Dustin Jacoby on UFC Kansas City, Working with Olympic Wrestler David Taylor

Dustin Jacoby, UFC Kansas City
Dustin Jacoby, UFC Kansas City official weigh-in Credit: Eddie Law/Cageside Press

Ahead of Saturday’s UFC Kansas City, where he fights Azamat Murzakanov, light heavyweight Dustin Jacoby has been working with an Olympic caliber wrestler.

A highly decorated amateur wrestler, David Taylor won a gold medal in freestyle wrestling at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Of late, he’s been in the gym at Factory X, doing a bit of cross-training.

“David’s been out training with us a couple different times. Obviously he’s a very high-level wrestler, an Olympic champion, and a world champion,” Jacoby (18-6-1) told The Top Turtle Podcast on Cageside Press recently. “He’s always welcome at Factory X.”

As for how it all came about, “I believe my manager Jason House at Iridium Sports Agency has that connection. David was just wanting to come out and get some MMA training. Obviously he’s still competing and chasing an Olympic title and world title, he’s doing his thing, but maybe some day he gets into MMA, I don’t know.”

“He’s a great addition, having him this week and his wrestling is just second to none. And he’s a great guy as well.”

If Taylor were to make the jump to mixed martial arts, Jacoby noted that he has a key skillset already — arguably the most important base in MMA.

“He’s obviously got the number one martial art in wrestling in the back pocket, at the highest level. And I think that any time you’re that caliber of wrestler, it can translate well into MMA,” suggested Jacoby. “A fight is a fight and you’re going to have punches thrown at you, and it really tests a guy. We already know he’s hard-nosed, he can grind out wins, he’s that kind of guy but what can you do when you get hit in the face? That’s something he’s going to answer if he chooses to do so.”

Jacoby reiterated the Taylor is still chasing his wrestling dream, but added “I believe if he does transfer to MMA, he’s got the number one ingredient to be successful.”

As for Dustin Jacoby’s own fight, the plan against Murzakanov is to take him into deep waters, “and once he starts slowing a little bit, take advantage of that.” He believes he’ll win, though he’s not giving a prediction as to how, or in what round — something friends looking to win money on DraftKings and the like frequently ask him about.

“April 15, I 100% get my hand raised,” predicted Jacoby. “I don’t know how it’s going to happen, I just picture getting my hand raised.”


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