After a competitive first couple of rounds in his February bout against Jordan Macklin at CageSport 44, bantamweight up and comer Journey Newson was able to stay strong in the third and eventually pick up a submission victory.
“(Macklin had) a little bit of an awkward style that I wasn’t used to,” Newson told MMAWeekly.com. “It was a pretty good back and forth pace for the first and second round, but the third round I could kind of tell he was defeated. I felt him fatigue and I just capitalized on that.”
For Newson, his bout with Macklin ending up on the ground played right into his own biggest strength.
“I’ve submitted the last few guys I’ve faced,” said Newson. “On the ground I’m staying on top and I’m getting damage done; when I’m on the bottom I’m getting the sweep and the reverse. With my stand-up I’m trying to make it all click together, but I definitely feel I have the advantage on the ground.”
On Saturday in Tacoma, Washington, Newson (5-1) takes on Anthony Zender (8-9) in a rematch of their December bout, this time for the CageSport 135-pound title.
“I’m definitely impressed with his attitude,” Newson said of Zender. “He was 0-8 and kept fighting and fighting, and look where he is now. I’m definitely honored to fight him.
“I beat him late in the third round (of our first fight) after a kind of back-and-forth pace in the first and second round, he was fatigued and went for a sloppy takedown and I capitalized. It’s going to be a good fight. He definitely deserves (a rematch), and I’m excited for it.”
For Newson, having had title bout experience during his amateur days, he doesn’t feel like fighting for his first pro championship will overwhelm him.
“I’ve had four amateur title fights, so it’s not really a big deal for me,” said Newson. “The first (amateur title fight), yeah (it was a big deal), but I’m not really paying attention to it honestly.”
Having made incremental steps forward since he turned pro in late 2015, Newson is just looking to continue a similar pace as he works his way up the bantamweight ranks.
“I took the time and went over each fight – even the ones that I won – and took time off and drilled and worked on the things I felt I needed help with,” Newson said. “I feel like I’m going in the right direction.
“I’m taking tiny steps. As long as we’re moving in the right direction, I’m cool. I’m 28; I’m just hitting my prime, so I’ll just take it one fight at a time.”
(Photo courtesy of Submission Underground)