Joseph Holmes, known to many as simply ‘Ugly Man Joe’, picked up a big submission win in October on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. The finish of Shonte Barnes paired with the fact that light heavyweight is notoriously one of the thinner divisions had everyone sure that he’s pick up a contract. However, when Dana took to the mic at the end of the night, that wasn’t the case. He said he needed to see more from the 205er.
Luckily for ‘Ugly Man Joe’, White had a time and place in mind. Fury FC 53 was slotted for Texas roughly a month later and would be the host to Dana White’s Looking for a Fight. Holmes hopped on that card and was booked with another Contender Series alumni in Jhonoven Pati. In the early parts of that fight, he faced a pretty brutal obstacle.
“That was probably one of the worst shots I have ever taken to my private area,” Holmes said. “It wasn’t even just my nuts. It was like all of the actual thing.”
Taking the worst shot of his life to his downstairs was just the beginning for ‘Ugly Man Joe’. Not only was he facing a physical obstacle, but having just seen someone go through a similar event, he faced the mental side of things as well.
“I had just watched those fights from the week before and [Marc] Diakiese actually got knocked out after a nasty nut shot that he took,” he said. “So the entire time it was going through my head – I just can’t be like him.”
While is wasn’t easy, Holmes got back up and finished the fight in spectacular fashion. A first round knockout of Pati put Holmes in a place where he knew the contract was finally coming his way. When the UFC’s brass did reach out with it, he used the light heavyweight’s most vulnerable moment as part of the reasoning.
“[Dana] look at me and was like ‘Holmes, you came through a gnarly nut shot to come in here and do a spectacular knockout,” Holmes recalled. “Man, welcome to the UFC.”
Although he knew it was coming, it didn’t make it any less special for him. Just hearing those words brought a lot of memories back and helped him feel like it’s all been worth it.
“I melted,” Holmes said. “This is that one moment that, not only me, but every person that’s dedicated just as much as I’ve dedicated to the sport is waiting for. They’re just waiting for that one opportunity to get to the highest level and make some life changing money.”
Holmes has not yet been booked for his debut, but hopes it will come sometime in the New Year after a well-deserved holiday. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for any news of that front.
You can catch the entire audio of this interview at 2:02.