Just over a month from an epic fight at Cage Warriors 106, welterweight champion Ross “The Hitman” Houston (8-0 1NC) is keen to run back the bout which ended in unique fashion.
The reigning champion had hoped to unify the 170lb division with interim title holder Nicolas Dalby (17-3-1 1NC) at the event dubbed Night of Champions. A battle of epic proportions broke out between the two men who traded blows in a back-and-forth bout which is undoubtedly a contender for the best fight in a British cage this year.
Houston perfectly captures the bout when he describes it as a, “freak fight with excess blood”, which was ultimately halted in the second round due to the canvas becoming unstable because of the excess blood which had formulated into pools on the mat.
The fight was called a no contest, both men retained their belts in a fight that left fans demanding to see it again.
Danish fighter Nicolas Dalby earned himself a UFC return with his performance, whilst “The Hitman” continues to campaign for his shot in the big show as he sees the UFC as the perfect stage to host such an exciting rematch.
CW106: The Night of Blood
The welterweight champion describes a mix of emotions when reflecting upon his epic bout with Nicolas Dalby. Excited to be involved in such a fan-friendly fight, but unhappy not to have a definitive conclusion he desired.
“Looking back, I’m a bit disappointed with the result it’s bittersweet,” said Houston. “Good for raising your profile but we had no winner or loser. That’s why I’m hoping we get to go again.”
A broken hand in the first few seconds is worn like a badge of honour by Houston, who was proud of the beating he was able to put on his opponent despite his limited weaponry.
“I busted him worse than anyone has ever busted him before.”
“I broke my hand after thirty seconds,” said Houston. “So all of that was with one hand. I look forward to doing it with two hands.”
The cherry on top of a great night of fights at CW106, Houston and Dalby both expressed a desire to rematch during a post-fight media scrum.
This fight has outgrew Cage Warriors and now looks set to go down on the ultimate stage.
Houston heading to UFC?
With an undefeated record, a prestigious title around his waist, and a ready-made rivalry to be sold, you can only wonder what the delay is with UFC signing Ross Houston.
The 28-year-old Houston has not only proved he’s entertaining, but that he can hang with the best of them. On the back of fight of the year title victory against Stefano Paterno and a “the biggest bloodbath ever seen” against world class Nicolas Dalby, “The Hitman” seems UFC ready right now.
“When I heard he’d been announced I thought well it’s got to be me then because people are asking for that fight.”
UFC’s resigning of Nicolas Dalby initially triggered excitement in Houston who thought a rematch on the big stage was destined to happen. However, five weeks on from their fight and with UFC Copenhagen creeping closer, Houston says, “I haven’t had the call yet, I don’t know what’s going on.”
A fighter who got into the sport purely for the pursuit of a UFC dream, Houston remains positive and confident that his call will come and this fight can be made at any moment.
“Sean Shelby you’ve got my email, ping me a message if you want me to come over and break some Danish hearts.” He jokingly adds, “I’ll pay for my own flights, I don’t care.”
“The Hitman’s” services in demand
On the back of a fight that went viral, Ross Houston is certainly not short of suitors. UFC’s hesitation may well be to another promotions benefit, as “The Hitman” is about to sieve through the proposals and make his next move.
“I’ve got so many options now,” Houston told The Scrap. “The belt and UFC had always been the goal. Now is the first time I’ve hit a place where I have a lot of different options”.
“I’ll just let the offers come in and make the choice when the time is right.”
Whilst the UFC remains the goal, Houston seems keen to take the next step in his career sooner rather than later, having accomplished all he can during an 8-fight stint with Cage Warriors dating back to his second professional bout.
A perceived lack of threat in the current Cage Warriors 170 division has Ross Houston struggling for motivation. “There’s some good welterweights about, but I don’t sweat any of them. I think I take any of them out quite easy.”
Always one to stay on top of his game, Houston realizes the danger of fighting without the proper mindset. “Being undefeated is a key card I hold. The worst thing I can do is enter a fight demotivated and take a loss.”
His next move will be one chosen with motivation in mind as the Cage Warriors champion aims to “keep improving” by facing the toughest opponents and earning big pay cheques in the process as he enters the peak of his fighting career.
Both could come with a call from the UFC, who may just realise the talent that is right in front of them before someone else snaps up Ross “The Hitman” Houston.
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The Scrap’s Jordan Ellis of Liverpool, UK is a lifelong fight fan and aspiring writer. Covering all things MMA and Boxing, you can follow him on Twitter (@JordanEllisUK) for daily fight news and content.