Austin Hubbard will make his second UFC walk in Vancouver on September 14th.
The Illinois-born fighter looks to get his first UFC win against Kyle Prepolec at UFC on ESPN+ 16.
After only 2 fights in Colorado and winning a championship with Sparta Combat League, Hubbard was able to get on UFC’s radar through LFA. He would later make his debut at UFC on ESPN+ 10 against Davi Ramos.
Now, Hubbard hopes to get back in the win column after coming up short in his promotional debut.
“I didn’t even have Chipotle or Chik-Fil-A until I got to Colorado.”
Hubbard comes from a small town where Uber is nonexistent. After going through college rather unsure of life and not reaching the goals he had while in High School, Austin knew that he was destined for more. He just didn’t know what he was destined to do.
“Finally not being in a sport, literally from when I was younger, I was just so bored.”
Although unsure, after a year of being in college and not playing a sport, Hubbard joined his cousin at a local MMA gym. He helped those training at the gym with wrestling and after 2 to 3 weeks, he knew he wanted to fight professionally.
So he asked for a job transfer to Colorado, packed his bags, and began his serious MMA journey with Elevation Fight Team.
If you ask Austin, he’s trained at many gyms but feels Elevation Fight Team is the best. “The proof is in the pudding,” says Hubbard. Not only does he have a family there, the training is truly world class.
After moving his entire life to Colorado from Illinois, there were some adjustments that needed to be made. Eventually, Hubbard got used to the traffic and having more food options later in the night.
Living the Uber schedule.
Austin became an Uber driver to make money on own schedule. Looking back, if you would have told him that he would be moving out to Denver to train with Elevation Fight Team, Austin wouldn’t believe you.
His love for MMA may have started as a hobby, but his passion for the sport grew. So he got used to the hustle, drove Uber, and continued to train hard.
It’s safe to say that Austin’s life changed after visiting Elevation Fight Team for a week while still living in Illinois. Today, he has many elite training partners in weight class and is currently on his UFC run.
This is the kind of stuff movies are made of.
A hobby turned into a UFC contract.
The lightweight was on track to becoming a Police Officer after graduating with his Criminal Justice degree. But after making his UFC debut in May and fighting for 7 years now, nothing has yet to top the moment of walking into the Octagon for the first time.
“You dream of a moment like that. Making it to the biggest stage possible,” said Hubbard. “I couldn’t stop smiling for probably 2 weeks straight. Thinking I finally made it here to this opportunity.”
His UFC debut didn’t go his way, but Austin made the proper adjustments and knows he won’t be giving his opponent the amount of respect he gave to his last one. Kyle Prepolec should expect a less trigger shy, evolved form of Hubbard come September.
“I know I belong here [in the UFC] now.”
With that first experience out of the way, he’s excited for a second go and to get his first UFC win. “I feel like I had some good moments in my debut,” said Hubbard. “I think with a few minor changes and a different game plan I could have won that fight.”
Walking away from the fight knowing he’s UFC-caliber, Austin is extremely confident heading into UFC Vancouver knowing that he can compete with anyone in the world.
Next stop: UFC Vancouver.
“Thud” is excited to get back in the Octagon and knows the fight with Kyle Prepolec is, “going to be super exciting.”
Prepolec likes to come forward like Austin, and Hubbard will be the first to admit that they are very similar. However, he doesn’t feel Kyle is a specialist anywhere.
The Elevation Fight Team prospect feels he’s better anywhere the fight goes and it will most certainly be a “fan-fun fight.” As for heading into enemy territory, Hubbard is unfazed, and is excited to fight in a beautiful city like Vancouver.
“I always feel like I shine when I have that adversity. I’m sure he’ll be the crowd favorite, and I love silencing the crowd and proving myself.”
Thinking of the fight all day, every day, Hubbard knows Kyle will be tough. But he see’s himself winning in dominant fashion every time he visualizes the scrap.
After UFC Vancouver, Hubbard hopes to fight again around his birthday in December, finishing the year with 3 UFC fights, and a 2-1 record on a new contract.
Until then, he’s made tremendous gains in his game during this “perfect camp” and looks forward to showcasing his talents wherever the fight goes come September 14th.
Listen to our full interview with Austin Hubbard on The Scrap’s official SoundCloud:
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Joel Torres is a co-owner of The Scrap and its current CEO. Torres is obsessed with MMA and holds a Masters of Science in Integrated Design, Business and Technology from University of Southern California. Make sure to follow Joel on Twitter (@joelisacoolkid).