In back-to-back fights, featherweight prospect Josh Rettinghouse knew what it was like to go from one of his lowest points to one of the highest points in his career.
Upon suffering a tough loss to Corey Vom Bauer at CageSport 24 in April, Rettinghouse returned to the promotion three months later and scored a big knockout in a fight he was supposed to be a big underdog in.
“I had tried to get into CageSport for like two years prior to it, so (the Vom Bauer fight) was kind of like my ticket into the door,” said Rettinghouse. “I thought it was a winnable fight, but just had a lackluster performance and wasn’t able to capitalize on it.
“The win against Zach (Skinner in July) was great. He was supposed to be the top dog a while ago here in the Northwest and I had a lot of guys telling me that I couldn’t beat him and I was kind of in over my head and stuff. That fight was a big confidence boost.”
Rettinghouse followed up his win against Skinner with a unanimous decision victory over Jeff Hatton in August, raising his record to 9-2 and raising his confidence level to an all-time high.
“Both of those wins were good for getting back on track after Corey, which I feel was one of my worst fights to date,” Rettinghouse told MMAWeekly.com. “I’m feeling good now. My confidence is back now where it should be and I’m ready to go.”
Back on a winning streak, Rettinghouse has earned himself a shot at the World Series of Fighting this Saturday in Coral Gables, Fla., against Bellator and CFA vet Alexis Villa (13-3) in a 145-pound showdown.
“Alexis is a super tough wrestler, an Olympic guy, has very heavy hands and throws pretty wild, so I think the key to beating him is being a lot faster,” said Rettinghouse. “He is 42 years old, so I could be quicker to the punch and plan on staying one step ahead the whole time.
“If I can stuff his takedowns, I can get him frustrated, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I put him on his back. I have to stay diverse and keeping him guessing the whole time and I think that will set stuff up.”
For Rettinghouse, getting an opportunity to travel out of the Northwest to fight on such a big stage will be something he hasn’t done before, but he’s not going to let it get to him, as he plans to approach this fight as he would any other.
“I’m going all the way to Florida and that’s going to be a new experience in and of itself, but as far as pressure and stepping up to the national scene, I’ve had that pressure before,” he said. “I feel the same pressure in every fight. Whether I’m fighting a guy who is 0-3 or 15-0, I feel the pressure no matter what.
“At the end of the day, a fight is a fight. I don’t see the crowd. I don’t see the cameras. I’m just focused on beating this guy and taking the next step in my career.”