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November 20, 2013

MMA: Iraq war vet highlights Rock card

Iraq war vet highlights 'Throwdown at the Rock' card

SALEM, N.H. — U..S. Army Capt. Jason Norwood, a combat veteran of the Iraq war, will fight Manchester’s Nate LaMotte in the main event of Combat Zone MMA’s “Throwdown at The Rock” on tomorrow night.

The New Jersey native, currently stationed at Food Hood in Texas, is also a veteran of last season’s “Bellator Fightmaster” reality TV series.

The married father of two, a West Point grad, represents Legionnaire Fight Team in the Garden State. Nicknamed “Righteous”, he pits his 12-3 record as a professional against LaMotte (12-6) of Manchester’s Team Burgess in what promises to be an intensely fought welterweight bout at 170 pounds.

LaMotte has been idle since a June 2012 loss to ranked fighter Bret Oteri.

Norwood, who was sent to Iraq at age 25 and spent 2009-2010 as an incumbent commander with 98 soldiers under him, downsplays that his opponent might have to shake off some ring rust.

“I hope to God that I get the best Nate LaMotte that has ever walked the face of this planet,” he said.

Capt. Norwood had to take leave to take this fight, which he contracted for six weeks ago after another scheduled match-up fell through. The two-time winner of the All-Army Combatants Championships, a competition featuring the best fighters from bases across the globe, is approaching this match with a strategic battle plan.

“Some of the best points of my game are direct derivatives of my military service. I do my homework and I prepare specifically for individuals. I know Nate probably as well as Nate knows Nate,” he said.

LaMotte, a Plymouth State grad, is undefeated while fighting in the co-main events on four previous Combat Zone cards. He will have a strong contingent of backers in the raucous crowd in Rockingham’s Sports Club, but Norwood doesn’t think that will make a difference.

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