It was a very, very, very tough training camp last time out for former UFC fighter Austin Hubbard.
Since leaving the UFC, Hubbard is 2-0. Earlier this year, in July, he defeated infamous Ultimate Fighter alumni Julian Lane and then, most recently, he picked up the Caged Aggression Lightweight Championship by defeating Kegan Agnew.
It was amazing for Hubbard (15-6) to even make it to the fight because he had an absolutely terrible fight camp. The worst of his career, in fact, and there was no way he could pull out because he needed a paycheck.
“So this fight meant a lot to me, and I was dealing with a lot. And financially, I had to take the fight. That was, I mean, the number one reason why I couldn’t back out,” Hubbard told Cageside Press in an exclusive interview recently. “I lost my brother getting ready for this fight, and I really wanted to do this fight for him and honor him and put on a performance for him. So it was important to me to show up and get this win. Nothing was gonna stop me.”
On top of losing his brother, Hubbard was coming to the fight pretty badly injured.
“So probably about a month, month and a half out of before the fight, I hurt my elbow and I [still] can hardly straighten it. I can’t bend it all the way. It hurts to throw crosses. I really need to get that looked at,” Hubbard said. “Then, the week before the fight, I hurt my heel, and I couldn’t even put pressure on it. It was all black and blue and I couldn’t walk on it. [My heel] wasn’t as worrisome as the elbow, like that definitely had more effect on it. But luckily, I was able to still perform and come away with a win. So that was most important.”
The 30-year-old fighting out of Elevation Fight Team was very happy to get the win, but more than anything, he was very relieved.
“It was relieving once it was over, to say the least. You know, I’ve never had a fight camp that I didn’t want to do. I mean, like, I had no interest in doing the training camp, even fighting, although I knew I would not pull out. But I had the motivation,” Hubbard said. “My drive for training camp wasn’t necessarily there, but I still made sure I showed up every single day and gave it my all because I knew it was for my brother. I wanted to be strong and make that happen and do it right. That’s what carried me through.”
“It wasn’t until like a week or two out from the fight that I actually got excited about the fight and like motivated for the fight. It was still, you know, stressful dealing with injuries, and that really hindered the way I could train. I had to be careful of it. I went Southpaw in the fight just simply because of the injuries. But yeah, it was once that fight was over; it was relieving. I had felt like I couldn’t deal with anything. I had to suck it up and just keep going forward.”
Now that the fight is over, the pressure is gone. I can relax. I can breathe, I can heal.
Hubbard hopes to get a call from a major organization after his last two wins.
Watch the rest of our interview with Austin Hubbard above.