“I won’t shake hands and hug, or high-five anyone in the fight, I want to destroy.”
Interview by: Lance Edwards
The first Jason Friedman I contacted trying to do this interview was oddly enough Jason Friedman the writer for the Houston Rockets, rather than Jason Friedman who is fighting at Cage Combat this Friday. I first met Jason at Paradigm when I had gone there to interview Rev Bart, Jason was hard at work doing strength and conditioning and he presented as a likeable intelligent guy. One of the things I enjoy most about being involved in the Houston MMA scene is meeting characters like Jason. Fast forward to two days before the fight and Jason had spent the day in hospital with his pregnant wife.
TCD: How did you get started training?
Jason: I started at Revolution Dojo with Jeff Messina and Bryan Neal. I trained mainly Judo, and did a lot of conditioning, wrestling and Judo. I focused more on grappling while I was there. I was at Sam Hogers for 9 months mainly working with Kru Ali as well.
TCD: How did you find your way to Paradigm?
Jason: I got invited by Colin Wright. Revolution had moved out to Katy, and a seventy-five mile round trip wasn’t really an option, as I’m at the gym all the time. I came along and loved it and felt right at home.
TCD: You’re fighting on Friday
Jason: I am and I just heard my opponent Jeremy Hunter has backed out so I’m fighting Brandon Hannah at a catch weight of 160. I don’t care if he doesn’t make weight, I’ll still fight him. This is my first fight, he’s 3-0, but I’m not worried. I’ve been fighting my whole life and I know I want it more. My wife’s in hospital and the guy has beaten two of my team mates, so I’m focusing all that as well on him as a motivator.
TCD: Are you expecting a different fight to the one you prepared for?
Jason: I was preparing for Jeremy Hunter, who comes out strong and aggressive, at Paradigm you can’t help but focus on everything. I’ve been sparring hard, fighting 100%, with guys like Mike Bronzoulis, Brian Melancon and Lee King. If I can spar with those guys I can fight anyone else. I train hard in training and in comparison a fight will be easy.
I just want to go in there and crush, I want to destroy. I see myself standing over him covered in blood, when other people visualize the fight and winning, I visualize, standing over him with a hatchet and severed limbs around me, with the cries of children filling the air and the soundtrack of Cannibal Corpse in the background. I don’t picture a fight, I picture slaughter. I’m not a sport fighter and if I could gouge his eyes out in the rules I would. It’s nothing personal; it would be the same with anyone who faced me. I won’t shake hands and hug, or high-five anyone in the fight, I want to destroy.
TCD: Are you going to fight more?
Jason: After the baby is born I hope to, I think four to five fights a year is a good number, my friend Chico (Artenas Young) had a lot of fights and I want to do that.
TCD: Who are your favorite fighters?
Jason: Chris Leben, Dan Henderson and Chris Lytle. I like technical smashers.
TCD: What’s the soundtrack you’ve been listening to while you’re training?
Jason: I like protest music like Bob Dylan, also stuff like Morbid Angel and Cannibal Corpse.
TCD: What do you do as a job?
Jason: I work as an EMT for animals; I did veterinary medicine at school and am just finishing my bachelors in education as well. I plan to have some land with my wife and have some herd animals on it, like pigs, chickens and goats, and have a place where people can go to train.
TCD: Sorry to hear your wife isn’t well, when is she due?
Jason: In five weeks, we’re having a girl, Hunter. Paradigm is a family gym, so both my wife and I will be able to train and take her along with us.
TCD: Anything you’d like to add?
Jason: A shout out to my friends and sponsors. Lee King, Mike Bronzoulis, Brian Melancon, Mike Hale, Frank Heaney, Bryan Neal, my wife who’s the best corner person ever, all my training partners, Colin Wright, Starburst Amp Works, Clinch Gear, Primal Iron and Uke foods, which is my wife’s company, she does protein bars and good food.
TCD: I heard her foods very good. We wish your wife well and best wishes for a speedy recovery.