After going 9-zero to kick off his professional MMA profession, Kurt Holobaugh was on the quick monitor as 2013 started. But by the point the summer time rolled round, he was 9-2 and trying to regroup following losses in Strikeforce to Pat Healy and within the UFC to Steven Siler.

4 years later, the Louisiana native is again within the huge present following a primary-spherical knockout of Matt Bessette on week considered one of Dana White’s Tuesday Night time Contender Collection on July eleven.

“Once I was there (the UFC) the primary time, it by no means sunk in, it by no means hit me that, ‘Okay, you simply made it to the UFC, you simply completed one thing that hundreds and hundreds of fighters might by no means accomplish of their MMA careers, regardless of how good they’re,’” Holobaugh stated.

“I’m only a small city child. I’m not well-known, no relations have ever been on TV or something like that, and I’m the primary. I didn’t acknowledge the place I used to be at at the moment. Now it’s like I’ve been there, I’ve accomplished that and it’s time to go for some UFC gold.”

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Fighters typically mature at totally different levels. Some like Chris Weidman can bounce into the Octagon after 4 fights and go on to win a world title. Others want some extra seasoning. That was apparently the case for Holobaugh, who didn’t get blown out in his determination defeats to Healy and Siler, however who additionally didn’t get the chance to make one other assertion within the UFC earlier than his launch.

That stung a bit as he went again to the regional circuit and commenced re-establishing himself, particularly when he watched some fighters with lesser resumes get photographs within the huge present.

“You had numerous guys who’re within the UFC who didn’t work their means up like numerous the fighters did, and I did,” he stated. “I labored my means up, I needed to struggle extraordinarily robust fights outdoors the group and you then see guys are available with 5 or 6 fights, getting within the UFC, dropping, getting second possibilities. I’m 18-four as a professional proper now, and there are guys I do know I might simply take out which are in my division, however I can inform you being reduce and having to return and getting the expertise that I’ve gotten now outdoors the UFC has helped out tremendously.”

Between the Siler battle and his win over Bessette, Holobaugh went eight-2 with victories over standouts Desmond Inexperienced, Yosdenis Cedeno and Gesias Cavalcante. 5 of these wins have been finishes, together with his solely losses once more coming by choice. So he was anticipating a name any day earlier than it got here…not for a UFC battle, however the headliner of the primary DWTNCS present.

“I knew with me and Bessette, we have been the 2 most excessive-degree guys and we had the most important data. He was 22-7, I used to be 17-four and I feel that was the rationale why we have been the primary occasion. Not saying that they didn’t produce other good guys on the market, however we have been the extra skilled guys and the blokes which were preventing throughout the UFC for years. So I figured with a powerful win I used to be undoubtedly gonna go (to the UFC).”

The 30-yr-previous was spectacular in knocking Bessette out in lower than three minutes, and when it was over, he received his UFC contract. And he has no plans to let go of it.

“I labored so arduous to get again and I do know what it takes now,” Holobaugh stated. “I’ve been right here earlier than and I’m not a rookie. I’m not gonna make the identical rookie errors I made in my earlier run and I feel I confirmed that once I stepped up in entrance of Dana White on his personal present. So I’m prepared for this now, and I’m gonna present it.”