As the sport of mixed martial arts continued to develop more and more disciplines were introduced, and slowly, but surely more and more ‘hybrid’ fighters started popping up.
These were competitors that were no longer defined as wrestlers or jiu-jitsu practitioners or strikers. These were fighters that could easily be called the ‘Jack of all Trades’ of fighting. They understood every martial art, and incorporated it into their fighting style.
In 2012 while there are absolutely fighters who still come into MMA with their backgrounds predominantly focused in one area, the ‘hybrid’ fighter is more and more the type of competitor making their way into the UFC.
That’s where 7-0 Louisiana fighter Kyle Holobaugh fits in.
Growing up, Holobaugh was a big fan of the UFC, and after high school he wanted to try his hand at it. He wasn’t a wrestler, didn’t study karate growing up – he just wanted to be a fighter.
“I had a couple friends that started fighting after we graduated, they started doing some local cage fighting, and me being a fan that I was anyways of the UFC, I thought you know what I can do that,” said Holobaugh when speaking to MMAWeekly.com.
It turns out Holobaugh was right because through 8 fights in his amateur career and 7 more in his pro career, he remains undefeated. Being a fighter was just in his blood.
“I knew I wanted to be a fighter. And now I see guys coming in and out and either you have it or you don’t, and I knew that I had it and it was something I could do,” said Holobaugh.
After several fights in and around the local scene in Louisiana, Holobaugh decided to try out for last season’s version of the Ultimate Fighter Live. He was doing well through the tryout process, and even got flown back out to Las Vegas for the final rounds of the competition, but at the last minute didn’t make the final cast of 32.
“They were cutting guys all week and I still didn’t get cut, and I just didn’t make the final selection of the 32. Never really got cut, but just didn’t make the final list of guys,” Holobaugh commented.
Not making it only fueled his hunger even more to succeed and make it to the UFC, so as he enters his eighth professionally fight this weekend, Holobaugh is driven with the goal of fighting in the Octagon.
“To be honest I feel that I’m really close to the UFC,” said Holobaugh. “There’s guys that I train with that have been in the UFC, that’s fought in the UFC and guys that I’ve sparred with, and I feel like I match up well against them. I think I get smarter and better every day.”
Holobaugh knows that he has to win his next fight to remain on the radar of the UFC, because with a loss it all goes away. He’s also quick to point out that the competition in the UFC is the best in the world, and if he can’t be the competitors on his regional circuit than he doesn’t deserve to be there anyway.
“I feel like there’s no guy locally that’s going to stop me, and if I can’t make it past these guys then I can’t fight for the UFC,” said Holobaugh. “That’s how I’ve been thinking my whole career and I keep coming out with wins.”
For more news, rumors and information follow MMAWeekly.com on Twitter