Denver, Colorado – February 8, 2012 - Fight to Win MMA will be presenting an explosive main event on Friday, February 24 when Grudge Training Center fighter Justin ‘J-Ho’ Houghton (4-0) takes on UFC veteran Cameron Dollar (10-4). Houghton, a Michigan transplant brings an impressive undefeated amateur and professional record, support of a strong fan base, and the weight of an entire state on his shoulders.
“I put the whole of Michigan on my back. People don’t truly understand what it is like back there. There is no going back home because there are no factory jobs, and if you want a gas station job there are probably ten people more qualified than you,” Houghton said before clarifying that his history has made him strong, “It won’t beat Michigan though, and it won’t beat me. I carry that into any fight. If this fight comes down to a heart match, that will go to me because no one has more heart than I do.”
Houghton sports an 11-0 amateur record, held five titles in three different weight classes and is currently 4-0 as a professional, but he admits that his biggest test yet is coming on February 24.
“Cam is one of the best guys in the world and I want to test myself against that caliber of fighter. I feel good. I feel strong. I feel like I’m training with a group of killers right now out here at the Grudge Training Center. There isn’t a lot I haven’t seen in fighting. He’s dangerous in all aspects, but I feel like I train with guys that are dangerous in all aspects. I feel like we’re both different fighters coming into this. I won’t say we’re as good as our last fights because he is coming off a loss and I am sure he has grown since then. I’m not the same fighter I was in my last fight, which was a win. I think you’ll see something new from both fighters on the twenty fourth,” Houghton said.
The last time Dollar fought for Fight to Win, he defeated Houghton’s teammate Alvin Robinson. While Houghton loves and supports his teammate, he insists there is no grudge carrying over to his match.
“There is no extra motivation needed for this fight. I’m not fighting him because he fought in the UFC or because he beat a teammate. I’m fighting him for me, for my career. Before this fight was set, a lot of people probably didn’t even know who I was out here. I need to take advantage of the attention that comes along with this fight. I know I’m very fortunate and humbled to be fighting someone like Cam, but no, I don’t need a reason to fight him other than what it can do for my career because in the end, it is just business,” Houghton said.
Houghton does feel that the Colorado MMA community has been sleeping on his career, a mistake he believes will be righted at Mardi Gras Brawl.
“I felt somewhat disrespected by the Colorado MMA awards, having gone 4-0 and not even being on the ballot. I’m confident you are going to have to take me seriously. I’m dangerous in all aspects and people are going to have to start paying attention and respecting what I bring to the table,” he said.
Houghton is a household name in his native Michigan and much of that fan support has followed him to Colorado.
“I have a lot of pressure from family and friends and my team and a ton of hometown proud. I’m expecting between fifteen to twenty people to fly in from Michigan to see this fight. My upbringing in Michigan shapes who I am out here and everything I do. When I first got into this, or was talking about fighting, my dad was like, do you think you have the skills? Then do it. Don’t talk about it. If you think you can do it, I’ve got your back,” Houghton said.
When asked why he thinks he got the main event slot on such a big card, Houghton doesn’t hesitate, “Truthfully it is all because of my fans. I owe this fight to my fan support because even though I’m 4-0, lots of people had never heard of me until this fight. But because I have such strong fan support, I am being given this opportunity. I thank my fans from the bottom of my heart,” Houghton said.
As for why new fans should be excited to see this relative Colorado newcomer, Houghton cites his entertainment value and his higher aspirations, “I’m an explosive fighter. One of my wins comes from a spinning back fist knockout. If I win this fight I’m going to move to 16-0, and there may not be a whole lot more chances to see me fight locally. I might be getting some big calls if this fight goes my way.”
Justin ‘J-Ho’ Houghton wanted to thank; Ink’d Out Apparel, Titled Kilt (sight of his after party), Grudge Training Center, LA Boxing, Go Fast Energy, Futo-Kan MMA, Rock Hard Nutrition, Fresh Fit Meals, Phantom 8 Tattoos, RevGear and Kwon.Net.
Will Justin ‘J-Ho’ Houghton shine in his biggest fight to date or will Cameron Dollar show why he is still the man in Colorado? Find out live on February 24, 2012 at the National Western Complex when Fight to Win MMA presents Mardi Gras Brawl.
Courtesy of Luke Henderson/FightToWin
Fight Fotos by Joe Cordova/Brawlin.com