcomer, Anthony Lapsley. The "KC Bandit" discussed his opponent and how he won't be taking him lightly, despite being fresh to the octagon, the marketing and promotional woes that other fighters from the card feel they're experiencing and the issue of racism in sports, especially surrounding NFL offensive lineman for the Miami Dolphins, Richie Incognito. Here's what he had to say:
It's great to be getting fights regularly. I love to stay busy, so this is awesome. I appreciate it. It's good to stay busy and I'm feeling sharp. I'm always training, but it sucks as a fighter to be just sitting around waiting. You always want to have something to work towards. No matter the outcome of this fight, I'd like to get an immediate turnaround, and fight in the first quarter of next year again. I don't want to look past this guy or anything, but if I have my way, I want to fight as much as possible.
Fighter Promotion & Marketing
I don't know what the Hell Chael is talking about. He's able to promote himself just fine. He's even on their talk show. He's getting plenty of work. GSP is one of their biggest stars and one of the best mixed martial artists on the planet, so of course they're going to promote him heavily. He's leading the card with Johny.
I'm actually excited for that fight as a fan. Really, I'm not worried about getting a bunch of interviews and attention. It's distracting. I'll leave the bitching for the other guys.
Being On the 20th Anniversary Card
It's so cool. The fight atmosphere in Vegas is already crazy, as it is, but with this show, it's nuts. It's a big card, and it kind of feels like UFC 100. I'm excited about it. This is only my second time fighting in Vegas, and it's a cool experience. It's a big deal for the UFC and it's a pretty big honor for me to be on this card.
I don't want to overlook this guy. Everybody is hungry. He's out there trying to make a living for himself and make a name, just like I am. You start looking past people like that, especially unknown people, you could be making a very big mistake. He could be more dangerous than someone I know of and have seen a lot of. I'm sure he's training hard, so I've prepared for a really tough fight. He's got a good record and a lot of experience, so I don't see any indicators of an easy fight.
I'm not a huge fan of TRT. I'd like to see a level playing field, but there's always going to be somebody out there trying to get an edge. It's hard to blame anyone for it when the athletic commissions are allowing it and aren't banning it entirely. If it's legal, then there's really no argument there. I'm just not a fan of it.
The problem I have with Vitor and TRT, is that he's formerly been caught with banned substances. By my understanding, if that happens, people aren't supposed to be licensed for it. That's why he fights in Brazil; that's what the speculation is, anyway. Until the athletic commissions step up and do something about it, there's really nothing else to say.
I don't think he can beat Anderson in a rematch. I don't know why people are talking about that match-up right now. Vitor is fighting at 205 and Anderson has Weidman on his plate right now. He's been looking good, but I still don't think he can take Anderson.
Richie Incognito and Racism
You know, all this speculation about whether he's a racist; we don't need to cover that anymore. Obviously he's a racist. I feel like you've got to kind of nip that kind of stuff in the bud. Jonathan Martin has got to stand up for himself at some point. The teammates...there needs to be a leader in that locker room, somebody to check Richie. Richie is the alpha male in that locker room, and nobody stands up to him. This kind of falls on both sides, but obviously, Incognito is a racist douchebag, and that's not up for debate. At this point, there's been so much controversy and bad publicity over it, I say you've got to let him go.
Racism is everywhere, especially on Twitter, where people can be anonymous. I'd say once every two months, somebody hits me up on Twitter and calls me the N word. It's actually pretty common. In real life, it hasn't happened in a few years, since somebody said that to my face, but it's definitely happened more times than I can count. If you say something like that in person, though, you've generally got an ass whooping coming. That's one of my points, and I'm just not about that. If you've got the heart to say that to my face, you've got the heart to take an ass whooping.
You can follow Jason via his Twitter account, @KCBanditMMA