Ep. #16 – Kurt Holobaugh

Kurt Holobaugh is a mixed martial artist who most recently competed for the UFC. He is also held the lightweight and featherweight Titan FC Championships.


Kurt Holobaugh: See yep all good yeah all right, so we’ll kind of like go back and just kind of. Like recap, I guess some of the stuff we talked about the other day. Hopefully we don’t have any technical issues this time around. So I guess how have you been since, since the other day? And how are things going, I saw you post a picture of you or video in training with your with your son. So videos are online class videos everyday and he’s my main partner that I’m using it on and he’s actually been training jiu-jitsu. Since he was three about three and a half years old and he’s about to be 10 but man, he competes in all of our local tournaments that we do local jiu-jitsu tournaments I’ll. Let him do the grappling matches in the cage, and you know he loves it. So he’s my work-in-progress he’s my my little project yeah. He did a pretty good job holding holding holding the mitts so pretty good. Is he had any interest in any interest in throwing hands or just to Jitsu? For now with me, pretty good, so I’ll, probably poach that here too he’s got some hands-on. He hits hard, especially for a 10 year old or 9 year old. It’S a it’s good. I yeah! You know I wish I started young. You know it’s a lot harder to pick it up now 24 than it is a tenor even younger Lee. He said three, I guess what advice would you give to parents who, I guess our hesitant to put their kids in in martial arts? You know it’s. Probably one of the best things you can do just just to have a sense of self-confidence to know that. Okay, my kid will never be boy, I know 100 %. He will never be bullied him or sisters, my daughter’s trained as well. You know and most of all the kids in my class, you know I never see these kids being able to be bullied at school yeah. It also teaches them discipline and I think one of the biggest lessons is uh like they aren’t gon na be bullies either, because you know they teach them respect in the gym right. You bow after every fight or after every every match, and I think discipline is one key thing that anime teaches that some other sports don’t yeah most. Definitely you know and I’m big on discipline. You know you know. All of my kids are very well disciplined. All of my students in the gym or great kids – I don’t – I don’t – have any bad kids in my gym. You know all of them are great kids. What what ultimately got you into it and the man I was. I was reading a little bit about your your past and you wanted to be a boxer. Is that is that correct yeah, when I was probably about my son’s age when I was 9 or 10 years old? That’S back when Tyson was a. You know real big and you know they had the Tyson in the Holyfield boxing matches, and I was really into that and I remember saying telling a guy one day. You know you know at that time when your fingers old – you just you know just talking and then sorta became a reality. You know I started training jiu-jitsu when I was about 20 years old and you know doing mixed martial arts well boxing and kickboxing, and I knew I wanted to fight in a cage, and I got that first cage fight and you know I went from there. My fourth amateur fight – I remember my coach, saying, can’t wait to see you in the UFC one day and I’m thinking you know, that’s only I’m still watching this on TV, that’s only a dream. You know I’m fighting amateur, but and next thing you know a couple years later there we are yeah yeah, I mean you had a wild journey. I think, is the best way to put it. Eighth-Notes. 1902 start your career font, Pat Healy and Strikeforce, which a lot of people forget about Pat Healy, but he was. He was one of the best lightweights in the world that at one point he was a man, you know, and anybody that’s watch that fight. If I were just oh, like I know I could, I think I could have won that fight. Yeah yeah you’re only losses like we said the other day. I’Ve really been to killers like UFC fighters, former UFC fighters, Strikeforce champions Andre Harrison but, like you know, they’ve only been top notch guys and those are pretty much but like outside the UFC you’ve beaten top notch, guys to like Cedeno and des Green. So we talked a little bit about what what is next. You said you were staying ready. What? What is it you want? What are you looking for um? Well, of course I would love to go back to the UFC. I would love to get one of these late notice calls to go fight on that Island. You know, I know they got that here at Island. I think off the coast of San Francisco or something like that or California, and you know that would be fun, but I’m just open anything man is right. Now it’s been almost right out of year. I think I fought May last year when I fall uh Brazil and you know it’s like when you ain’t fall in a year you get really hungry and you want to fight so we’ll see what happens with all the corona stuff going around. You know. I do think the UFC will be the first sport back and I’m sure other organizations to follow right behind. Even if it’s a you know a low competitive cry out or empty no crowd in stadium arena. You know, I think, there’s gon na be some phone calls being made and hopefully I’ll jump on. One of the calls are you open to competing in organizations abroad like, for example, brave or one or you looking primarily to stay. You know in the United States um right now. I would like to stay in the United States. Well, it all depends. It all depends on what they call what they offer where it’s at, and you know I’ll get with my management sucker-punch. You know Brian in those guys and we’ll figure it out. You know I like to leave everything in their hands. You know it’s a reason that you know that’s the reason I got a