by Paul Gara for MMAWeekly.com
Ever wonder what UFC veteran Sam Hoger has been up to since his loss to Lyoto Machida at UFC 67? Hoger spent most of that time building up his new gym, Miletich Fighting Systems in Houston, Texas. This past September, though, marked his first fight since then and it took him just 17 seconds to get the victory by TKO over Jason Doloff.
On Saturday night, Hoger will dust off his gloves again and is set to take on “Big” Jonathan Ivey in a heavyweight title fight. The fight will take place as the main event for Urban Rumble Championship 3 in Houston. Hoger has a lot of respect for his opponent, but feels he will be able to handle the fight wherever it may go
“Ivey is strong standing up and he’s strong on the ground. So, I’m going to take the fight wherever it goes, and I’m just gonna come out there and start playing right away. I’ve been working on some pretty interesting tactics, so I’m looking forward to it.”
People may remember that he competed in the UFC at 205 pounds, but his most recent fight was fought at heavyweight, as will Saturday’s fight. Heavyweight is where Hoger feels most comfortable and he plans on staying there from now on. “I definitely want to stay at heavyweight, because 205 pounds is just unhealthy for me. I end up sitting in a sauna, spending more of my time cutting weight rather than training.”
Once accused of being a thief during his time on The Ultimate Fighter season one, Hoger now plans on giving back, to his community that is. “I want to announce to everybody that Miletich Fighting Systems Houston has a kids program, and if a parent can’t afford it or they can only afford to give a dollar a month, we’ll do that. For a dollar a month, just to get the kids in there, off the streets, away from gangs, away from drugs and (into a) positive environment in which we will be able to build them to such a degree that they will become assets to society.”
Hoger is also in no hurry to get back to the big stage just yet. “My goal right now is just to fight and enjoy the sport as much as possible, because, in all honesty, I’m building my business out here.”
His main focus for now is to continue with the development and growth of his gym, but he wouldn’t be completely against an offer from a larger promotion. “If the UFC offered it to me or Affliction or anything else, if it happens it happens, but it’s not an end all, be all goal like it was after I graduated from college.”
Hoger would like to thank: Clinch Gear, Nutrition Deport, Smart Driver, S&E Business Group, Erica Dugger, Alex Lopera, John Cho, Dr. Jim Weller, Mom, Dad, God, Leroy Franklin, Tim Mousel, Son Tran, and Sal Carrillo.