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Jason Knight prepares to enter the Octagon before facing Gabriel Benitez of Mexico in their featherweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event inside Save Mart Center on December 9, 2017 in Fresno, California. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
The Ultimate Fighter

Meet Lightweight Jason Knight | The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs Team Chandler

Get To Know Knight And The Rest Of The Season 31 Cast On ESPN And ESPN+

Jason Knight is just one of many hopefuls looking to make a name for themselves on the most epic season of The Ultimate Fighter yet. With legendary coaches Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler on opposite sides of the Octagon, the stakes have never been higher. Let’s meet the Bantamweights and Lightweights that make up the season 31 cast.


UFC Record: 4-5

Birthplace: D'Iberville, Mississippi

Fighting Out Of: American Top Team in D'Iberville, Mississippi

Age: 30

Quick Stat: Holds UFC wins over Dan Hooker and Alex Caceres

Jason Knight poses on the scale during the UFC 230 weigh-in inside Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on November 2, 2018 in New York, New York. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Jason Knight poses on the scale during the UFC 230 weigh-in inside Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on November 2, 2018 in New York, New York. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

What does it feel like to be a part of The Ultimate Fighter season 31?

I got the call around the end of December, and it was exciting, for sure. For me, this is a chance to prove to myself that I belong with the best fighters in the world. I’ve known that for a long time, but my first run in the UFC, I was younger, I was dumber, and I had a lot more fun. This time I'm going to dial down the fun a little bit and get a little more serious. Go out there and kick some ass!

What have you learned about yourself since your first stint and how has all of that experience shaped you for this moment?

Before, I was a pressure fighter who had no problem taking damage. I still am going to apply the pressure but I'm a lot smarter mentally and physically. I know how to move better; I know how to move my head and not take three punches to land one good one. I'm gonna land three punches and make them miss their one good punch. That’s where I’ve gone since I’ve left here. Did a little boxing and got my boxing a little better than what it was. Takedown defense is a lot better than it used to be. I'm not going to stay on the bottom this time; that’s always been my biggest downfall. I get on the ground; my jiu-jitsu is really good and I think I can submit these guys and a lot of them are really good at defending those submissions. I didn’t even try to get up, wound up stuck, lost a fight. That’s not gonna happen anymore, though. If I go for three submissions, and three submissions don’t work, it’s time to get my ass up.

Before The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs Team Chandler Preview Show

What was your first reaction when you were told that you were going to be on The Ultimate Fighter?

I love it. I love it. This is my first time here in [The UFC APEX] and it’s going to be exciting to fight here. The actual UFC events are awesome. You go out and you got one million fans screaming for you and stuff and, at the same time as it being awesome, it’s terrifying. It’s scary as hell. This is going to take away a lot of that pressure. I’m gonna be fighting against the up and comers. They haven’t fought on the stage yet or this big of a level. I’ll have that experience going in there and no pressure on me whatsoever.

What was your reaction when you heard Michael Chandler and Conor McGregor were going to be the coaches this season?

Yeah, I love that. I love the idea. Michael is going to bring a lot of eyes to it just because he’s a dog and Conor McGregor is the best in the world at promoting this. He’s out done everybody. He’s going to be out here promoting us, not just himself, and him being here is going to bring the whole country of Ireland and the whole country of America to watch this. I don’t care who you are; if you’ve never watched MMA, ever in your life, you know who Conor McGregor is. That’s gonna bring a lot more eyes to this. I’m a likable guy, I love me, other people are gonna love me, and at the end of this, I’m gonna have a bigger fan base, regardless.

Get To Know Lightweight Jason Knight | The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs Team Chandler
Get To Know Lightweight Jason Knight | The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs Team Chandler

What would you learn from Michael Chandler?

Michael Chandler is a great wrestler. That is one of my downfalls, it’s always been my wrestling. Everybody knows it. Anyone who’s ever fought me, that’s probably their game plan - to take me down and stop the submissions. I think Michael Chandler helps me not only take people down, but he also helps me with my defense. That’s gonna be the biggest takeaway from him. 

What would you learn from Conor McGregor?

Conor McGregor, he’s a dog in the standup department. I think standup-wise I can learn a lot from him there and his wrestling defense is very underrated. If you watch Conor’s fights, a lot of really good wrestlers didn’t take him down. I think that’ll help me out a lot, just getting a little bit of his wrestling defense. Of course, he’s not a really offensive wrestler; you hardly ever see him take anyone down, but just being able to get that defensive wrestling will be one of the biggest takeaways for me.

MORE TUF 31 CAST: Mando Gutierrez | Cody Gibson | Rico DiSciullo | Hunter Azure | Nate Jennerman | Kurt Holobaugh

What do you think is going to be your toughest challenge in making it to the end?

The biggest thing for me is my son; he plays travel baseball. His first two tournaments are going to be going on while I’m here. A lot of people don’t know this, but I went to prison when I was 20. I missed my oldest daughter’s first year, and since that, I told myself I would never miss anything else. I haven’t. This will be the first time that I’ve ever missed anything - birthdays, Christmases, events, this is my first time ever. That’s gonna be hard for me. Especially on those days when I know he’s out there playing, and I can’t be there. I know, honestly, I’m gonna use that as fuel for my fire. The man standing in front of me is taking me away from that, he’s taking me away from my kids and my family and I am here to make him pay for it.

Why are you going to be the winner of The Ultimate Fighter season 31?

Honestly, I think it’s because I care less than they do. It’s weird to say that, but all of these guys, this is make or break for them and that’s in their mind: ‘This is make or break.’ They have to do it. But me, if I don’t make it, I know that I’m just a couple fights away from the UFC anyways. So, I’m gonna go in there without the pressure and the whole weight of the world not on my shoulders and I’m gonna fight my ass off. I know going in there with that attitude I’m going to get my hand raised in both of my preliminary fights and, at the end of the day, I’m going to get my hand raised in front of God and everybody. And I think that I’m gonna give God the glory and I’m gonna be the next Ultimate Fighter.