Avalanche MMA is getting its first title shot Friday night in Chilliwack, BC.
The Whitehorse gym’s TJ Woodman will be taking on Kelowna’s Cam Deluerme for the 145-pound Warpath title in the main event at Warpath 3.
Woodman, who has been training for five years and has a purple belt in Jiu Jitsu, will be looking to add another win onto his 3-0 amateur record in what is his first title fight.
“I never thought I would get the opportunity to fight for a title, so it’s pretty exciting,” said Woodman, 28. “I’m very excited to get in there. It should be a good weekend.”
Deluerme, a fighter from RDC Jiu Jitsu Academy in Kelowna, is going into the fight with a 5-1 amateur record and a 0-1 professional.
“I watched a few of his videos online and he seems pretty good,” said Woodman. “I know he has good Jiu Jitsu and I’ve seen from his videos he’s got pretty decent stand-up as well. He’s pretty well rounded, so it’s going to be a pretty good fight.”
Woodman won his first two amateur bouts while living in Lethbridge, Alberta, both in the first round. In his last fight – and his first with Avalanche – in Warpath 2 at the start of September, Woodman took on Josh Williams (4-4 record) from Final Round Martial Arts in Duncan, winning with an armbar two minutes and 50 seconds into Round 2.
“I’ll just go with the flow,” said Woodman of his title fight. “I’ll try to keep it standing for a bit – if I want to take it to the ground then I’ll take it to the ground. If he takes me to the ground it doesn’t really matter because I feel that I’m better than him on the ground anyway. So it doesn’t really matter where we go.”
Woodman is one of five Avalanche fighters entering the ring at Warpath 3. With the gym going 4-0 in its first ever fights at Warpath 2, two other Avalanche fighters are headlining the event.
Avalanche owner/operator Cliff Schultz and Miller Rogers are both fighting the Warpath’s two co-main events.
Rogers, 20, after just a year of training, will be going for his third straight win. Unfortunately for the Jiu Jitsu-blue belt, two fighters in a row have withdrawn from the fight, leaving him a little in the dark as to who he’s going to meet in the ring.
But he’s not losing sleep over it.
“For me it’s not a big deal,” said Rogers. “My game-plan is still the same: I’m going to go in, I’m going to get in a fight and I’m going to win.”
Rogers, who won his first two fights by submission – at Warpath 2 and then at Caged Rage 5 in Castlegar, BC – is facing Russ McCumber (2-2) from CV Boxing and MMA in McCourtney, BC, in the catch weight of 150.
“I’ve never really known (who I was fighting) for the other ones. The first one there was a toss-up between the two guys. For my other fight I didn’t have any info on the guy,” said Rogers.
In the other co-main event, Schultz will be taking on independent fighter Kolten Higginbottom, an ex-boxer out of Lytton, BC, with an 0-2 amateur MMA record. It will be Schultz’s second amateur bout, winning his first by unanimous decision in Warpath 2, in the 170-pound class.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” said Shultz. “I don’t know much about my fighter because he’s out of such a little place. I know that he’s moving over to Kamloops to train, but he just started training there, so I’m not sure how much he’s training and what he’s training for.
“I figure he’ll have heavy hands, so we put a game plan together and I’m sticking right to it.”
Another first for Avalanche MMA will come when Schultz’s son, Ryley Johnson, enters the ring as the first junior fighter to represent Avalanche.
The 15-year-old will be up against Gagon Gill, 16, from Mamba MMA out of Abbottsford, BC, in the 145-pound class. It will be the first bout for both.
“I feel confident I’m going to do well,” said Johnson. “I don’t really know much about him, except that he’s year older and he’s at the same experience level.
“If he has good hands and is fast, I’m just going to take him down and finish him on the ground.”
Also fighting is Avalanche’s Stefan Brynolfsson hoping to add another win onto his 1-0 record.
His opponent is Brandon Wolkoski (2-0) from Revolution Martial Arts in Chilliwack, the organizing gym behind the Warpath fights, in the catch weight of 180.
In his first fight, at Warpath 2, Brynolfsson, 25, won by a rear naked choke 2:13 into Round 1 against Luis Terrero from the Revolution gym.
If all five Avalanche fighters are victorious, the gym will remain undefeated with a 10-0 record.
Contact Tom Patrick at email@example.com