Following an 18 month layoff, lightweight Kurt Holobaugh returned to action with a 26-second TKO of Joziro Boye at XFC 43 in the first round of the promotion’s 155lb tournament.
Coming off of three straight losses, his victory over Boye was a much welcomed return for Holobaugh following his layoff.
“That fight couldn’t have gone any better for me,” Holobaugh told MMAWeekly.com. “26 seconds, TKO, no injuries, barely broke a sweat.
“Another good thing is moving along in the tournament, I already knew my opponent and the date (for the next fight). It did get pushed back a little bit, but that gave me more time to train. Just knowing that you’re in that tournament, knowing a fight is coming, you stay training, and since that fight I’ve felt good.”
For Holobaugh the layoff he had was something of a double-edged sword. While he wasn’t thrilled about having to wait so long between fights, he was able to use the time to get himself healthy and ready for his return.
“It was a little frustrating, but at the same time it was kind of relaxing,” said Holobaugh. “It’s that much needed time off kind of.
“I kept training. I had mats set up at my house. We didn’t go to the gym for a couple months, but we had mats set up at the house and did some videos and stayed active and stayed training. Just took it as a little bit of time off. It was frustrating but good.”
On May 28 in Des Moines, Iowa, Holobaugh (18-7) will look to advance to the next round of the XFC lightweight tournament when he takes on Jose Verdugo (19-9) in a main card 155-pound bout.
“Jose Verdugo, he’s a tough guy with a lot of experience,” Holobaugh said. “He looks like he’s fast, is a hard-hitter with some power, and is a guy not to be taken lightly. Those are the kind of fights I like. I think it’s going to be a good fight.”
While Holobaugh has the XFC tournament title in mind, his attention is on Verdugo and getting past him first on May 28.
“I always kind of peek into the future, but not too far ahead,” said Holobaugh. “My focus is always on the (upcoming) fight. I want to win this fight, win this tournament, and then do what’s next after that.”