After suffering a broken rib in the opening round, Avalanche MMA’s TJ Woodman would not quit. His game plan not panning out, the 28-year-old fought-on until the ref stopped the fight one minute, 34 seconds into Round 4.
Thus ended Woodman’s – and Avalanche’s – first title shot in the main event at Warpath 3 on Friday in Chilliwack, BC
“He was obviously a good opponent. He was good, he was strong and he was a little bigger than me, which is alright,” said Woodman, who now has a 3-1 amateur record. “It was a good fight. I guess I didn’t do what I should have done and he implemented his game plan really well.
“I should have clinched up a little more, that’s for sure. I shouldn’t have been so easy to go to my back; I was a little too confident off my back. And I should have fought for the clinch or takedown a little more.”
For Warpath’s featherweight title, Woodman faced Cameron Deluerme from RDC Jiu Jitsu in Kelowna, B.C. It was a second title attempt for Deluerme, who went in with a 5-1 amateur record and a 0-1 professional record, losing his previous title shot by split decision at Battlefield Fight League in Vancouver.
“I’ve never gotten a stoppage (by the ref) before, just submissions, so it just feels really good,” said Deluerme. “It feels amazing to get a stoppage for a belt too.
“He’s a great fighter, like I have a lot of respect for (Woodman),” he added. “He had a game plan and that was to get me down. He definitely has the skill on the ground.”
Woodman opened the 145-pound fight with a combination but got caught against the ropes. Deluerme then picked Woodman up and slammed him to the ground, breaking one of his ribs.
“I totally lost my breath; it knocked the wind out of me,” said Woodman. “I had to hold on for about a minute or so.”
Rounds 2 and 3 were similar with the fight going to the ground, but almost always with Deluerme getting the mounted position.
“I was working my submissions, but his cornermen were awesome,” said Woodman. “They were telling him what to do the entire fight. Whenever I would work into a position that was favourable, they were shouting at him how to get out of it. He did exactly what he needed to do.”
At the start of Round 4, Deluerme caught Woodman with a quick right hook, which Woodman responded to with a failed takedown attempt, ending up against the ropes again.
A second takedown attempt again ended with Deluerme on top, feeding punches to Woodman, who had no choice but to turtle-up.
The ref then called the fight.
“I’ll be good to go again soon, I just need to heal up and get back into training,” said Woodman.
“I think it was good for me; I realize what I need to do now. I can’t be so confident off my back – I’m not going to submit everybody.”
Though Woodman had fought and won at 145 before, Friday’s fight convinced him to drop down to a lighter weight class, one closer to his “walking around” weight of 135.
“One hundred and forty-five was a little big for me,” said Woodman. “My weigh-ins were 141 and 142, so I can’t actually make the 145. But I took what was given to me – I’m not going to turn down a title fight.”
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