Entering the ring against a former boxer, Avalanche MMA’s Cliff Schultz knew he had to watch for those heavy hands of Kamloops, B.C.‘s Kolten Higginbottom. But in the end, the fight wasn’t decided in stand-up, it was finalized on the mat, at Warpath 3 in Chilliwack, B.C. on Friday.
“I went off my game plan a little bit,” said Schultz. “When I clinched up with him, I should have hung on and taken him down that way instead of letting go and trying to box it out.”
After going toe-to-toe with Higginbottom in stand-up for half of the opening round, the 170-pound weight-class fight quickly turned for Schultz. The turning point surfaced when Schultz clinched-up with Higginbottom, but went down with Higginbottom on top. With Schultz’s chances for success quickly fleeting, the ref stopped the fight one minute, 49 seconds into Round 1.
“I did get caught there, so, yeah, it was a good stop (by the ref),” said Schultz, the owner/operator of Avalanche MMA. “I wanted to feel him out a little in the first round but didn’t make it there.
“Oh well. I’ll learn from that and keep going.”
Higginbottom, 22, who trains out of Matta Leao MMA, made the switch from boxing to MMA less than a year ago without any recorded boxing fights. His win evened his MMA fight record to 2-2.
“I’m hoping to get a title fight here soon,” said Higginbottom. “I jumped into MMA a little too soon and lost a couple of fights so I’m looking to start winning a lot more now.
“My coach Matt Baker told me to check those kicks and answer back, and that’s what I did. When we were standing up he started going for clinch – normally I would break out of the clinch, like I should have. I guess I wanted to take him down and I felt I could. I got on top of him easily with the mount and finished it off with strikes.”
Schultz’s first fight, at Warpath 2 in September, could not be any more different than Friday’s. Facing Chilliwack’s Tom McCormick, Schultz won the fight after three rounds by unanimous decision.
“Now I see what training I need,” said Schultz. “I’m going to work on a little more wrestling. My coach, Sean O’Halloran, is going to come up and do a wrestling clinic with us (at Avalanche MMA).”
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