by Mitch Gobetz – MMAWeekly.com
Hazelett will step back into the cage on Saturday night against Tamdan
McCrory at UFC 91. Hazelett is
trying to do compile a second straight win in the Octagon after his extremely
exciting fight with Josh Burkman.
Hazelett earned fight of the night and submission of the night honors in
that fight when he submitted Burkman with an armbar.
In Hazelett’s fight against Burkman, he utilized his rubber
guard very effectively against Burkman to keep him at bay. “I used it in a lot of my MMA fights,”
said Hazelett during an interview with MMAWeekly Radio. “I picked up a little bit here and a
little bit there. I’m starting to
get a little better with it now and really focus on the details of it. It’s very detail oriented. Even if I’m not locking a submission
the whole time I’m there, I’m not getting hit.”
No one is a bigger advocate of the rubber guard than Eddie
Bravo, who has propelled the rubber guard to a whole new level. However, Hazelett has never had a
chance to train with Eddie Bravo. “I
haven’t gotten a chance to train with Eddie Bravo. I’d like to pick his brain. I haven’t really gotten a chance to train with him, but I
met him a couple of times.”
Hazelett has an excellent submission game and eight out of
his 11 victories have come by submission.
His superior submission skills enable him to let his hands go in his
fights because he’s not worried about the takedown. “The main thing it does is opens your striking abilities up,”
Hazelett explained. “You’re a lot
better at striking when you’re not worried about being taken down. When you’re worried about being taken
down all the time, you’re not really going to commit to your standup and you’re
not going to throw like you would.
I don’t worry about getting taken down, so I can throw whatever I want
Standing 6’1″ tall, Hazelett is one of the taller
competitors in the UFC’s welterweight division, however his opponent is
actually taller than him by about three inches which is a little bit of new
territory for the Kentucky-born fighter.
“He’s taller and skinnier than me.
I don’t know where I fit in if I’m not the tall and skinny guy. When I was an amateur, I fought
somebody that was taller than I was, but that’s it. I’ve got great sparring partners in the gym with me preparing
Going 4-2 in the UFC thus far, Hazelett has had his share of
exciting fights in his short UFC career.
Even though he has many fast paced fights, it isn’t his goal to go out
there and be exciting. It’s just
what comes naturally to him. “I’m
sure it helps out a lot,” he commented.
“I’m not one of those guys who go out there and try to be exciting. That’s just the way I like to
fight. I hate going to
decisions. My goal is to go in
there and beat my opponent as fast as I possibly can. I try to get out unhurt. I don’t do flying knees because the fans like to see
that. I do it because I like to do
it. It’s awesome that they love to
see me do it. But that’s not why I
McCrory will be a tough competitor and a game opponent for Hazelett. McCrory is 9-1 in his mixed martial
arts career with his only loss coming to Akihiro Gono. Hazelett knows how tough McCrory is and
he is training in all facets of his game to make sure he is ready for whatever “The
Barncat” throws at him in the fight.
“What I like to do is be ready to fight in any area that the fight
goes. I obviously do a lot of
jiu-jitsu because I love jiu-jitsu, but I do a lot of Thai boxing and I do a
lot of wrestling. I really want to
have the ability to win the fight no matter where the fight takes place. You don’t want to let them have a