At just 20 years old, Jett Grande is looking to add a second championship belt to his collection in his young career.
Grande (6-0) will challenge Neal Gottzmann (3-0) at XFFC 19 for his XFFC amateur lightweight title on Saturday night in Grande Prairie, Alta.
Grande said a championship win on Saturday night and a successful showing at the World Championships in Bahrain in September would really help pave the way to begin a successful professional career.
“Winning this title would be another big stepping stone, and put my credentials that much higher,” said Grande in an interview.
“When I go pro, I want to be one of the best amateurs in Canada, and I think I’m on the right path.”
In addition to putting in work at his hometown gym, Arashi-Do Red Deer, Grande also made a trip south of the border to train with Erik Paulson at CSW in Fullerton, CA.
With CSW being the home of current UFC fighter Curtis Millender, and a handful of other young, promising fighters, Grande says it was a quality team to be able to work with.
“They have a really good up-and-coming fight team at CSW,” said Grande.
“It was awesome training. I was able to get in some good practice with the fight team and learned some really good catch wrestling stuff.”
Undefeated Versus Undefeated
In order to improve his record to 7-0 and add another strap to his collection, Grande will first have to get past Gottzmann, who is also undefeated in the cage.
Grande said he’s watched Gottzmann fight a few times in the past, so he has a good idea of what may be coming his way Saturday night.
“He’s a tough guy. He’s long, he’s lanky, and he’s got good jiu-jitsu,” said Grande.
“He’s a good, all-around fighter, and I expect it be a good, hard fight.”
While Grande is fresh off a two-win performance at the 2018 Canadian National Amateur Championships back in April, Gottzmann hasn’t seen the cage since Feb. 2017, where he won the lightweight title over Cam Macdonald.
With cage experience, recent form, and ability to control the fight on his side, Grande said he’ll look to push the pace and take the fight where he wants it to be.
“I see me really putting the pressure on him. Whether it’s the striking, the wrestling, or the grappling, I see me being the aggressor,” said Grande.
“Whether I beat him by decision, in the first round, or in the fourth round, I’m just looking to be one step ahead of him the whole time.”