Chinle MMA fighter taps out Utah veteran

By Quentin Jodie
Navajo Times

WINDOW ROCK, August 15, 2013

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Randy Yellowhair

B ased on his opponents' experience level, mixed martial arts fighter Randy Yellowhair was expecting to go three rounds in his fight last Friday night.

And based on his opponents' background, he was expecting to see some resistance.

But after sparring with Curtis Johnsen, a kickboxer, for roughly three minutes, Yellowhair master-suplexed his opponent and earned a submission win in Salt Lake City at the SteelFist Fight Night XVIII, Utah's fastest growing MMA event.

"I thought the match would go longer because he actually had a big record going into the bout," Yellowhair said of Johnsen's 10-8 record. "I was preparing to go for 15 minutes but I just executed my game plan and at the first opening I went for it."

The Chinle-based fighter said he dodged a kick to the head from Johnsen at the start of the match and on his second attempt Yellowhair took his opponent down to ground with his wrestling skills.

And after both fighters got back on their feet, Yellowhair did the unthinkable by throwing his opponent over his head and in the end he improved his professional record to 4-1.

"I choked him out," Yellowhair said. "The crowd just went crazy and since my name is unusually everybody in Utah kind of knows me. They went even more crazy when I came our with a rear naked choke hold."

Afterward, Yellowhair said he got a chance to talk with Johnsen and the Salt Lake-based fighter was displeased with his performance.

"He was surprised on how I came out," Yellowhair said of his opponent. "He was a little disappointed in himself for not going longer but he thanked me for the fight."

When asked to gauge this monumental win, Yellowhair said this fight was right up there with his first win as a professional.

"I actually felt real good when I won my first fight," Yellowhair said. "It was one of my best days of my life. This one is right up there because I took down a real big veteran in Utah.

"It made me feel real good about who I am," he added. "All my training and everything I did to prepare has paid off."

Yellowhair said winning the match was huge stress reliever and he's hoping to capitalize on this opportunity. In the near future he wants to take his fighting skills at the next level.

"My confidence level is real sky high but I am going to keep training and just focus on my next fight," he said. "I want to go as far as I can with this sport. I want to test my myself mentally and physically. My main goal is to fight in the UFC and I want to be the first Navajo to get there."

At 27 years old, Yellowhair said he's hoping to reach that goal in two years since he's not get any younger.

"I can't fight forever but usually after six professional fights is when they start to take notice," he said of the UFC management.

In the meantime, the three-time state high school wrestling qualifier said he's going to maintain his regimen and try to stay healthy.

"Everybody thinks that MMA is stepping in a cage and putting on some gloves on and fight," he said. "It's not … there is technique involved, there is meditation and there is a lot of thinking involved.

"As an athlete, being healthy is very important," he added. "I try to keep my body clean by not drinking alcohol and (refrain from) smoking."

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