Hatton returns to MMA ring Saturday at EQC


Over the past year, Aberdeen’s Jeff Hatton has been in a tough run of mixed martial arts matches, losing three of his last four bouts, including one in Chile in an international grand prix matchup.

On Saturday at 7 p.m., Hatton will return to familiar territory at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma to take on Spokane’s Josh Rettinghouse in a three-round bantamweight bout at CageSport XXVI.

The Hatton-Rettinghouse bout is the semi main-event fight on the card, which includes a CageSport Heavyweight Championship main event bout between champion Anthony Hamilton, of Redmond, and Everett’s Matt Kovacs.

Hatton (7-3) has two other CageSport fights in his professional career, including his first pro loss — a first-round TKO loss to Brandon Hempleman for the CageSport bantamweight title in April, 2012. Hempleman, of Boise, Idaho, recently lost a nationally televised three-round bout to Marlon Moraes by unanimous decision at World Series of Fighting 4.

After defeating Brett Boksa on live regional television at Combat Games Grand Prix at Snoqualmie Ridge in October, 2012, with a first-round armbar submission, Hatton lost twice in a five-week span. The second came in December when Hatton flew to Santiago, Chile for the main event bout in the Chile vs. USA Masters Fighting MMA card.

Against Matias Vasquez, Hatton traded blows, but had to submit to a triangle choke in the second round.

Saturday’s bout will be Hatton’s first MMA fight since the Chile trip. In between, Hatton made his traditional boxing debut at the Little Creek Casino in Shelton in June. Hatton lost in the first round by TKO.

Rettinghouse (8-2) has fought five times this year, winning four of them. In his last two fights, both of them on CageSport cards, Rettinghouse lost a CageSport bantamweight championship bout and rebounded three months later. In the title fight, Rettinghouse lost late in the fifth round by rear-naked choke submission to Vancouver’s Cory Vombaur. Two months later, he knocked out Zach Skinner to set up this fight with Hatton.

Neither fighter has any common opponents in their careers. Both have won the majority of their fights by submission and their losses have also come from submissions.

Tickets are on sale now at the Emerald Queen Casino I-5 Showroom — $35, $55 and $100 — and at Ticketmaster.com.

On The Web: Hatton vs. Vasquez — http://youtu.be/wIm28_VhCwY