Jason House’s days begin early and often end late, but he doesn’t seem to mind.
“I don’t get out of bed; I jump out of bed,” the 28-year-old CEO and founder of Iridium Sports Agency says.
“I love this.”
House, the son of an entrepreneur-turned-deputy-sheriff and a long-time waitress, usually begins his day around 5 a.m. From there, House likes to drive to Irvine’s Team Oyama MMA and Fitness to put in some training time on the mats or in the weight room—“whatever I can get it in,” he says.
After training, House, the recipient of hundreds of phone calls and emails throughout any given day, “hits the phone” to touch base with his more than 40 clients, coaches, promoters, sponsors, journalists and other associates. The proud owner of a car that has logged more than 12,000 miles over the past few months alone, House spends much of his day behind the wheel—whether it is to drop off new equipment or supplements for his clients or to sit down with coaches.
House, an alumnus of the University of La Verne in his native California, works hard these days, but he isn’t exactly a stranger to putting in long hours.
As a full-time law school student, House worked under Ken Pavia at MMA Agents—where he got his start on the management side of the fight game—a law firm and also waited on tables during the evening at the local Outback Steakhouse.
“Part of the blessing of going to law school and doing the things that I’ve done,” the Diamond Bar product says with a laugh, “is you learn how to manage your time.”
At 25—an early start by all accounts—House, who had recently left MMA Agents but wasn’t yet ready to walk away from the prospect of intertwining his passion for fighting and his education, created Iridium Sports Agency.
“When things didn’t work out with Ken, I just wasn’t going to let my dream fall apart like that,” he says. “I looked at my dad and my dad said, ‘Listen, son, I started my company with nothing to my name. If you want it bad enough, you can go get it,’... He said that whenever we watch the fights—we used to order all the events at the house—I was going to be wondering if I could’ve done it.
“‘You can do it if you want,’ he said, ‘So I suggest you go do it.’”
House decided to take his father’s advice—and a $2,000 loan.
There were some doubts at the onset, to be certain. But within the first year of Iridium Sports Agency opening its doors—a busy 12 months by any measure—House had helped a 26-year-old Reuben Duran ink a deal with the UFC. Since that first major contract—a milestone for any agency—House has helped guide the careers of high-level mixed martial artists like Ian McCall, Shane Del Rosario and Francisco Rivera.
For House, the secret to his success is rather simple.
“It’s just hard work and being honest,” he says. “If you just work hard, keep your nose to the grind every day and you’re an honest man, people will respect you—you’ll have their trust. This sport is all about trust.”
With the UFC and Bellator FC seemingly putting on more cards every month and smaller promotions sprouting up now more than ever before, House feels that the best is yet to come for his agency.
“The sky is the limit,” he says. “As long as we keep working hard and keep grinding every day for our clients, the sky is the limit. We have some really great clients coming up—we’ve got a really, really great group of guys coming up.”
Ed Kapp is a Regina, Saskatchewan-based freelance journalist. Unless otherwise noted, all quotations were obtained firsthand.