Going into the Ultimate Fighter house, Kurt Holobaugh was ranked 4th out of 4 lightweight UFC veterans in the house. That meant he’d be scheduled to fight the #1 seed on the prospects side. While Holobaugh was up for the task, the fight didn’t go exactly as he had planned.
Hammond controlled a lot of the early fight, but Holobaugh blames one of his central tendancies as the reason why.
“As soon as I get in, because I like to just go at the guy, I like to get in his face and go at him,” Holobaugh explained. “In the Lee Hammond fight, I just couldn’t slow down. I came right out, slammed a kick into his leg and, boom, taken down. Same thing in the second round.”
Ultimately the fight worked out in his favor – scoring a guillotine in the second round. His second fight would go far better for Holobaugh as he streamrolled through Jason Knight. According to the man himself, dealing with that eagerness was the secret to his success.
“One of the main adjustments I made going from Lee [Hammond] to Jason [Knight] is I told myself to slow down a little bit. Don’t get into a hurry,” he said. “I have one of my coaches back home that he’s the first one to tell me… don’t get in a hurry. Slow it down a little bit.”
He carried those words from his coaches from home, but also worked with his TUF 31 coaches to keep the good aspects of his first performance.
“I told myself fighting Jason, I can do very well in this fight. I just don’t need to get in a hurry,” he shared. “I slowed it down a little bit, still put that constant pressure, but just controlled. I think that’s why I was able to land better shots and have that type of performance.”
Now with another full training camp under his belt and a chance to fight in the UFC octagon once more, Holobaugh is looking to replicate the performance.
“Austin [Hubbard] is super tough, super durable, but I have to fight like I fought against Jason, and I think I can put Austin away,” he said. “I can tell you it’s not going to be easy. I’m going to have to grit through a lot of things. I’m going to have to put a lot into it, but I have the ability to finish anybody in the world.”
If he does manage to pull off the victory, he’ll earn himself a thrid stint in the UFC and the title of The Ultimate Fighter. His chance to do all of that will take place on the ESPN prelims of UFC 292. Those begin at 8pm EST this Saturday.
You can hear the entire audio of this interview at 2:12.