by Al Yu – MMAWeekly.com
Dustin Hazelett will make his UFC debut tonight, October 10th, when he enters the Octagon to take on UFC veteran Tony DeSouza. Hazelett is a 20-year old Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt under Jorge Gurgel.
“I’ve been training for almost four years now. I got into it mid-high school; I was kind of a scrawny kid and got picked on a lot,” said Hazelett. “I kind of got tired of getting picked on and not being able to do anything about it so I got into martial arts.”
Joe Riggs was Tony DeSouza’s originally scheduled opponent. However, Riggs was forced to pull out of the fight due to recent family problems. With only three weeks’ notice, Hazelett was offered the fight. The Kentucky native responded to the opportunity, “Sure, I’ll take it.”
Hazelett is a fighter who likes to stay active. He had four fights in 2005 and has already matched that number this year. Dustin commented about his plans prior to being offered the fight in the UFC.
“I was trying to get something scheduled,” added Hazelett. “I guess they [UFC] had two people back out due to injuries and family stuff.”
Many fighters don’t like taking fights on short notice.
“I do some really good work on short notice,” explained Hazelett. “The way I keep training constantly, I can make my body peak in under three weeks.”
Like Dustin, his opponent Tony DeSouza is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. When asked if he preferred to face a striker or a submission fighter, Hazelett responded, “Let’s put it this way, it’s better than facing a better striker…I don’t fear other grapplers, I’m real confident in my ground game.”
“I’m going to do this fight just I like do every other fight,” added Hazelett. “I’m not going to go in with a very specific gameplan…going to wing it like I always do and try to do my best.”
Hazelett is an up-and-coming fighter with a lot of potential. Fighting for the UFC is a dream and an ultimate goal for many fighters. With a record of 7-2, Dustin is getting the opportunity that others envy, especially at the ripe old age of 20.
“My nerves never really do bother me. I say that now but we’ll see when I get in there [laughs].”