Featherweight prospect Chris “Gritz” Gruetzemacher, at 11-1, may not be far off from getting an opportunity on the big stage of MMA, especially if he keeps having performances like he did in his last fight.
Admittedly starting off on the wrong food, Gruetzenmacher managed a comeback TKO victory over former UFC fighter Roli Delgado at the recent ShoFIGHT 20 event, which airs on pay-per-view on Sunday, July 1.
“I think I had a rough spot in the beginning of the fight – just kind of slipped on a banana peel – and when the ball went rolling, it went rolling the other way,” said Gruetzenmacher. “I stuck through it and I won the fight eventually.
“The game plan was to just go in there and no matter where the fight went, to be better than him wherever it went. If he wants to stand and trade or go the ground or try to wrestle, I’m okay with adjusting and following whatever he wants to do.”
Delgado represents the biggest step up in competition Gruetzenmacher has faced. He told MMAWeekly.com he feels that he can continue to step up to the competition should he face bigger challenges.
“Every fight I’ve gotten better and I’m able to do more,” Gruetzenmacher said. “I’m not the same fighter I was the last fight. I’m constantly improving. Becoming the fighter I want to be, I feel like I’m getting closer to that.”
Helping Gruetzenmacher get to where he wants to be is a close-knit team of fighters that includes current UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson.
“Benson’s kind of like an older brother for me,” said Gruetzenmacher. “I’ve been basically watching how he’s done things – I do my own path, my own thing – but I try to catch his mistakes and not make them myself.
“He’s a great role model for being a fighter, being an athlete. He puts it out there and he’s always trying to help out.”
Joining Henderson in the UFC is hopefully the next step for Gruetzemacher.
“That’s kind of up to the UFC, if they think I’m ready or if they think I need more fights to showcase my skills,” he said. “I don’t know how close I am, but looking back on my fights I think I can be right there, but sometimes it feels so far away.
“I’ll just keep winning until you can’t deny me. I’m going to go out there and whoop everybody I’ve got to whoop. They’ve got to notice me eventually.”