In this wonderful sport that we call mixed martial arts, there is a saying that is often uttered any time a champion or challenger enters the cage for a title fight: “It is easier to win the title than it is to keep the title.”
However, in the mind of Titan Fighting Championship’s featherweight champ Desmond Green, the opposite may be true.
“If anything, it relieves pressure,” Green confessed to Combat Press. “Going to war, it is always hard to take over. Once you’ve got it, it’s easier to maintain. I only get better with time. Every time I step in the cage, it’s easier for me.”
Green was able to snatch the title away from nine-fight UFC veteran Steven Siler in December. Green defeated Siler by unanimous decision at Titan FC 32. However, if it were not for one little thing, the fight with Siler would have become a non-title affair.
Going into weigh-ins for the fight with Siler, everything seemed all good and well. That is, until Green hit the scale and heard that he was overweight.
“The thing about last weigh-ins was, my scale was off. We also ran out of time,” Green explained. “They only gave me an hour, and instead of missing weight I decided to cut off a little piece [of hair]. You couldn’t even tell.”
Green was able to make weight with no problems after the haircut. On fight night, he executed his game plan.
“I knew he was a good fighter. He had something like nine fights under the UFC. He beat out some former champ. So I knew he was going to be tough,” Green admitted. “But the fight went the way I thought it was going to — me dictating every position. I was able to outstrike him and take him down at will throughout the whole match. I wasn’t too surprised how it went.”
On Friday, Green wants to show that it is, in fact, easier to keep the belt than to win it. The champ is set to face UFC and Strikeforce veteran Kurt Holobaugh.
The first battle in his last fight came with the scales, but Green doesn’t see another impromptu haircut in his immediate future.
“With this weight cut, I’m doing just fine,” he revealed. “I’ve never had a problem with cutting weight and I never will. It’s never been an option, so I’m not too worried. I am a pretty big 145 [pounds], so just comes with the territory.”
Holobaugh will be making his third appearance under the Titan FC banner. He is riding a four-fight winning streak coming into the fight, and he has just two career losses. Yet, Green does not see anything big in the game of Holobaugh that might give him trouble when it comes time for the cage doors to close.
“No, not really. I have done a really good job studying him and doing my homework. I am pretty much well prepared for what he is bringing,” Green said. “I think I’ll be able to get a nice, solid win at the end of the night.”
With preparation, there has to be someone doing the prepping. In Green’s case, he lets his coaches and training partners do their jobs so that he can get better. Green has a world-class coach in his corner in the form of Tristar’s Firas Zahabi.
“Since I came up to Tristar, I have definitely gotten better with everything,” Green admitted. “I think the system up here is great. There are so many coaches up here, from the striking coach to a strength-and-conditioning coach to a jiu-jitsu coach, kind of everything with the teammates up here. I am training with the best, and that is the only way to be the best.
“It’s everybody, really. It’s a family up here with everybody, all the UFC fighters and coaches. All of my private coaches took me in and helped me and showed me the way to do it. I have also had help from my teammates, which there are too many to name. It’s just one big family up here.”
On Friday night, when Green steps into the Titan cage with Holobaugh, he sees the fight going one of two ways.
“I just feel like I’m going to go out there and dominate,” he declared. “Just doing it my way — beat him up in the stand-up and then take him down. I’m going to push to try to get the early finish either by submission or TKO.”
As far as future plans go, Green sees just one banner in the sky. With each fight, that banner inches closer and closer to being in clear view.
“This is going to be my third big name in a row,” Green pointed out. “Hopefully it’s my last before [the UFC] come calling. If not, I’ll just keep taking them out.”