Dustin Jacoby is being thrown right back into the fire after his stint in kickboxing, facing Ion Cutelaba tonight at UFC Vegas 25.
Flashback to August of 2020. Dustin Jacoby had just come back to the world of MMA after a long stint in Glory Kickboxing. He insists that it was always the goal to make his way back to his true love, but the success he saw with the bigger gloves paid the bills in the meantime. All of his wins in the square ring made it so that the UFC was willing to give him a shot on the Contender Series.
Fast forward eight months. Dustin Jacoby is now heading into his third UFC bout with as many wins. He looks like a force to be reckoned with at 205lbs. And while this eight month span seems quick to the naked eye, Jacoby knows that his whole career has been like that.
“Really, it’s what the last 10 years have been. I turned pro in November of 2010 and by October of 2011, just nine months later, I was in the UFC,” Jacoby said. “I think that happened a little bit too quick. I was young and there was just so much experience that I hadn’t had yet.”
But while it was all too quick then, this time is different. He brings with him not only a wealth of combat sports experience, but two things that he thinks are the keys to his success.
“A short-term memory and bulletproof confidence,” he said.
That confidence isn’t blind to his past though, but rather draws from his past. After having gone through all he has, he knows he belongs.
“I’ve been through this – I’ve been walking this path and my confidence is at an all-time high. I know I belong. I wasn’t even in the UFC and I was watching Cutelaba and I was telling people I could beat that guy,” he shared. “My confidence comes from the competition that I face. My last fight, Max Grishin, is one of the best light heavyweights on the roster. There are not many guys in the light heavyweight division that I think are better than that guy and I just fought him for fifteen minutes and got a unanimous decision victory.”
And he’ll carry that confidence into Saturday and his date with the aforementioned Cutelaba. He’s sure a KO will put him in the top 15 and he knows just how he expects to do it.
“Honestly, I think it’s with a knee or with a front kick to the face,” he said.
You can catch that bout with Cutelaba as part of the ESPN 2 main card of UFC Vegas 25 this Saturday.
You can hear the entire audio of this interview at 2:14.