Juneau’s Cliff White didn’t let a dislocated shoulder stand in the way between him and one of the biggest fights of his MMA career.
White’s injury forced him into rest and recovery at the most inopportune time — less than two weeks before the 27-year-old was set to take on Robby “SuperNatural” Ostovich for the 155-pound Super Lightweight Title at Trinity Kings 7 on Saturday night in Waipahu, Hawaii. White lost via rear naked choke submission at 2:44 of the first round.
“(The injury) stopped me from working out like I wanted to,” White said. “No excuse, I lost.”
Randy Willard spent several months training White and was impressed by his resolve to go ahead with the bout, despite not being 100 percent.
“He was so ready for this fight,” Willard said. “He was training hard twice a day throughout fight camp and then (during a) sparring session he blew his shoulder out and we weren’t able to do anything. But he still wanted to fight.”
During the fight, White smashed his foot into the kneecap of Ostovich, making it hard to even stand.
“He threw a low kick to Robby’s leg and hit his knee cap,” Willard said. “Anybody who’s ever done that knows how bad that hurts. He wasn’t really jumping around and trying cut angles and stuff like that.”
Ostovich then forcefully tackled White to the ground, and quickly immobilized the Juneau fighter with his arms and legs. The Hawaiian fighter began throwing a barrage right punches, documented in a video posted to Willard’s Facebook page. White tapped out after taking about 60 punches to the head and body.
“We were just going to kind of meet him in the middle and nullify him in the first round and hope he was going to get tired,” Willard said. “Get into the second round and really apply the pressure back on him and in the third round we were going to try to get a finish. The game plan was going OK, but like I said, he blast his foot on the dude’s knee, that happens, injuries happen. No excuses.”
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.