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Mixed martial arts world champion thanks Inverness Caley Thistle for help

By Andrew Henderson

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Mixed martial arts fighter Ross Houston has revealed a little help from Inverness Caledonian Thistle sent him on his way to becoming Cage Warriors world champion.

Ross Houston is the Cage Warriors welterweight world champion. Picture: Dolly Clew
Ross Houston is the Cage Warriors welterweight world champion. Picture: Dolly Clew

The welterweight, who is now signed to Bellator, won a split decision over the defending champion, Stefano Paterno, at Cage Warriors 98 back in October 2018.

At the time, that extended the Hitman’s record to 8–0, an unbeaten record that would go on to catch the attention of the biggest MMA companies in the world.

However, speaking on the Fisticuffs podcast, Houston spoke about being injured going into the contest, and needing help from the Championship club just to make sure he stepped into the cage in the first place.

Houston, who represents Highland Martial Arts Centre, had to keep his determination high to make sure he got through the last few weeks of training. Never short of self-belief, he claimed his first world title.

“Before my Cage Warriors world title fight, my knee was in bits going in,” he recalled.

“If it wasn’t a Cage Warriors title fight, I would have pulled out. I got caught with a leg kick in sparring and it just buckled my knee. That tested me mentally.

“I went to Inverness Caledonian Thistle, and I was working with their physio. I just wasn’t accepting the possibility of not being able to fight, even though my knee was in bad shape.

“The physio was saying I needed three or four weeks really to let it heal up, and I was eight or nine days out. I was cutting weight too, so my body was more depleted than usual, which isn’t ideal for recovering.

“From a physical point of view, I got the best treatment I could get. I was doing the right rehab in training, keeping it elevated and icing it, but mentally I just didn’t accept that there was any chance of me not fighting.”

Houston was due to make his Bellator debut last month against Neiman Gracie, but it was postponed due to travel restrictions.

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