“The Juggernaut” in his own words

Published 3:20 pm Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The night before his mixed martial arts fight against Scott Lighty, Antwain Britt read the press clippings.

“They really didn’t give me a chance, but you can never go by that stuff. You have to be confident that you’re going to go out there and perform,” said Britt.

In one five-minute round, Britt, also known as “The Juggernaut”, turned most of the pre-fight predictions upside down by scoring a TKO victory in his first fight in Strikeforce on Saturday night in San Jose, Ca.

Britt, a light heavyweight (205 pounds) MMA fighter teaches at Suffolk MMA and was right back to his day job on Tuesday, barely 48 hours after his dominating victory across the country.

“(Lighty) had big-show experience, so that made it easy to bet on him,” said Britt.

Britt knocked down Lighty four times and cut his forehead open in the first round. During the break between rounds, the fight was stopped by a doctor’s decision. It was Lighty’s first loss in six professional fights. Britt improved to a 12-2 mark with nine first-round victories.

“We knew him as being a striker, a high-level kickboxer, so I had to put pressure on him, close the distance on him and go for takedowns,” said Britt.

“The first combo I threw, it rattled him. I could see it in the look in his eyes,” said Britt.

Britt cut Lighty and blood was getting into his eyes regularly by the end of the round.

Britt hopes his performance moves him up the Strikeforce ladder quicker than expected. Prior to heading out to San Jose, Britt estimated it would likely be about four fights until he gained a title fight.

“Of course I want a title shot, but whatever the Strikeforce execs put in front of me, I’ll be ready for it. I’ll train for it the best way I can and put on a show,” Britt said.

Part of the post-match celebration on Saturday night included interviews and press conferences. It also included a party, which Britt said, was a chance to meet with executives and fans.

The messages from home were instantaneous as friends and family were just as excited as Britt was.

“Right after the fight, I saw all the texts immediately. I turned my Blackberry on and I had 40-something e-mails,” Britt said.

There’s one other way Britt is celebrating, but only for a couple days. From Friday night’s weigh-in until Tuesday afternoon, Britt said he went from the mandatory 205 pounds to 224 pounds. Part of that came between Friday night and the fight. Part of that’s come from what Britt himself describes as “gorging” since the fight.

“Leading up to the fight you don’t eat anything you want, so you take a couple days after a fight and don’t care what you eat,” Britt said.

Judging by his performance on Saturday, Britt won’t have any problem getting ready for next time.