Shortly after his third fight of the year, bantamweight prospect Josh Rettinghouse headed from his native Washington to Las Vegas to try out for the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter. Also at the tryouts was CageSport 135-pound champion Brandon Hempleman.
Rettinghouse didn’t make the show. Hempleman, however, did, and thus he had to drop out of his bantamweight title defense at CageSport 24 on Saturday night in Everett, Wash.
Enter Josh Rettinghouse.
“It’s a huge opportunity and I’m excited about it,” said Rettinghouse. “ I’ve been trying to get on CageSport for years now, ever since I was an amateur, and haven’t been able to. So when they called – even taking a fight on seven days’ notice – I was all over it.”
Rettinghouse will take Hempleman’s place against Cory Vombaur in an interim 135-pound title fight, and even though he’s taking the fight on less than a week’s notice, he says he will be prepared.
“I’ve fought three times this year and I was down in Vegas for The Ultimate Fighter tryouts, so I’ve been busy,” Rettinghouse told MMAWeekly.com.
“I could have a little more stuff if I had a couple extra weeks, but I had fought on March 30 and was back in camp the next day to be ready for the tryouts. I’ve been in the gym, staying ready and sparring with the best guys around here.”
Against Vombaur, Rettinghouse feels the stand-up game could very well determine the outcome of the fight.
“I’m more of a natural bantamweight, so I think even if he’s had more notice, I’m going to have the edge in cardio,” said Rettinghouse of Vombaur. “I think I’m definitely going to have the striking advantage, so I’m just going to look to show off my striking and stuff his takedowns.
“If I can get a takedown, I’ll take that too, but we’ll see where the fight goes. I think I’m really well-rounded, so I’m difficult for people to deal with.”
As for the man whose place he’s taking on Saturday night, Rettinghouse is more than willing to meet Hempleman for the title should the two cross paths again.
“I don’t really know what the status of Hempleman is, but if he gets knocked off the show and wants to come back to CageSport and challenge for that, I’m down for that too.”