CHARLOTTE — Pembroke native and amateur mixed martial artist Joshua Oxendine is one win away from achieving his dream.
If he defeats John Beale on May 19 in Charlottesville, Va., the 125-pounder will make his professional debut at the Elite Warrior Challenge in August.
Oxendine’s sights are already set on the second half of that sequence.
“I’m going to win (against Beale) and I’m going to go pro,” Oxendine said.
A personal trainer at RockBox Fitness in Charlotte, Oxendine understands how much work needs to be put in if he wants to achieve that result. His rigorous training routine, which includes three workouts per day, helps him stay in shape.
Several victories, including one over a highly ranked opponent, have also motivated him to work harder.
In his most recent bout, Oxendine earned a technical knockout victory against Diego Bautista at the 864 Fighting Championship: Fight 3 on March 24. Bautista is currently the top-ranked amateur bantamweight in Georgia, according to Tapology. He was the No. 3 fighter at that weight class in Tennessee and is ranked No. 7 in the U.S. Southeast region entering the fight with Oxendine.
The victory made Oxendine 5-1 in his last six fights.
Beating an accomplished fighter like Bautista was the next step in a process that began in Robeson County. Oxendine said a lack of gyms in the are made it difficult to train on a routine basis, but that changed once he moved to Charlotte.
“When I moved to Charlotte, I started getting serious about it,” Oxendine said.
He’s competed in several high-profile events, including two televised fights in Las Vegas and Reno, Nev. The most recent of those two fights, a TKO victory over Cody Schieve at the King of the Cage World Amateur Championships 4 in Reno, put Oxendine in contention for a $100,000 contract.
He ended up not walking away with the contract, which was awarded to another fighter based on fan voting. Oxendine didn’t let that disappointment bring him down, as he went on to win two of his next three fights.
Oxendine said participating in various events taught him to be humble and focus on winning his fights, rather than getting caught up in the hype surrounding them.
He remembers competing in the King of the Cage championships for the first time in 2016, settling for a draw against Victor Sydnor in Las Vegas.
“You can’t let the big stage and bright lights get to you,” Oxendine said. “I got too excited about the bright lights. I gassed too early.”
Oxendine credits his coach, Manny Catala, for helping him work to achieve his goals. His wife, Bricella, has also been a big source of motivation for him.
“She makes sure I eat right, train and stay motivated,” Oxendine said.
Oxendine said his Robeson County roots add value to his achievements.
“I’m one of the first (from Robeson County) to do it. You don’t have to live in a big city to follow your dreams,” Oxendine said.
A member of the Lumbee Tribe, Oxendine said he is proud of his heritage and hopes the tribe will reach out and support him as he progresses through the ranks.
“I’m doing it to represent my people,” Oxendine said.
Reach Brandon Tester at 910-816-1989 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @BrandonTester.