Following just the second loss of his career, Washington-based 135-pound prospect Josh “Finisher” Rettinghouse returned to the win column in his last bout this past July with a decisive victory over Zach Skinner at CageSport 25.
“It was a great performance I thought,” said Rettinghouse. “I knew he trained with Dennis Hallman and a bunch of tough ground guys, so I really wanted to keep it standing. The fight did go to the ground, but I let him back up and I got the knockout.
“I was really upset about my prior performance (against Cory Vom Baur) so I went out there (against Skinner) with the mindset that I was just going to finish the guy and give it my all no matter what, and it ended up paying off.”
As good as it was to get a win over Skinner, it was his loss in April to Vom Baur that has shaped the way Rettinghouse approaches his upcoming return to CageSport this Saturday at the Emerald Queen Casino in Fife, Wash.
“Lately I’m working with a bunch of wrestlers, Lee Morrison, Lyle Beerbohm and a couple of other guys we’ve got training at Spokane BJJ right now,” said Rettinghouse. “We’re really emphasizing my wrestling after that Vom Baur fight.”
At CageSport 26 on Saturday, Rettinghouse (8-2) will be facing a fighter that will put his newly honed skills to the test in a bantamweight showdown with Jeff Hatton (7-3).
“We were going to fight a couple years ago, but it fell through a couple of times, so I’m excited to finally get in there and mix it up with Jeff,” said Rettinghouse. “ I know he’s mainly a wrestler and submission guy, so I’m assuming he’s going to come in there and shoot right away, so I’m going to stuff his takedowns, either catch him coming in with a strike or a submission.
“If I have to, I’ll win by points, but I’m definitely looking to finish with a submission or hopefully a knockout. He’s a really tough guy but I think I’ll be able to get the finish.”
Rettinghouse told MMAWeekly.com that he hopes with a win over Hatton, he’ll be able to impress the UFC enough to get a shot in their ever-expanding 135-pound weight class.
“I know better than to look past opponents, but I’m always looking and working towards the future,” said Rettinghouse. “Ever since my first amateur fight, I’ve wanted to be in the UFC. I’ve looked at all my opponents as a stepping-stone, a guy that’s standing in my way of getting there.
“I’m looking for a rematch with Vom Baur if that’s possible as well. I wouldn’t mind being CageSport champion if that’s what it takes to get a little more recognition and get my name out there. I think a win over a tough guy like Jeff puts me in the mix for any of these guys in the UFC right now at 135.”