Promotional newcomer and short-notice replacement fighter Dakota Bush was in action early on the UFC Vegas 24 card. A promising lightweight prospect, he was matched up with former LFA champ Austin Hubbard at the event. Bush — who with the nickname “Hairy” clearly has a sense of humor — was filling in for Natan Levy.
Short-notice fights can be a gamble for incoming fighters — on the one hand, it’s a tried and true method to get your foot on the door in the UFC. On the other, getting blown out in your debut can leave a bad impression in the minds of fickle MMA fans.
In an effort to prevent that, Dakota Bush established his jab and lead hook early in the opening round. Hubbard dutifully marched forward, firing the odd leg kick, but Bush, rather than wait and counter, was firing first. Near the halfway mark of round one, Bush hit home with a thudding kick to the body. Hubbard, meanwhile, was finding success attacking his opponent’s lead leg. An eye poke by Hubbard would slow things down; after the action resumed, Bush looked to land left hooks and spinning attacks. Hubbard would close the frame with a late takedown. Arguably, Bush won the round.
Hubbard appeared to have found his rhythm in the second, while Bush shot for a takedown within the first minute and a half. Hubbard turned the tables, however, winding up on top. From there, he was able to eat up clock, moving into guard, then half guard, slowly progressing. The short notice nature of Bush’s addition to the fight seemed to be coming into play; Hubbard would close out the round working on a submission attempt. A much better round for the former LFA champ.
Early in the third, Bush had to fend off some heavy shots and knees from Hubbard. Eventually, Hubbard would get on top, although it was Bush who went back to his wrestling initially. Hubbard managed to move to mount, dropping elbows. Bush would scramble out, but at that point, he appeared exhausted. The short-notice debutant certainly did get his foot in the door, and early on, he showed promise. But the fight did not go Dakota Bush’s way in the end.
Official Result: Austin Hubbard def. Dakota Bush by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)