manager and I love those guys and they’ve taken me. They taken care of me since day, one so um. You know if they call and say hey and I’ve never turned a fight down either every time they say you want to fight. I say I’ll, take it one. Other guy gets worked out or not. You know. I’Ve never turned down a fight, so they know, and Brian already knows when he calls me and asses me. He already knows the answer. He just said. I was meeting here so we’ll see if they call for something yeah have you ever had any like knacking injuries or anything like that anything lingering here. Are you a hundred percent good to go? If the call comes, you know, I had a little Andrea a little while back, and I think was just something like a nerve in my shoulder or in my back, and I always get those quite often, especially when I’m cutting a lot of weight. You know I seen always always pulled muscles in my shoulders in my neck or something like that and just recently it was pretty bad. I fought through it. I took a couple weeks off training and now, with the quarantine and stuff like that, I’m actually just getting back into uh. You know everything feeling normal with my shoulder, so it’s been pretty well, I’m feeling good, I’m training here and there you know when I can at my house, hopefully by the 1st of May they let us open the gyms back up. You know, and we get back in and you know get things rolling again. We we talked about the your weight class the other day as well. We, we kind of talked a little bit about how you can fluctuate either between 45 and 55 UFC express interest. If you were to be a 45 er, I always thought cardio was the one thing that you had as an advantage over a lot of your opponents is: what is the move? Do you think? I know you talked a little bit about 55. Where would you like to see yourself um, you know it depends on where it is, and one thing my manager Brian has mentioned to me – may be doing a couple catch weights at 150 until we get back into the UFC or get a couple wins racked up. See if Sean in the UFC want to take me back – and I think 150 might be – you know that weight class that I might would do the best at it. That was a weight class. You know everybody’s got that certain weight do they feel all cement and 45s. Almost like it’s a little too much for me to cut but is, and you know, for the UFC or maybe for Bellator or pfl the tournament. I would most definitely jump on and do it, but I’ve always felt comfortable at 55 in 55. Isn’T the struggle of a cut mentally and physically? That 45 is but I’m walking around right now during the quarantine, you know not on no strict diet. You know cooking every night and eating good and I’m walking around 172 173. So I’m right there in the middle we’re out there like. I could either one yeah. That’S pretty, like you think guys like Kevin Lee, who are huge right. Those guys can get up to 200 and they fight it one he can make 155. So that’s where, like that size thing it’s I think I think you know a lot of people are aren’t a fan of too many weight classes because there’s a lot of champions like boxing, but I do like the idea of having them at least every five pounds, Because it almost puts you in a disadvantage like if you go into it, fight against a 55 or who actually is 200 pounds, it puts you at a huge disadvantage, yeah and yeah. That’S true, and you know if I was gon na fight at 155. You know it would probably all depend on the matchup to you know. I wouldn’t want to jump in and fight a guy that cuts from 200 pounds to 155 and then the next day or fight night. You know I’m back at 170 175 and you know him. 190, you know because yeah we’re cut down to 145, I’m tipping 170 every bit of 170 when I get back in the ring the next night. So you know I put a lot of weight back corn and up typically I’ll do about the same. Even if I cut to 55 or 45, I’m still between 70 and 75 on fight night, as a fan, it almost blows my mind that people can put that much weight on overnight. What what is it? Is it just constantly eating constantly drinking? Well, I mean you got to be careful with it, because you will hurt your body and you will feel like crap. You know mainly it’s the hydration, because whenever you cut weight most fighters they don’t just walk into the sauna cut two pounds. You know a lot of fighters, are, you know, maybe 15 pounds over on um. You know the day I’m Way in and they cut that 15 to 10 pounds in the sauna, cut all the water weight out and then you can get out and drink a gallon of water and that’s just gon na put you eight pounds instantly right back home. So you, you know: you’re, probably gon, na drink, two gallons or eat two meals, three meals and right there, you’re, probably looking at 15 to 18 pounds, it’s crazy to think about that. It just doesn’t seem like it from someone who doesn’t cut weight. It just seems super unhealthy, but uh. Obviously everyone’s doing it and there’s not hasn’t been that many cases of serious injuries, but it’s just from someone who doesn’t have to cut weight. It sounds crazy, yeah, healthy thing to do to your body, but you know it’s. It’S part of the sport, and you know it’s what we do yeah. Is there a uh? This is a question. I’Ve always wondered because, because you’ve obviously fought and UFC what is it four times, five times yeah five times um has there ever been a fighter where you met and you’d like? Oh, my god, it’s like George st. Pierre, like have you ever been star, struck by another UFC fighter. I will say lately: no, but whenever a fall Strikeforce and I showed up Oklahoma and got out the car to walk into the hotel, the first guy I seen was Jacare and I’m like. Oh [ __ ], there’s Jacare, you know, and you know I was a little star-struck there and then you got DC walking around you know that was a huge card that has a lot of you know, legends