Westcott primed for rematch after training in Vegas

Sheldon Westcott, top, battles Thomas 'Wildman' Denny at UFC 28: Supremacy in February. The bout...

Sheldon Westcott, top, battles Thomas 'Wildman' Denny at UFC 28: Supremacy in February. The bout ended in a draw. (MFC photo)

Gerry Moddejonge, Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 4:16 AM ET

Gerry Moddejonge

Edmonton Sun

There's nothing like a trip to Las Vegas to get away from all the distractions.

While it might not be an ideal retreat for everyone looking to get down to business, Sheldon Westcott couldn't think of a better place than the mixed-martial arts Mecca.

"It's the Mecca of fighting, in general. I got to go to the Pacquiao vs. Mosley fight," said Westcott, who is coming off a draw against MMA veteran Thomas 'Wildman' Denny at MFC 28: Supremacy in February.

Unhappy with his performance as much as he was with the result, Westcott spent the past month improving his craft at Wanderlei Silva's The Wand Fight Team Training and Conditioning Centre in preparation for a rematch against Denny in June.

"My manager actually knows a boxing coach out at Wanderlei's and when we signed to fight Thomas Denny, he gave him a call and we kind of set it up to get me out of town, concentrate on the fight and just train," Westcott said.

It's been the modus operandi of his young career. The former national-level track-and-field athlete traded the track for a roped-in ring with his professional debut in 2007. After suffering a loss at the hands of Victor Bachman in a split decision, Westcott changed his approach.

Though he has had just a handful of fights since then, it's been by design.

"What a lot of people do is once they start fighting, they fight every couple weeks and all they do is fight," said Westcott. "Where I had a fight, then I took a year off and got better.

"This (upcoming rematch) is probably the closest fights back to back I've had. I like to take a little time to get away and actually get better with every fight rather than just fight."

Instead of racing to put together quick wins, he has preferred to study the sport abroad.

"I went away to England, Switzerland and Amsterdam, helping Paul Daley get ready for some of his UFC fights," said Westcott. "Just kind of training all over the place and going to different gyms. I actually really enjoy it because you get a different look and you get out of your comfort zone.

"Really, you're not in your comfort zone when you're fighting, so why would you want to be when you're training?"

While Bachman remains the only loss on Westcott's 4-1-1 professional record, he counts the draw with Denny as another blemish.

"Personally, I look at a tie as a loss," said Westcott, who has 40 fights to go before reaching Denny's experience level. "It was really weird, though. It was the same result for both of us, but he was in the back extremely happy and excited where I was in the back, literally, it was a loss. I had an overall bad fight, I thought. I chalk it up to a learning experience.

"The day I'm happy with a tie, I really shouldn't be fighting."

While he valued his time there, Vegas had its share of distractions for fighters in training.

"Especially when you're dieting," said Westcott, who initially faced Denny at 170 pounds, while the rematch will be at 165. "I walked past In-N-Out Burger every day and I was sitting there like, ÔWhat I wouldn't give to eat one of these right now!' "

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/Gerry_EdmSun

 

 


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