Before Jason “The Asian Persuasion” King fights James Conway for the vacant Valor Fights welterweight title in the main event of Valor 50 on June 15 in Knoxville, the up-and-coming 170-pounder spoke with FightBookMMA.
What does this opportunity mean to you?
It means that I’m doing the right things. One of the big things we say at the gym is, “the process matters more than the outcome.” Once you get the process down, the outcome will come. I’ve been on the grind a long time, now. I’ve had wins, I’ve had losses, and I’m putting it all together in such a way that I build a fanbase, building up notoriety, becoming known as an exciting fighter – I’ve plugged in the work and done the things I need to do to put myself in a position to fight for a title. I’m very thankful to Valor Fights, my very first amateur fight was with the promotion that was a predecessor to Valor. My first professional fight was with Valor and here we are, fighting for a title with Valor. I’m very thankful to Valor Fights, I’m so happy to have them in my life. Fighting for Valor is a confirmation that I’m doing things the way I should be doing them.
Does the belt being on the line add pressure to the fight?
I don’t think so. Pressure does not exist in life in my opinion. Pressure is what you make of it. You can put it on yourself, but that doesn’t make it real. The fact that it’s a title fight doesn’t mean anything in terms of pressure. My job as a fighter isn’t to win or lose a fight. It’s to fight. It’s to go out there to the best of my ability and put on a show for the spectators. As a fighter and entertainer, that’s the most important job.
Do you know anything about your opponent?
I know he’s 2-0 as a professional. He fought the same night as I did, on January sixth. I know he hits hard. That’s about it.
Will you have a lot of teammates on the card?
Yeah, we’re packing the house. At the moment there are four. We’ve got Shanna, she’s making her long-awaited return to the cage after two hip surgeries. She’s been a teammate of mine longer than anyone else has. She’s been teammates with me since before we got here. I’m super excited to see her get back in there. Caleb Miller is fighting as well. My strength and condition coach, Frank Padilla, the old man himself, is getting in there for his amateur debut.
What can fans expect of Frankie once the cage door locks?
You know, I can’t answer that question. I say that because you never know what’s going to happen in someone’s amateur debut fight. There are people I thought were super chilled out who freaked out in the cage and there are people who I thought were going to freak out who have the time of their life. Frankie’s been an athlete and competitor for a very long time in various sports. My only hope is that Frankie has fun out there and gets to do the things he’s been learning to do over the last year or so. Win or lose, I’m so proud of him for getting out there and doing his thing. As far as what to expect? I couldn’t tell you. Expect a battle. That’s all I can give you on that one.
Is there any chance this card doesn’t sell out?
I don’t think so, no. The International is a pretty small venue. That being said, we pack that thing out. The last show I did at the International, it was body-to-body in the general admission section. From my ticket sales perspective, I’m going to put a pretty solid number of bodies in there. With all of the other guys from KMAA, they haven’t announced any of the other local guys, I really do hope they sell out. It’s good for the fighters, it’s good for the fans, it’s good for the promoters. This is the last event The International will ever host, so let’s send it out with a bang.