Just over a year into his MMA career, Scott “Hot Sauce” Holtzman has made enough of an impact in the XFC to merit co-headlining the XFC 20 fight card on Friday night in Knoxville, Tenn. live on AXS TV. It’s a position that Holtzman couldn’t have imagined he’d be in when he first started getting into MMA.
“It’s definitely much more than ever expected,” he said. “When I first started doing it, it started as an outlet as opposed to just working out in a gym, and then my competitive side took over. I never imagined it would lead to this.”
Holtzman told MMAWeekly.com that the one thing that’s most stuck out to him so far is how much the mental game plays into MMA.
“I always knew it was a tough, physical sport, but the mental toughness is one of the biggest lessons you learn,” he said. “You have to be able to deal with this daily grind of training and believe in the process.
“One day you go in the gym and you’re the hammer, and the next day you’re the nail. So you have to stay positive mentally, especially when you’re in the gym being beat up and not get too frustrated if guys are running over.”
Having not gone past the two-minute mark of the second round in either of his two pro fights, Holtzman knows to run his winning streak to three won’t come easy against former Bellator veteran Chris Coggins.
“I’d say that a lot of guys like to take a little while and build and maybe fight some guys who don’t belong in the cage or whatnot, but I haven’t said no to a fight yet,” said Holtzman. “They offered Chris Coggins and I just went with it.
“Some guys might try to take some easier fights earlier on, but I want to test myself in this fight and I’m getting in there and let it rip. If I come out with my hand raised it will be a good feather in my cap.”
Holtzman feels that to win the fight, the ground could very well be where he can make things happen.
“He’s very aggressive, comes forward and is going to put pressure on me standing, and does have some dangerous ground moves, but I think he likes to lie on his back and if he does that, I’ll try to take advantage of it,” he said.
Having quickly risen up the ranks of the XFC, Holtzman admits that ascending to the top of his weight class could come sooner than later if he continues on the run he’s had so far.
“The way things are going, it’s moving really fast, and for me. I’m ready to jump on the bandwagon and go with it,” he said. “There are plenty of opportunities in the XFC, and this is just the beginning. I’m just along for the ride right now, take it one fight at a time and see where it takes me.”
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(Photo courtesy of XFC)