Jason High has paid a heavy price for an emotional reaction at UFC Fight Night 42 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Shortly after his bout against Rafael dos Anjos was stopped in the second round, an angry High shoved referee Kevin Mulhall to express his displeasure over the fight being halted. High was rocked by a big left hand in the middle frame and finished off by a series of follow-up strikes. The veteran clearly believed that he was able to continue, but Mulhall obviously felt differently in electing to call off the proceedings.
In an interview with UFC.com President Dana White stated that a fighter simply can never put their hands on a referee and therefore High was done with the organization. White put the incident on a similar scale to when Paul Daley took a swing at Josh Koscheck after their 2010 UFC bout was over. Daley was immediately banished because of that cheap shot and hasn’t returned.
“The Kansas City Bandit” had been very apologetic in the wake of the incident, but obviously his remorse wasn’t enough to keep his UFC job. High’s second stint with the promotion ends on a sour note. The 32-year-old was hoping to make an immediate impact by moving down to the lightweight ranks against an elite opponent, but the fight against RDA ended up being his undoing. He had actually won back-to-back fights against James Head and Anthony Lapsley before deciding to test the 155-pound waters.
At this stage of his career, it’s likely the end of any further UFC opportunities for High, who wasn’t a major star in the organization and was just 2-2 in his latest Octagon tenure. White has sent a clear message to all fighters that physical abuse of an official won’t be tolerated. Whether another promotion expresses an interest in High’s services remains to be seen.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports