NORTH MYRTLE BEACH — Myrtle Beach resident Nissen Osterneck said he didn’t have enough fear coming into Saturday’s main event bout with Jose Figueroa.
Osterneck injured Figueroa’s nose and bloodied his face early on. However, Figueroa was not ready to give in.
After the fight went to the ground, Figueroa avoided multiple submission attempts and both fighters got back on their feet. Figueroa then delivered a huge blow to drop Osterneck before going in for the finish as Figueroa became the new middleweight champion, winning by first-round TKO in the 185-pound weight class at Warfare MMA 11.
Osterneck had a six-fight win streak snapped with the loss at the House of Blues.
“I just didn’t have enough fear. At this stage of the game you [need] fear of all your opponents at any time of the fight,” said Osterneck, who fell to 11-4 overall. “A hurt fighter is a dangerous fighter. I had him hurt pretty bad. I just got caught and didn’t see it; I don’t know what he did exactly, I have to watch the tape. But it’s disappointing when you know you’re a better fighter than someone and coming out without a victory is frustrating.
“In front of any crowd it’s frustrating; but especially in front of the hometown crowd. But that’s part of the game; you have to be prepared to lose. It’s humbling and that’s the way it is. I haven’t lost a fight in about six years and it’s hard when you’re on a win streak like that and have it snapped by just being lazy. I didn’t have enough fear.”
Figueroa found himself having to change his fight plan early, and it paid off.
“I came out and thought I was going to use my feints and set him up but he wasn’t playing that. He was throwing his fire right away, he was a little bit quicker than I thought. But he caught me good, toughened me up, and gave me the chance to man up in front of everyone and I appreciate it. I just came out and never quit and got to prove it.”
Figueroa, who was coming back from a year and a half layoff, said that he’s fought opponents in front of their hometown crowds.
“I fight guys in their hometown a lot and I’m used to it,” he said. “It’s even better getting a win in this town. I actually like that everyone supports him and that’s a great thing for a lot of up-and-coming fighters and a town like this to support everyone.
“... I don’t know what’s next for me; I just want to heal this nose up and get back in there as soon as possible.”
Meanwhile, Osterneck is unsure of what the future holds in regards to his MMA career.
“I’m 33 years old so it’s time to make the choice of where I want to take my career,” he said. “I fought in the UFC at a young age. I feel like I probably have some fight left in me, but I don’t like my brain rattled around because it’s the only we got, you know? But I love the sport; I love martial arts. I’ll take it one day at a time; it’s hard to say right now. I’ll digest the feeling and go from there.”
Skipper still perfect
Before Saturday, Conway native Marvin Skipper had never lost a fight in his MMA career.
He made sure that this one wouldn’t be his first.
Skipper defeated Stephen Eakin with a guillotine choke in the first round to improve his record to 11-0.
“[Eakin] worried me a little bit because he fought Dan Severn from the UFC and it got me a little nervous because he has experience,” said Skipper, who won nine fights as an amateur and has won two fights as a professional. “I usually scare people out there, but you can’t scare someone that’s fought a hall-of-famer. So I went in there and felt like I could end the fight quick.”
Skipper has big plans for the future.
“I want to make it to the UFC and the only way to do that is to keep on winning,” he said. “But it’s great fighting in Myrtle Beach in front of your friends and family and all these people around there. What I do is an art; this is artwork to me.”
Bushaw ‘brigade’ returns
In his first fight back from training with the Blackzilians, a professional team of fighters in Boca Raton, Fla., Brandon Bushaw defeated Dreon Martin via submission in the first round.
Bushaw’s fanbase “the Bushaw brigade” made its presence known as it was back cheering for the Myrtle Beach resident.
“I love it, first of all the Bushaw brigade makes me feel so comfortable and at home. As far as the fight goes, I knew he was going to mix it up. That was it, I choked him out.”
Bushaw (7-3) has been doing MMA for three years and said it’s difficult juggling MMA with his job and family.
“It’s tough because I’ve had a bar in the area for 10 years now. My wife and I just had a baby; she’s 7 months old,” he said. “Training a lot to fight at the top of my game is very difficult but and understanding wife and family; we’ll make it happen.”
Bushaw said he is set to make his pro MMA debut in Maine on May 10, and will be back to Warfare shortly thereafter.
“I just want to go up from here,” he said.
Gore keeps dream alive
Myrtle Beach resident Tresean Gore has dreams of being in the UFC.
And he wants to make that a reality.
On Saturday, Gore defeated Paul Feinberg by submission in the first round as he won his second fight as an amateur.
“I worked my behind off for this fight and it paid off,” Gore said. “I wanted to stand a little more but he grabbed me and I went for the blow and took him down.”
As for what the future holds for the 19-year-old fighter?
“I will stay on this path to being the best in the world, I’m going to the UFC and I’m not stopping,” he said. “I’m meant to be the best in the world. I don’t care what anybody says; I’ve had a hard life and it’s best to not sit here and complain. I go with the flow.
“... Expect everything. Expect me to do work; I’m not playing anymore. I’m going back into the gym and going harder than I’ve ever gone because I’m not going to lose; that’s never going to happen.”
Gore said he will be back in the next edition of Warfare, and doesn’t want to win by submission again.
“You’re going to see me here in the next Warfare and I need a knockout,” he said. “My last two wins were by submission; I need a knockout.”
Gore said he wont stray from the path.
“My goal is to be the best in the world and that’s my main thing right now,” he said. “I just need to take it one step at a time. It’s going to happen.”
Contact MAX MCKINNON at 626-0302.