Coming off a loss to close out his 2017, welterweight up and comer Jason King took some time off to retool his game and returned to action this past January with a first round TKO of Steven Haag at Valor Fights 47.
“We really prepared hard for Haag,” King told MMAWeekly.com. “We changed up a lot of things in my fight camp. My fight before that was in May of 2017. We took some time to really pinpoint the finer details of things and I think it showed in the fight.
“After a feeling out process, he pulled guard and made a couple of mistakes, and I was able to capitalize on them. He’s a good competitor, so it’s a good win for me.”
Part of King’s process to get back into the win column was pushing the boundaries of his training. Along with teammate and UFC veteran Ovince St. Preux, King worked at a myriad of gyms during his hiatus, and it has paid off for him so far.
“Ovince St. Preux and I went to California and trained at a lot of gyms down there and got a lot of training in,” said King. “I had to train with people and spar with people at a much higher level than anyone I had fought up to that point. That made me realize that the separation between those people and me is not that much.”
For his second bout of the year, King (5-3) will get a shot at his first pro title when he takes on James Conway (2-0) in a 170-pound championship main event at Valor Fights 50 on Saturday in Knoxville, Tenn.
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“He is well-rounded and he is aggressive and good at lots of things, but I believe I am better than him,” King said of Conway. “I don’t trash any of my opponents, but part of this sport is being confident in your abilities, and I am confident in mine as I’m sure he is confident in his.
“Neither one of us has had boring fights, so I definitely this is main event worthy. I’m very excited to be fighting for a title. No matter what happens – whether it goes to the ground or stays on its feet – I’m confident in my abilities and think it’s going to be a great show.”
When it comes to the second half of 2018, King is just looking to take it one step at a time and remain open to whatever opportunities come his way.
“If I win the Valor title and get a call from a bigger promotion, that’s amazing; if I don’t get a call from a bigger promotion and end up defending the Valor title, that’s perfect,” said King. “I can only control myself. I can only stay in the gym and train and condition and be ready at all times.
“Whatever fight comes to me, comes to me. Of course I want to get the chances to take my career to the highest level, but whether it happens after this fight or five fights from now, I enjoy the process and do not feel rushed in any way.”