Originally scheduled for the UFC Fight Night 27 Facebook prelims as James Head (9-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) vs. Bobby Voelker, Jason High (16-4 MMA, 0-2 UFC) replaces Voelker who was pulled off the card to replace an injured Siyar Bahadurzada against Robbie Lawler on the UFC on FOX 8 main card. This welterweight fight was bumped up to kick off the Fox prelims as McMann vs Kaufman was scrapped from the card due to injury.
Stepping in on six weeks notice, High looks to earn his first victory in the UFC. After losing his debut fight against Charlie Brenneman in 2010 resulting in his release from the promotion, High went on a seven fight win streak including wins over Jordan Mein and Hayato Sakurai which landed him another UFC contract. In his return to the UFC, he was expected to face Ildemar lcantara but was pulled from the bout to replace John Hathaway putting him against Erick Silva. High lost via triangle arm bar submission.
His opponent, former middleweight James Head is also coming off of a loss after losing by TKO against Mike Pyle in December of 2012 which put a halt on his two fight win streak. After dropping to middleweight, Head was victorious in his first two welterweight fights, submitting Papy Abedi and taking a decision victory over Brian Ebersole. According to Fightmetric James Head lands roughly 2.88 significant strikes per minute which trumps the 0.84 landed per minute of Jason High, a testament to the aggression of Head, which may play a huge factor in this fight.
While Head’s striking is not very crisp and his defense is not exactly polished, his aggression allows him to often land more strikes than he takes. However, his knockout power seems non-existent since signing with the UFC as he, despite his strikes landed, hasn’t earned himself a knockout or TKO victory. While his his opponent isn’t known for his knockout finishes, High does possess solid punching power but is one of those fighters that will use his power to hurt his opponents with strikes and make him tap out with a submission.
Prediction: Jason High def. James Head via submission (rear naked choke) in rd 2.
Jason High will utilize his crisper, more powerful striking to soften up James Head and eventually either drop him or hurt him enough to the point where he will be too worried about getting hit leaving him vulnerable for the take down. High will not be able to get him to the ground without striking with him as Head’s take down defense has been superb since dropping to welterweight, even stuffing 14 of 15 attempts by Brian Ebersole, so look for an exciting first round where we will see Head swinging aggressively and High landing less but more powerful shots. The damage will take its toll on Head in the second where High will capitalize on a hurt opponent submitting him with a rear naked choke.