Mixed martial artists come from every corner of the globe, bearing a variety of styles. Sometimes, fighters are products of their environment, favoring disciplines prevalent in the country or state from which they hail. Various regions of the United States are considered factories for great fighters, though that certainly is not the case with each state. In this weekly Sherdog.com series, the spotlight will shine on the best mixed martial artist of all-time from each of the 50 states. Fighters do not necessarily need to be born in a given state to represent it; they simply need to be associated with it.
Mississippi has never been known as a hotbed for mixed martial arts -- a fact Jason Knight hopes to soon change.
A fresh face on the mixed martial arts scene, Knight has raced out to a 14-2 record that includes wins over reigning Resurrection Fighting Alliance champion Thiago Moises and onetime M-1 Global titleholder Musa Khamanaev. The Jackson, Mississippi, native picked up his first Ultimate Fighting Championship victory at UFC on Fox 20, where he took a split decision from former Cage Warriors Fighting Championship titlist Jim Alers. “The Kid” not only beat Alers but made waves with his trash talk throughout the 15-minute battle.
Knight was 13-1 at the time of his Octagon debut, as he stepped in for an injured Mirsad Bektic and took on former Shooto champion Tatsuya Kawajiri at “The Ultimate Fighter 22” Finale on Dec. 11. Though he dropped a unanimous decision to Kawajiri, the 24-year-old showed the kind of skills that could make him a factor in the UFC featherweight division in the not-too-distant future. A protégé of Alan Belcher, Knight boasts 11 finishes among his 14 career victories, nine of them by submission.
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