Unbeaten bantamweight Hunter Azure discusses his Octagon debut win against Brad Katona over the weekend at UFC Vancouver.
The event took place at Rogers Arena and aired in its entirety on ESPN+.
Azure discussed the big win, feeling at home in the UFC and not getting Octagon jitters, how surprised he was that Katona took him down and decided to wrestle with him in the first round, how the fight overall went how he and his team expected it go, the best advice he received heading into his promotional debut, his calm and composed demeanor, what he did to celebrate the win, his thoughts on the main event between Justin Gaethje and Donald Cerrone and much more.
The 27-year-old also said that he wants to smell the roses a little bit — not too much — following his second win in two months, but still wants to get another one in before the year is up.
“I’d like to smell these roses (a little bit), but I want to get back in there in December,” Azure told The Scrap. “I don’t want a quick turnaround, I want to take a little bit of time off, hit the drawing boards, finally working on some holes that we see and just tweaking some little game plan things. Then I’ll be ready to get back in the Octagon.”
In terms of who Azure would like to share the cage with in his second UFC fight, he doesn’t have a preference. While that has always been the case for Azure in his career, the Contender Series contract winner realizes that closed mouths, oftentimes’ don’t get fed in the UFC. That’s one thing Azure believes he will figure out as his career progresses.
“Whoever they throw at me, or whoever my team thinks is a good matchup and they want to see me fight (works for me),” Azure said. “That’s one thing I have to start doing more: checking out some of these bantamweights, do some homework and figure out who I want to start calling up, or start setting these fights up with.”
“I’ve never called anyone out. I’ve never paid attention, I just sit back. I’d rather be working and training then watching film and seeing who I want to call out.”
Including his run as an amateur, Azure is riding a 15 fight winning streak and remains unbeaten as a professional. With his wrestling pedigree and high ceiling, Azure believes that, although he has been finding success, UFC fans have not come close to seeing his best come together.
“I believe that I’m just getting started,” Azure stated. “I haven’t gotten to mix everything together, yet. Contender Series, you saw a lot of wrestling and control time from me. This fight (on Saturday) was a little more striking. Now I can start mixing things better, start chaining things together and I think it will be good for me. They’ve been booking fights for me and I’ve been having fight every two months. When I can finally train a little bit and not worry about a fight camp, I can focus on those little details. I think it will be a big change for me.”
Check out the full interview with Hunter Azure following his UFC debut win over Brad Katona over the weekend in the video below.
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The Scrap’s Mike Heck is an interviewer and features writer for FloCombat, The Body Lock, MyMMANews and BJPenn.com. Happily married and a proud father, Mike also hosts a weekly podcast called Between the Links on the Loudmouth MMA Podcast Network and YouTube page. Follow all of Mike’s exclusive video interviews at Mike Heck MMA on YouTube and follow him on Twitter (@MikeHeck_JR).