Austin Hubbard is seeking his first win in the UFC, and he’s getting plenty of help by training with some renowned names in the sport.
Hubbard (10-3) debuted with the promotion earlier this year but would lose his lightweight bout with Davi Ramos via unanimous decision. Despite the loss and making the mistake of giving Ramos too much respect, the former LFA fighter felt he belonged in the Octagon.
“The biggest takeaway I got from that fight was I feel like I learned I truly belong there,” Hubbard told The Body Lock’s John Hyon Ko. “Even though I lost the fight, I feel like I had some moments where I shined. I feel like I gave him too much respect. All camp long, I heard how great a submission artist he is. I mean, he’s had multiple fights in the UFC, he was on a three-fight win streak, all finishes. So I think I respected him a little too much. I didn’t quite attack as early and often as I should have.
“But the biggest takeaway was that I definitely belong there. Not that I didn’t think it before but it’s always nice to have that confirmation. With that fight, I feel like I got that confirmation. I really feel like training-wise, it’s really helped me reach new levels. I’m super excited for this next fight.”
Hubbard returns to action next month at UFC Vancouver when he takes on Kyle Prepolec and will be looking to get off the mark with the promotion. The 27-year-old mentioned he was reaching new levels in training and it certainly helps when he’s doing it at Denver’s Elevation Fight Team.
With training partners such as exciting lightweight slugger Justin Gaethje and new bantamweight title contender Cory Sandhagen, Hubbard feels well prepared for his next fight.
“Cory Sandhagen just fought this past weekend [against Raphael Assuncao]. And Justin Gaethje is fighting [Donald Cerrone] on the same exact card I am and he trains on our team as well,” Hubbard added. “So those are two of my main training partners I’ve been training with. Because I was helping Cory for his fight as well as him helping me for this fight. And obviously, Gaethje, he’s fighting on the same exact card. We’ve been putting a lot of work together.
“So those are the two main names that stick out to me as specific people that I’ve been working a lot with. I feel they’re two great people to prepare me for a fight.”
Hubbard had a lot of praise for both fighters, but feels he’s benefiting from everyone in the gym as well.
“It’s awesome, man. He’s [Sandhagen] so good,” Hubbard explained. “Honestly, one of the most skilled fighters I know all the way around, on the ground, wrestling, on his feet. He is so good, so smooth, so fast. He has a really bright future and I’m super excited for him, that’s for sure.
“He pushes me in ways that I don’t necessarily get. Like his speed is something I won’t ever see at the lightweight division and the power Gaethje possesses is something. He’s world-class in that aspect. Even in fighting himself so I feel like I’m getting great looks here really from everyone on our team, not just them.”
You can watch the full interview below: