As Holtzman himself put it, “I got a shot to be on the XFC undercard when it came through Knoxville and that’s all I needed was the opportunity to go out there and prove myself, and they liked what they saw and I got another shot and then another.
“Getting three wins in the XFC has been great: I’ve been on TV, I’ve gotten tons of exposure and they’ve been really good to me. I’m really happy and looking to keep the momentum going in 2013.”
Holtzman’s success in the XFC has earned him a lightweight title eliminator match against fellow up and comer Jason Hicks on Friday live on AXS TV from Charlotte, N.C.
“He’s a little bit different build than the guys I’ve fought here lately; he’s kind of tall, rangy and uses his range well,” Holtzman said of Hicks.
“I think striking is his strong point, and for me, I haven’t really shown a lot of striking to this point, but I can definitely strike. I think that’s where he’ll want to stay, whereas I pride myself on being well-rounded, so wherever the fight goes, I’ll be prepared for it.”
Though he’s only been fighting professionally for a year, Holtzman is able to keep things in perspective and not get overwhelmed by the prospect of earning a title fight win a win on Feb. 22.
“I don’t get too high or too low on these fights,” Holtzman told MMAWeekly.com. “I don’t make them out to be anything more than they really are.
“At the end of the day, it’s still a fight. The cage is the same size, he puts on his gear the same way I do, and whether the fight was on the undercard, the main event or a title fight, it’s still just a fight at the end of the day. I don’t make it any bigger than it really is.”
After a year in which he excelled beyond expectations, Holtzman is prepared to now live up to expectations in 2013 and become one of the XFC’s premier fighters.
“It’s always good to have goals both short- and long-term: Short being taking it fight by fight, and long being to get that title,” he said.
“I’d like to have a title belt in the XFC. It’s an established organization that’s definitely up and coming. I’d like to keep it rolling; get a couple more wins in the XFC cage and continue to build my name and brand and continue to gain fans as well.”
(Photo courtesy of XFC)