Josh Rettinghouse may not be a household name at this point, but after this Saturday night he will be.
At World Series of Fighting 9, Rettinghouse (10-2) will get the opportunity of a lifetime, as he is taking on Marlon Moraes (12-4-1) for the organizations inaugural bantamweight championship.
The Spokane, Washington native is still rather “green” in the sport of mixed martial arts. He began his professional career in 2011, but has already amassed 12-fights. Let’s put this in to perspective — most fighters have 2-3 fights a year, Rettinghouse fought an astounding seven times in 2013.
“I didn’t have a real training camp for any of those fights. All of those fights were short notice and I was kind of just trying to stay in the gym as much as I could,” Rettinghouse told MMASucka.com. “The old motto goes ‘stay ready, so you don’t have to get ready.’ I honestly don’t really believe in that anymore, but that was my motto at the time.”
This fight with Moraes at WSOF 9 is one of the first times Rettinghouse has had a full camp and he says it ‘feels great,’ but it does get tiring.
“I have never had this before. It’s a little tiring to be honest — you hear people talk about it, but obviously I didn’t know what it was about. Before I used to stay in the gym as much as I could, but when you have a fight lined up that far in advance and you’re thinking about it the whole time, you push yourself every single day for nine weeks straight. It’s truly gruelling on not only your body, but your mind.”
Moraes has been on an absolute tear since late 2011 and has built up a six-fight winning streak. He was a part of the WSOF 1 card, where he faced former WEC champ Miguel Torres and when he took home the split-decision, he earned a ton of respect from not only the fans, but the promotion as well. He went on to knock out Tyson Nam at WSOF 2, beat Brandon Hempleman via unanimous decision at WSOF 4 and most recently finished Carson Beebe via first round KO at WSOF 6 this past October.
The Florida native, has a complete skill set and is able to both finish guys, as well as go the distance. Rettinghouse will have to step inside the cage and figure out where he has the advantage.
“I honestly don’t know where my advantages lie,” said Rettinghouse. “I’ve got to go in there and figure it out, but I think we match up pretty well. He’s a great kick-boxer, but at the end of the day, I think that I might be a little bit more well rounded. I think you’re going to see a little bit of everything out there — I think you’re going to see a little kick-boxing, a little clinch work, a little wrestling, a little BJJ and that’s the game plan. I’ve just got to mix it up and I think that’s my biggest advantage is that I’m extremely well rounded.”
WSOF has been building up Moraes’ stock ever since their first event and this could be a bout that does the same thing for Rettinghouse. He went out there at WSOF 6 and earned the unanimous decision against a very tough Alexa Villa and once again as the underdog has the chance to not only earn the victory over one of WSOF’s poster boys, but also the belt.
“I hate to spoil their little party. I don’t want to put words in their mouth, but I do feel like they think that he’s [Moraes] is going to win and they want to crown him as champion and make him the face of the bantamweight division,” Rettinghouse stated. “I am here to make a name for myself and I’m here to use him to do that. I am good being the underdog and I hate to spoil their plans, but it is what it is and that’s what I’m looking to do.”
Rettinghouse is eating, drinking, sleeping and constantly thinking about this huge opportunity. No matter where the fight goes, the only clear thing the 24-year old can visualize is himself getting his hand raised at the end of the fight.
“It could really end any way. I know I can knock people out, I know I can submit people and I know I can take people the distance and win the rounds by points. I’ve got to take whatever he gives me and just see where the fight goes. I’m here to stay up on the points, win rounds and look for the finish no matter what. It’s hard to say where it could go, with both of us being pretty well rounded, but at the end of the day I can just see myself getting my hand raised.”
WSOF 9 goes down on Saturday March 29 from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Check out the full interview with Josh Rettinghouse on Sucka Radio HERE.