- THOMAS SCHULTE: TIME FOR THE NEXT STEP?

April 30, 2008
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by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
At this past weekend’s Ultimate Warrior Challenge in Fairfax, Va., F.I.T. NHB product Thomas Schulte made yet another case for himself to get an opportunity to fight on the big stages of mixed martial arts.

A veteran of such promotions as King of the Cage and Hardcore Championship Fighting, Schulte finished off Zack Light – an assistant coach for Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s team on this season of “The Ultimate Fighter” – in just over one minute, adding to a current three-fight winning streak that’s seen him not go past the 75 second mark in each outing.

“It was a great weekend for me,” exclaimed Schulte of his experience in the UWC. “(Light) was the strongest opponent I’ve ever fought, including the fights I had at 170 (pounds).

“He was totally class the whole time. It seems like sportsmen are a dying breed, and it was refreshing to compete against one. I was fortunate enough to have a good night.”

In the match-up, Schulte quickly asserted himself and landed an armbar on Light at the 1:10 mark of the first round, which plays right into his fight philosophy.

“To be honest, all I want to do is win. If that happens fast, that’s fine by me,” commented Schulte.

While some fighters may seek to work techniques they had developed in training, Schulte admits that’s not in his game plan.

“Everyone I’ve fought lately have been really tough, and aren’t the type of guys I want to experiment much with,” said Schulte. “I just try to win the best way that I know how.

“I’m just trying to get out of there with my head on straight. I try to do well and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.”

Not only does having a three-fight winning streak help to increase Thomas’s career opportunities, a move down to lightweight also has him expecting more success in the coming year.

“It took some mental maturity to settle at 155,” admitted Schulte. “I kind of would rather fight somebody than have to cut weight, but I learned that I’m a better athlete at (lightweight).

“When everyone’s tough, you need every advantage you can get. At 155 I can throw my weight around a little bit, whereas at 170 I was always the smaller guy.”

Should he continue to look impressive, it’s only a matter of time before a big organization brings him up.

“Honestly, I’m waiting to see what happens,” he stated. “It really seems to me that here within the next year or two years there’s going to be a lot of opportunities for talented fighters.

“I’d be delighted to fight in any of them. If I can continue to do well, hopefully I get that opportunity.”

First and foremost, however, Schulte has some business at hand in the coming months before he can begin to think about bigger things.

“On July 17 is when my next fight is scheduled,” revealed Thomas. “I’ve already started training for that, and we’ll take it from there.

“I try not to look too far ahead of myself and the next fight I have. I think that’s an unwise decision to make when you’re in a business like this. If you’ve got a fighter that’s planning to kick your ass, it’s a bad idea to look past them, no matter who they are.”

With continued success there is no reason why Schulte might not get an opportunity to shine on a national stage, sooner rather than later.

“I’d like to thank my main coaches, Tom and Arlene Vaughn,” concluded Schulte. “They’ve been a real blessing in my life, they get more out of me than anyone else could, and I’m delighted to be a part of their team.

“I’m aiming to make you (fans) more excited. I’m getting better every day and hopefully you’ll see me knock somebody out here pretty soon. My hands are getting pretty quick, so watch out.”

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