ROSS Houston hopes seeing off his latest opponent a week tomorrow can catapult him into Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) contention for its Scottish return.
The Cage Warriors ace from Inverness will be hunting his fifth professional victory from five fights when he faces home favourite Aaron Khalid in Newport, Wales, on October 14.
Rapid wins, none more so than his last outing in just 31 seconds against Dylan McLoughlin in April, has shot him into the limelight ahead of this mouth-watering bout.
UFC coming to Glasgow this year, however, has whetted his appetite for following his dream path to the top.
“I’m looking for another first round finish,” he said. “That would be three in a row and my plan would be to look for a bigger name next. A name that would set me up for a title shot next year.
“Doing well in Cage Warriors will get the UFC’s attention and I want to be on the card the next time they come to Glasgow.”
Houston will be on the main bill for his live BT Sport welterweight showdown against Cardiff’s Khalid, who has won six, lost twice and drawn once.
The mixed martial artist, who coaches at Straight Blast Gym (SBG Inverness) in the Carse area of the city, had just stunned McLoughlin before he targeted a shot at Khalid next as he seeks to soar up the MMA rankings.
“I actually asked for this fight with Aaron Khalid on the mic after my win against Dylan,” said Houston.
“I knew Khalid had taken out some good names and has some hype about him. I’m looking at this fight strategically as I want to make my way up the ladder quickly.
“Khalid is definitely a decent fighter, but without being over-confident, I don’t think he’s got anything I cannot deal with.
“My coaches and I have had a good look at him, we have analysed his stand up and his ground game. We will be doing what we can to find some weaknesses.”
“I will be coming out to throw some bombs and put him away in an exciting fashion. I want to make it an exciting fight and get another nice finish, especially with the fight being televised.”
Signed up for this past three fights by Cage Warriors, he’s fought his opponents in their home venues, but having a travelling support from the north of Scotland can spur him on.
“I will be going into hostile territory again, but I am used to that now, so the crowd being on his side won’t bother me,” he said. “I will have a decent crowd coming down from Inverness and that’s all that matters.”