and future legends on it. So how it’s a great car to be a part of, and for that being my first big event, you know UFC level. I was pretty starstruck with a lot of those guys. But after that you know, I’m, like you know, I’m one of these guys. True yeah yeah I mean it’s just it’s yeah, there’s, there’s a lot of fun. First time I met a UFC fighter, it was TJ grant because he were both from Halifax and I met him. He actually came to facility. I was working on. He came to a hot tub and I walked in I’m like. Are you TJ grant and yeah? He was like yeah and I ended up going to his gym to train there simply because of that conversation. So it’s funny how like just a meeting like that can can inspire someone to go out and get involved in the sport. But TJ was the first and then I met Anthony Smith and same sort of thing starstruck, but other final Strikeforce. There not a lot of people realize I think it’s myth for drag racing on that car. You know I will start drug by a lot of those guys that night, what what are your predictions for 250 that may or may not happen location to be announced. Potentially, there’s a lot of questions surrounding it to begin with, but we’ll stick with the main event. I guess the rumored main event Tony Ferguson, who made weight today, even though he didn’t have to fight which is crazy to think about, but if anyone’s gon na do it, it’s Tony and just engag. Who would you have in that fight man? I’M gon na take Justin gates. Yeah I’ve always been a fan of Justin gage. He even from his days back in World Series. You know I’ve always thought he was a monster and I remember when I used to want to fight just engaging – and you know as I’ve gotten older and you know years later, I’m like thank God. I didn’t fight that dude back when I wanted to either probably killed me, but I think you know he’s one of the toughest guys in the sport and I love the way he approaches a fight to do it. He just don’t, he doesn’t care, he doesn’t care if he gets tired. He doesn’t care if he gets hit. You know, of course he cared, it would be wins or losses, but he goes out there and he puts it all on the line and I think his kicks is gon na be the factor his kicks and it’s wrestling is gon na, be the factor. That’S gon na play out in the fight with him. I Ferguson, so I’m gon na take em. Take agent yeah, it’s it’s funny because I have I have it the same way for almost the exact same reason. It’S just who knows what gage is gon na. Do right, if he chooses to throw his wrestling out the window, it could be anybody’s fight. I don’t think he’s gon na use his wrestling, but I think this is ready to stop Tony’s takedowns, because Tony oh shoot Tony, I try to you, know, engage in the clench and you know some trip takedown and stuff like that, and I think that’s where gaijin Is gon na use his wrestling because you can go back Tony’s been in trouble in a lot of fights. He’S just feels his way out of it not gon na quit. That’S the thing and I’ve seen guys like Tony. They just don’t have a mentality that their brain doesn’t read her stuff or register Scotland. When they get hurt, it doesn’t register quit when he gets hurt. He just he’s gon na keep going and going so. The only way to beat him is to take him out. Cuz you’re never gon na break you, but I think you know after a bunch of leg kicks and he can’t walk or can’t put pressure on the leg. You know I think I think engage he takes it. Yeah, that’s good, a good prediction and good analysis there. I have it the the exact same way, if there’s, if there’s a fight for someone who’s, not necessarily familiar with your fighting, if there’s one fight that you’re, like you got to watch that one that’ll give you an idea of who I am as a fighter which Fight would it be, I mean I would love to say just engaging, but you know I don’t get hit as much as him. So I’ll fight the same way I’ll fight going forward, but I don’t take that bad amount of damage. So that’s a tough one. Is there is there a fight in your career where you’re, like that’s the best fight of my career yeah? I feel like that fight right. There I felt like there was never a time when I got tired. There was never a time I felt in danger. You know him and you Dennis Daniel. You know back to back. I felt like nobody could beat me that night yeah so and last last question non MMA. What are you? What are you watching? What’S on TV? Well, you! What are you doing to occupy yourself? Obviously, you’ve got kids running around, but other than that. What are you watching? Well, where I live, we don’t have the best service. I have satellite internet and lately for the last month i hadn’t even been able to finish a netflix film, but you know I like to just surf Netflix and find a good series to watch. I’Ve started watching Ozark a couple months ago. Yeah, I got them to the second season. I hadn’t got to finish yet. I hadn’t got to watch Tiger King, but there’s been theories on Netflix like shooter. I just watched that not long ago. The Punisher is one of my favorite series on Netflix and you know anything to do with fighting or the UFC I’ll watch a lot of access fights, and you know, fight, past fights and stuff like that all right. Well, thank you very much for for jumping on man. I appreciate you taking the time to talk to me and all the best. Hopefully, you get a call soon, I’m looking forward to seeing you fight again, yeah yep, so uh, two time a two-time, Titan FC champion Kurt hollow ball. Everybody thanks!

Sergio Pineiro

Sergio Pineiro is the Founder of FighterPath.com and host of the Quarantinecast podcast. Based in Canada he is both a sports journalist and MMA enthusiast. He practices the sport but has a passion for the individual stories of training, fighting and living the fighting lifestyle.

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