UFC Boise: Kurt Holobaugh Plans on Taking the Featherweight Division By Storm

Kurt Holobaugh UFC 237
Kurt Holobaugh Credit: Keith Mills/Sherdog.com

UFC Boise comes in the wake of International Fight Week and UFC 226, but there’s a host of big names and must-see fights on the card, including the return of Kurt Holobaugh.

With a bevy of high level mixed martial arts action in the coming days it can be a daunting task for fans to keep tabs on all the exciting fighters lacing up the 4-oz. gloves this weekend. The UFC invades Boise, ID, this Saturday, July, 14 with a respectable 13-fight offering, and although names like Junior dos Santos, Chad Mendes, and Sage Northcutt will garner the majority of eye balls, it’s the unheralded fighters like Kurt Holobaugh that keep fans entertained and coming back for more.

Holobaugh (17-4) will welcome Brazilian fighter Raoni Barcelos (11-1) to the UFC on Saturday night. Barcelos is the former RFA featherweight champion and is currently riding a four-fight winning streak. The Brazilian hasn’t competed in MMA in nearly two years, which is almost a lifetime in our sport. “I’m expecting the best Barcelos in Boise,” Louisiana native Holobaugh told Cageside Press.

“Camps been great, I had a lot of time to sit back and look at the holes in my game and really try to improve upon them. Day in and day out me and my team have been getting better.”

The Louisianan last fought on the very first episode of the “Tuesday Night Contender Series”. A fight that he dominated and ended with a first round KO of Matt Bessette; the fight would later be ruled a no contest due to a re-hydration issue involving an IV.

“It was basically a big misunderstanding,” Holobaugh said regarding the Contender Series no contest. “I used an IV to hydrate back up and I guess you can’t do that in Nevada and under USADA. I’m not making excuses, but if that was made clear to me, I wouldn’t have done it.”

Holobaugh was considered one of the best 145er’s not under contract with the UFC. Now that he has taken his rightful place among the sports elite, he believes the division is his for the taking. “I plan on being ranked in the top ten in the next twelve months,” the Louisianan said.

“Everyone can say I’m on a three fight win streak but honestly if you go back and look it might have been turned to a no contest but that’s a fight I dominated and earned a UFC contract on the Contender Series.”

Holobaugh has lofty plans for the featherweight division, and perhaps rightfully so. He has only lost four times in his professional career, all by decision. Still, the loses motivate the featherweight more than a win ever could. “After every loss I come back hungrier than ever,” explained Holobaugh.

“I use that time to sit back and look at my game; I try to find areas of weakness and improve on them. I’m pretty well-rounded but if you go back and watch my loses they are all by wrestlers, so that has been a key area of improvement that me and my team have worked on.”

With the recent developments in the featherweight division, anything is possible. Holobaugh can easily go from unranked to title contention just like Colby Covington this year, but first he must get his hand raised in Boise against Barcelos.

UFC Fight Night 133 takes place live from the CenturyLink Arena in Boise, ID, this Saturday night. Early Fight Pass pre-lims start at 6:30/5:30c and the FS1 pre-lims get going at 8/7c. The main card kicks off on FS1 at 10/9c.