The judges won’t be needed for this one.
Lethbridge’s Joel Odorski (2-0, 1 NC) will welcome Athabasca’s Josh Kitchen (5-3) back to the cage when they square off in a middleweight contest at Rumble in the Cage 62 in Lethbridge, Alta. on Saturday night.
With his own track record in mind and that of Kitchen’s, Odorski, 41, said he doesn’t see this fight going the full three rounds, and would like to end it with a submission in his favour.
“I would love to get a submission; I haven’t had one since my first amateur fight,” said Odorski in an interview.
“I do think there’s going to be some good exchanges on the feet, but I think it’ll turn into a great grappling match once we get to the ground.”
In Odorski’s five combined professional and amateur fights, all but one have ended before the final bell, while six of Kitchen’s eight professional bouts also gave the judges the fight off.
Kitchen, 36, said both he and Odorski’s styles prime this matchup to be a war, and said he’s guaranteeing the judges the fight off.
“The judges can go for a beer for this fight. They won’t be needed. There’s no doubt in my mind this fight will be finished one way or another,” said Kitchen in an interview.
“I like to beat guys up, I do damage, and I stay busy. Whether it’s a knockout, TKO, or submission, I will take the first opportunity to finish that fight that I can get.”
So far in his career, Odorski hasn’t shied away from tough opponents, taking on highly-touted amateur Josh Mackenzie making his professional debut, and Eric Stevens back in his amateur career, to name a couple.
On paper, Kitchen proves to be Odorski’s toughest test to date, and Odorski said that’s exactly what he’s expecting and preparing for.
“I know he’s skilled, a very high-level grappler, and he brings it when he fights,” said Odorski.
“One thing I talked to my coach Lee Mein about is we know there’s no quit in Josh and we know he’s going to be ready to have a good old fashioned brawl.”
Odorski’s last time in the cage was back in April at Rumble in the Cage 61 where Odorski was initially awarded the win over Gage Saunders due to illegal elbows. The result was later changed and ruled a no-contest.
But regardless of the result, Odorski said the fight taught him just how much you pay for your little mistakes in the professional ranks as opposed to amateur.
“It was actually kind of good for me to have that happen. It taught me that, at this level, you pay for those little mistakes,” said Odorski.
“It was a mistake I’d been making in training, putting my head down in bad spots on takedowns, and in that fight I paid for it. That was my biggest takeaway from that fight, and something I’m keeping in mind for this one.”
For Kitchen, this will be his first time back in the cage in over five years, with his last bout being a unanimous decision loss to Tyler Siwak at Rumble in the Cage 49.
Kitchen said he doesn’t expect cardio to be an issue for him, but he’s interested to see how he reacts to being back in action in general.
“We’re going to go in there Oct. 19 and see if there’s any hesitation, and just what it’s going to be like being back in the cage,” said Kitchen.
“I’ve always been a guy that rises to the occasion. I’ve never got gun shy going into fights; I was always very relaxed and loose. I’ve prepared so long and hard for this fight that it’s not something I’m really worrying about.”
Although he hasn’t competed in an MMA fight for over five years, Kitchen has been training nearly every day for the past three years after opening up his own gym in Athabasca, New Path MMA, while also getting his own rounds in at Hayabusa Training Centre in Edmonton.
Kitchen said despite not having fought in such a long period time, teaching and training on a daily basis has kept everything fresh in his mind.
“All I do full time now is teach martial arts. I haven’t fought in five years, but every day my job is to teach and train martial arts,” said Kitchen.
“That helps relax me a bit about the time I’ve been away from the cage. The hours I spend on the mats is still vastly superior to most guys.”
“I’d like to thank coach Lee Mein, all the guys down at CMC, my friends and family, all the artists at Libertine Tattoo, and the people at Stratus Electric.” Follow Odorski on social media: FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM
“I’d like to thank every one of my members at New Path MMA that has helped me. Anyone at New Path that has done anything with me over the past two years is part of this fight camp. I’d also like to thank Luke Harris and all the Hayabusa boys, my wife, Brad Cardinal, and Clay Davidson.” Follow Kitchen on social media: FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM