Joshua Clift prepares for his Cage debut at Craig event |

Joshua Clift prepares for his Cage debut at Craig event

Ben Bulkeley
Joshua Clift trains Monday night at Holistic Health & Fitness. Clift will be entering the cage for the first time this weekend during Rampage in the Cage.
Ben Bulkeley

If you go

What: Rampage in the Cage

When: 7 p.m. Saturday

Where: Moffat County Ice Arena, 600 S. Ranney St.

Cost: Tickets cost $25 if bought in advance and $35 at the door. Front-row seats are $50 each, regardless of when purchased.

For more information, call Karrie Booth at 824-4700.

Joshua Clift has come a long way to get inside a cage.

Last summer, Clift, 30, lived in Utah and weighed 275 pounds.

One year, 70 pounds and a move back home to Craig later, he will showcase what he has worked so hard for.

Clift will be one of the mixed martial artists competing in the Rampage in the Cage event 7 p.m. Saturday at the Moffat County Ice Arena, 600 S. Ranney St.

And he can’t wait.

“This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” he said.

“I have this opportunity now, to do this while I’m still young, and I have to.”

Clift said he has lost 30 pounds since April, and with the extra weight loss, he’s more spry and feels better.

“I was a fat boy,” he said. “I started eating right and working hard.

“I cut out fast food and started exercising.”

Clift said he had practiced martial arts before becoming a mixed martial artist.

“This is something I’ve wanted to do forever – ever since I first played around with ju-jitsu,” he said. “When I was in Utah, I watched a lot of UFC with my friends.

“When I moved back to Craig, I saw that they had a gym so I decided to join.”

With fight day looming, Clift increased his training regimen.

“It’s been going good,” he said. “I’ve been doing it all pretty much.”

While he is in the gym, Clift has worked at becoming more agile.

“When I do lift weights, I just do light and fast reps,” he said. “I’m not trying to bulk up, I’m just trying to get cut.”

Clift said he is dangerous when the fight swings to his strengths.

“I’m a ground guy,” he said. “I like ju-jitsu and submissions. I’m a fairly good striker, too.”

With less than a week to go before his debut in the cage, Clift has not slowed in his training.

On Monday, he was practicing his footwork, and Jesse Diderrich was helping him train in an unorthodox way.

As Clift stood up against the wall, Diderrich would throw a tennis ball at him. The drill helped Clift keep his head forward even while blows were being thrown at him, Diderrich said.

“I just need to keep my focus,” Clift said. “Keep a clear head as I get ready for this.”

Even with his focus and training, Clift can’t hide his enthusiasm as his fight approaches.

“I’m excited – just ready,” he said. “I definitely have some butterflies, but I’m more excited than anything.”

Ben Bulkeley can be reached at 875-1795 or

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