It could be a memorable night for Isaiah Metituk come March 16.
In front of his hometown crowd, Metituk (3-2) will look to lock down his fourth amateur win in a row when he welcomes Lethbridge’s Dakota Ruttan (1-0) into the cage at XFFC 17 in Grande Prairie, Alta. for an amateur featherweight bout.
With Friday night set to be his sixth time in the cage, Metituk, 21, said he’s continually gaining confidence and progressively becoming more comfortable each time he enters battle.
“I put in the work, I put in the time, and that cage is starting to feel like my home,” said Metituk in an interview.
“All the nerves are going to be on him. This is just another day at the office for me.”
Metituk plans to bring the pressure early and often, continuing to push a pace he believes Ruttan won’t be able to match.
“I’m going to be in there like a rabid dog. I’m not going to lay off him one bit,” said Metituk.
Whether it’s a knockout, submission, or a “gritty decision,” Metituk said his main focus is coming away with the win, no matter how it’s achieved.
“It’s kill or be killed in this fight. This is four in a row. This is for a title shot. This is a big fight.”
Metituk is representing Champions Gym for this bout while Ruttan is hailing from Progressive Fighting Academy.
He said Progressive Fighting Academy fighters are 4-0 against Champions Gym fighter, so dishing out a little payback is certainly in the back of his mind.
“I’m definitely looking to get some revenge and get one back for us,” said Metituk.
Ruttan Presents Tall Task
While Metituk has the edge in experience, Ruttan, 26, does possess one significant advantage of his own; he holds a four-inch height advantage over Metituk.
But despite the advantage on paper, Ruttan said he believes his height has both positives and negatives to work with and work around.
“Obviously it gives me a reach on most opponents and makes me a lot harder to get in on, and I try and use that all the time,” said Ruttan in an interview.
“But one big disadvantage is it makes me more susceptible to takedowns, so I’ve been working a lot on my takedown defence.”
Looking forward to seeing this guy back in the gym more often this fall! @ruttan_dakota pic.twitter.com/Ji3JsrWT01
— PFA #TeamPFA (@PFAdaily) September 15, 2017
Avoiding takedowns is going to be especially important against Metituk and is Bill Mahood coached jiu-jitsu skills.
Ruttan said he’s fully aware of Metituk’s danger on the ground, but has also made great gains with his own jiu jitsu skills leading into this bout.
“From what I know, his jiu jitsu is pretty slick,” said Ruttan.
“So, I’ve been working on a lot of jiu jitsu this camp to make sure I don’t get caught in anything dumb.”
In an ideal situation, Ruttan said he’s looking to keep the fight standing, but is fully expecting Metituk to try and take it to the mat.
Although he feels he has the stronger advantage on the feet, Ruttan is confident in his skills anywhere in the cage.
“If it ends up going to the ground, my jiu jitsu’s pretty good too,” said Ruttan.
“I don’t know if he’s prepared for that.”