By KOTC Staff
Joe Cronin’s first trip to Canada proved to be a successful one, as the American veteran defeated King of the Cage Canadian Middleweight Champion Elmer Waterhen last weekend, to secure his 17th pro win. Cronin battled Waterhen at KOTC Canada’s November 18th “Obsession” card in Edmonton, and forced the resilient vet to tap out in the second round.
“First round I would have to give it to Elmer,” Cronin acknowledged about the non-title fight. “We were throwing some combinations back-and-forth, and I had a takedown at the end, but I don’t think it was enough to take it. In the second round, I kept hitting him with a left hook, and hit him about three times and it ended up putting him down. I was ground-and-pounding him, for what seemed like forever, to the point where I thought the ref might jump in but he didn’t. Elmer turned, and wasn’t letting me get the rear-naked-choke, so I went for the three-quarter-nelson, neck crank.”
Heading into the bout, Waterhen stated that he believed Cronin would pose a threat on the ground, due to the Arizona fighter’s extensive record and experience training with BJJ black belt Shannon Ritch.
“I do that move, it’s an old school wrestling move that I use,” said Cronin, while discussing the fight ending submission. “If it’s applied hard enough, it can definitely get people to submit because something’s going to break.”
“I was applying enough pressure where I was waiting for him to tap out,” Cronin added. “I got a little scared because something was going to break; there was a lot of leverage.”
When KOTC caught up with Cronin prior to “Obsession”, the middleweight referred to Waterhen “as a tough, old school veteran.” Of course, long time KOTC Canada fans are well aware of Waterhen’s heart and toughness, and now more than ever, Cronin agrees with that assessment.
“He’s definitely a beast,” said Cronin. “Where I thought the referee could have possibly stopped it, he just kept working and fighting through it. He also proved to me that he kicks like a mule. Right now I heard he wants a rematch, and I wouldn’t mind fighting him again but I’m not sure I should because he’s really tough. The fight could have gone either way.”
“He kicked me with a body kick that left a welt across my chest,” Cronin furthered. “It almost folded me; I just kind of bent down and fought through it, but yeah, he’s really tough.”
Now having fought in Canada for the first time since he began competing professionally in 2002, Cronin says he’d be interested in making the trek from the U.S. once again.
“For sure,” said Cronin, when asked if he would be interested in competing for KOTC Canada in the future. “My experience with King of the Cage was really good. The promoter and everyone I dealt with before and after the fight treated me really well. I was really impressed with that.”
Of course, Cronin’s Canadian debut came in the month of November, meaning that the fighter endured a rather dramatic change in temperature from his home in Arizona.
“My experience in Canada was extremely cold; I wasn’t used it,” Cronin said. “I didn’t really get out and sights see because I was there for such a short time, but other than the extreme cold, everybody was really friendly. I didn’t really know how to take it...I knew Elmer would be the favorite but the crowd was still pretty friendly before and after the fight.”
Picture credit: Sherdog.com