For bantamweight Josh Rettinghouse, 2013 offered such a change in fortunes.
Following three straight wins to start off the year, Rettinghouse made a trip to Las Vegas for The Ultimate Fighter tryouts, where his year hit its roadblock.
“I flew down to Vegas for the TUF tryouts and didn’t get selected,” said Rettinghouse. “I got back and was a little upset that I didn’t make the cut and took some time off of training, but then all of a sudden I got an offer to fight Corey Vom Baur at CageSport for the (135-pound) title as a late replacement.
“It is one of those things where CageSport was a promotion I had always wanted to fight for and a title was up for grabs and I had been on a pretty good run, so I just went for it. It didn’t go my way because I wasn’t nearly in shape, but the opportunity was just too good to pass up.”
Rettinghouse rebounded off his loss to Vom Baur by winning back-to-back fights in CageSport before the biggest opportunity of his career up to that point presented itself.
“I thought my year was over for fights, so I was just training to train and helping some of my training partners for their fights, then I got the call for the Alexis Villa fight (in World Series of Fighting),” he said.
“I was a little hesitant to take the fight because I was taking like 20 credits at school and was working 35 hours a week, but decided it was too good an opportunity to pass up. I just took it and ran with it and went for broke and it paid off.”
The win over Vila established Rettinghouse (10-2) as someone to watch for in the 135-pound weight class and he’s subsequently been awarded a bantamweight title fight against Marlon Moraes (12-4-1) at WSOF 9 on March 29 in Las Vegas.
“Marlon is a great opponent and it’s going to be a great challenge because he’s one of the best bantamweights in the world,” said Rettinghouse. “This is the kind of fight to showcase what I’m capable of and show people who I am.
“It’s the same game plan with any fight really; be smart, play good defense, score more points than he does and look to finish the fight. I feel like I’m the underdog going into the fight, so all the pressure is on him. So I just to go out there, have fun, go for broke and wish for the best.”
While taking the WSOF bantamweight title would be a big step for Rettinghouse’s career, he told MMAWeekly.com that as long as he’s able to show he belongs among the best fighters in his weight class, that’s all that matters.
“Honestly the title is just an added bonus,” he said. “For me it’s about just fighting the best guys in the world and be able to show that I’m one of the best in the world.
“I just want to fight against good guys on a big stage and stay busy. Win, lose or draw, as long as I perform well and be satisfied with my performance, I could care less about anything else.”