Against Curtis Demarce at this past February’s MFC 28, Richie Whitson had one of those blood-and-guts type fights that everyone remembers at the end of the night.
While he managed to come out on top via split-decision and earned a lot of notoriety for his performance, Whitson is not too keen to repeat history when he makes his MFC return on Friday, Oct. 7, against Kajan Johnson at MFC 31 at the Mayfield Trade Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
“I hope I don’t take that much damage,” he joked. “I was a little banged up, I got cut, and my elbow got messed up during the fight. Its fun for the fans, but if I had my way, I’d just walk in there and knock him out real quick.”
After his win over Demarce, Whitson had hoped to capitalize on his notoriety, but as he told MMAWeekly.com, he was sidetracked thanks in part to damage he received in that fight.
“I’ve had a couple injuries,” he said. “I hurt my elbow pretty bad; I sprained it pretty good; and actually in the Demarce fight my arm wouldn’t straighten, so I didn’t have a jab for that fight.
“I was getting ready for the Marcus Davis fight and I broke my foot in half. I broke a bone and tore a tendon, so I was in a boot for about five, six weeks. I’m now recovered; I’m healthy now and ready to go.”
While nobody likes having to take time off to heal, Whitson was able to use his down time to work on his game and take steps towards avoiding some of the pitfalls he’s had in his career so far.
“There’s definitely some things that I’ve been doing in other fights that I’ve been improving on,” he said. “I’m just a little more patient. I don’t want to go out there just screaming, balls to the wall; just be a little bit smarter.
“It’s one thing to push the pace, but it’s another thing to just throw all caution to the wind and just go out there and start swinging, which I’ve done in the past.”
Now that he’s got his health in check for the first time in his fight career, Whitson feels it will reflect positively on his performance on Oct. 7 at MFC 31.
“I think this should be one of my best fights,” he said. “I’m better than I’ve ever been. I feel good, my weight’s down, and I’m injury free and had some time to work on my technique and stuff, so this should be a good fight.”
Whitson knows that being 100-percent is essential if he hopes to beat Johnson in what could very well be a title contender eliminator bout for the 155-pound championship.
“He’s a tough guy, he’s long and has a lot of experience, but I feel I’m going to be the better striker,” said Whitson. “I always like to keep it on my feet and bang, but if it goes to the ground, I’m good there too. I’m really good at staying on top or getting up from the bottom. I feel like I can manage the fight.
“He’s a good fighter who likes to bring it, and I bring it, so it should be entertaining for the fans.”
Should he emerge from his fight with Johnson unscathed, Whitmore would like to stay busy before the year ends.
“After this fight, as long as I’m still healthy – which I think I’m going to be – I think the MFC is having another show in November, and I’d definitely like to get another fight or two in there before the end of the year,” he said. “I like to stay busy, and this (time off) has been driving me crazy.”
While he feels he’s developed a lot since his brawl in February, Whitson isn’t opposed to having to go that route en order to keep rising up the lightweight ranks in the MFC.
“I’d like to thank Team Quest, all my family and friends back in Alaska and Clinch Gear,” he concluded. “There will be a lot of great fights at MFC 31, so check it out. Hopefully I’ll go out there and it will be a short night, but I’m always ready for war.”