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Thread: UFC vet Dustin Hazelett puts fighting career on hold, heads back to school

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Default UFC vet Dustin Hazelett puts fighting career on hold, heads back to school

    UFC vet Dustin Hazelett puts fighting career on hold, heads back to school |
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    Former UFC welterweight and lightweight Dustin Hazelett has put his fighting career on hold and gone back to school.

    The 24-year-old also is focusing on teaching and jiu-jitsu competitions during the break from MMA.

    The Ohio-based fighter discussed the plans with's Dann Stupp in today's MMA Insider for the "Dayton Daily News."

    Hazelett (12-7 MMA, 5-5 UFC), a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Jorge Gurgel, made his pro MMA debut as an 18-year-old and signed with the UFC just two years later. He won five of his first seven UFC fights while winning two "Submission of the Night" bonuses and a "Fight of the Night" award.

    However, following his consecutive losses to Paul Daley, Rick Story and Mark Bocek, UFC officials cut him from the roster in December.
    I hope he makes his way back to the UFC someday. I enjoy watching him fight.

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    I always felt he would make a much better teacher than fighter. Good luck to him.

    Here's some more...

    But even before the latest loss, he had discussed a possible hiatus with manager Monte Cox.

    "I had actually talked to Monte about taking a break," Hazelett told the "Dayton Daily News." "He said he thought it was a good idea. I had been fighting so much. ... I was getting burned out. I wasn't in a good place mentally."

    So, Hazelett has been attending EMT courses at Scarlet Oaks. He’ll finish in June, and then he hopes to find a job with 24-on/48-off hours. Indianapolis firefighter Chris Lytle, for example, has fought 11 years in the UFC because such a schedule leaves plenty of time for training.

    Hazelett initially dropped out of college as a teenager because his burgeoning fighting career was eating up so much time.

    "I remember talking to my parents when I decided to drop out of college and started fighting professionally," he said. "I told them, 'This may not be an opportunity I get later in life. If I wait to finish college, this opportunity may be not be there.' I don't regret that decision."

    Hazelett isn't sure when he'll return to MMA. In the meantime, he plans to compete in the Ohio Grappling Challenge.

    He's also teaching a class at Jorge Gurgel’s MMA Academy for fighters planning pro careers. Fighters must audition for the class to assure all entrants are on a similar level and versed in grappling and striking. Hopefuls can call (513) 889-5851 for registration information.

    In the future, though, could be his own return to MMA.

    "I wanted to take a break and get hungry again," said Hazelett, who's now married with a kid on the way. "When you're fighting all the time, you get a little too relaxed about it. I took the 'another day in the office' mentality a little too far. I want to wait for the hunger to come back.

    "But really, I'm not thinking too far ahead. I'm enjoying my time off. It's not really a break if you’re always thinking about your next fight."
    Last edited by Sakara=Excitement; 04-18-2011 at 02:53 PM.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Port City Canada


    Was always a big fan of Hazelett, super slick Jits for sure. His armbar over Burkman will always be a highlite tho.

    Cant knock the guy from furthering his educating. But I do wish he would keep fighting. A couple bad losses doesnt always mean the end of a career, Hopefully we get to seem him back.

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009


    Kudos to him for realizing there will be life after competitive MMA.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Joe Louis Arena


    Always enjoyed his fights. I think he could use the time off to heal up and come back even better down the road. Which I hope he does.

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