Austin Hubbard reflected on his first UFC victory, the demise of LFA on AXS TV, and getting a free dinner with a body shot on teammate Justin Gaethje following Hubbard’s first UFC win.
Vancouver, B.C. — Austin Hubbard broke into the win column at UFC Vancouver off a hard-fought decision win against Canadian Kyle Prepolec. It’s safe to say the victory was a weight off Hubbard’s back, after dropping his debut bout in the promotion to Davi Ramos.
“It feels great. Just a big stress relief, once you first get that win. You don’t want to start 0-2. That’ll start changing your game a little bit,” said Hubbard. As an example, a fighter might “start fighting a little more reserved.” No worries about that now. “It feels great, I can’t really say more than that.”
Wrestling arguably made the difference against Prepolec. “Yeah,” Hubbard agreed. “I have to give it to him. He was a lot tougher than I was giving him credit for. That threw me off a little bit. I made the adjustment I needed to, and I won. I’m happy about that.”
There was no fear going to the judges in enemy territory, Hubbard told reporters including Cageside Press backstage Saturday. “No, I thought I pretty decisively won that, two and three. I know he won [round] one, I figured. I felt pretty confident that I won, but I guess you never know.”
One subject that was a frequent topic of conversation among the media Saturday was the end of LFA (and MMA period) on AXS TV. Something that feels like the end of an era. Hubbard himself is an LFA alumni and former champ.
“Honestly I had no idea about that. But man that’s unfortunate, if that’s true, because they’re such a great platform for guys to get to the UFC. I would hate to see them go away,” he said.
His favorite memory, not surprisingly, is winning the LFA lightweight title. “Definitely winning that belt. That was a big accomplishment, and that got me into the UFC. I fought a very tough opponent [Killys Mota], I was a major underdog, and came out and finished him. That was definitely probably one of my favorite memories so far.”
UFC main event fighter Justin Gaethje has been one of Hubbard’s training partners since before he’d made it to the UFC, Hubbard said. So it’s not surprising he was predicting a Gaethje win in the headlining tilt against Cowboy Cerrone. “[Gaethje] hits like a truck, I can tell you that.”
Gaethje notably offered $500 to anyone who could drop him with a body shot in the gym. Hubbard told reporters he was aware of the deal. “I haven’t dropped him, but I did get a free dinner out of him once. He didn’t go down though, so it didn’t count. It was close.”
Watch the full UFC Vancouver post-fight press scrum with Austin Hubbard above!