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Buchholz vows stoppage

Story by David L. Hudson, Jr.

The charismatic and entertaining Justin Buchholz hopes to continue the momentum he started last year when he upset hyped prospect Corey Hill in July 2008 in his next bout against Terry Etim at UFC 99.   Buchholz says that he will win “by some kind of stoppage.”  

Last July, Buchholz was pegged as a heavy underdog against the 6-4’ Hill, who experts had touted as a real talent.   Meanwhile, Buchholz entered the Octagon 0-1, dropping his debut against Matt “the Talent” Wiman.    Though he absorbed some strikes from his tall, angular opponent, Buchholz submitted Hill with a rear naked choke in the 2nd round.

Now, after overcoming a groin injury and a staph infection, Buchholz – an Alaskan native who trains in Sacramento – looks to make his mark with a win over a second favored opponent – Terry Etim, a fighter who has won his last two UFC bouts. 

 “Etim is a challenge because of his height advantage and his technical stand-up game, which is solid,” Buchholz told Fightnews. 

However, Buchholz says he will win the bout and continue to prove the naysayers wrong.   He actually relishes the underdog, opponent role.  “Yes, keep saying ‘he’s an Anderson Siva’ and ‘Buchholz is an opponent.’ I love it and I love proving people wrong.”

Buchholz relishes his time in the UFC, having fought in the Alaska MMA circuit – often as the underdog even in those smaller organizations.  “I was brought in for several of my fights in Alaska as an underdog and kept knocking people out.  They brought me in to get beat up and I ended up kicking those guys’ asses.”  He also worked a number of jobs in his life from construction to the gas station to the oil fields.  

When asked about fighting a second straight taller opponent, Buchholz unveiled his powerful sense of humor: “I think it is in my contract to fight only the tallest guys in the division. I felt like I am supposed to be in Japan fighting on freak shows or something.” 

Buchholz contends that his long layoff – he hasn’t fought in the Octagon in nearly a year when he defeated Hill – won’t be a problem.  “I suffered a groin injury in the Hill fight and that put me out of action for a while,” he said.  “Then I was supposed to fight Terry at UFC 95 and had a staph infection.”

He insists that Octagon rust will not be a problem due to his regular training regimen: “I train all day.  There are no off days in Sacramento where I train with world-class fighters.  11 months off is not going to matter.” 

He also doesn’t worry that he has never gone the distance in any of his professional MMA bouts.  In fact, Buchholz has never gone to the end of the second round.   “One of my great advantages is my cardio and my intensity.  Maybe I’m too dumb to worry about it, but I train so hard in practice all the time.  I’m in great shape all the time because of that intensity and my great training partners.”   He regularly trains with Uriah Faber, Tito Jones, Danny Castillo, Chad Mendes and Matt Sanchez.

Buchholz says that he will continue to train as hard as he can, remarking that “putting your nose to the grindstone” is a motto that he tries to emulate.

To his fans, Buchholz says: “Thank you for all of your support.  I’ll do my best to try to make exciting fights for you.”

 . . . . .

David L. Hudson Jr. is a senior feature writer for Fightnews and the author of the recently released Combat Sports: An Encyclopedia of Wrestling, Fighting and Mixed Martial Arts





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