You may know the likes of Dominick Cruz, Urijah Faber and Michael McDonald, but there is another name that is on a mission to prove he is worthy of consideration as one of the best bantamweights in the UFC.

Jeff Hougland isn’t a household name, with only one UFC bout under his belt, but he will be a part of this Tuesday’s UFC on Fuel TV 3 main card in Fairfax, Va. “Hellbound” is healthy, focused and ready to put on a show.

“I’m healthy for this fight and in great shape,” Hougland told The MMA Corner. “I’m looking forward to this fight; it should be a good one.”

It’s been almost a year since Hougland last stepped foot in the Octagon, and he has had a difficult road leading up to this point. After defeating Donny Walker at UFC 132 in July 2011, Hougland went back to work to prepare for another opponent, Mike Easton. However, a broken hand while sparring sidelined Hougland for the remainder of the year.

The 33-year-old got a call to fight top contender Renan Barao at UFC 148, but due to a mix-up, Hougland was inserted to fight Yves Jabouin instead. Even though Barao would’ve been a huge fight, Hougland took the fight with Jabouin right away.

“I said yes because it’s a hard fight and it’s sooner,” Hougland said. “I’m looking forward to it.”

Jabouin is a tough veteran, with a record of 17-7 including 11 knockouts. “Tiger” is also on a roll with wins in his last two appearances, and will be a tough test. Hougland is aware of what Jabouin brings to the table and is preparing for a war.

“The guy brings it and comes to fight,” Hougland stated. “He’s had two decisions recently that were splits, but he always tries to finish and that’s good. I’d rather fight a guy like that than somebody who is gonna hold you down and be boring. He’s an action fighter and so am I, so I think that will make for an exciting fight for the fans.”

If you go back and watch Hougland’s last fight, you’ll soon learn that he is a beast once the fight hits the ground. The Washington-based fighter has submitted seven of his 14 opponents faced, and is hoping to add another on Tuesday.

“I definitely would love to take this fight to the ground,” Hougland indicated. “If I could make him fight in my world that would be much better for me, but he’s a gamer and so am I. This fight will be all over the place and one of us is gonna get caught. I’m gonna get a submission or he’s gonna catch me on the chin.”

Hougland (Rob Tatum/The MMA Corner)

Like the rest of the division, Hougland has his eyes set on the bantamweight belt. Jabouin will be the first step in “Hellbound’s” quest to become the next in line for a title shot.

“If I win, I want another step up in competition. I got one this time in Yves and I just wanna work my way up the chain and work towards that title shot like everybody else,” exclaimed Hougland. “I wanna take a crack at that belt and prove that I’m the best 135-pouder out there.”

Hougland vs. Jabouin is sure to be a match-up that shouldn’t be overlooked, and is a sleeper pick for “Fight of the Night.” On Tuesday, you’ll witness two bantamweights go toe-to-toe, and according to Hougland, the bout won’t go the distance.

“We’re both gonna swing for the fences and one of us is going to get knocked out or submitted.”

Jeff would like to thank all of the people at his gym Combat Sport and Fitness, his training partners, all of the guys at Dynamic Martial Arts and Fitness in California that helped him, his jiu-jitsu coach James Foster, and strength and conditioning coach David Paterick, as well as his sponsors: Venum Fight Wear, Lexani, Iridium Sports Agency, Alias Society, Clinch Mouth Guards, Watterson Excavating, Room 25, and Puro2healing. You can follow him on Twitter @JeffHougland

Photo: Jeff Hougland (L) (Paul Thatcher/Fight! Magazine)

About The Author

Corey Adams
Staff Writer

Corey Adams didn't grow up watching mixed martial arts, considering the UFC was just getting started the year he was born, but in his teenage years, witnessed the action and has fallen in love with the sport. Corey was the first to join The MMA Corner staff -- other than founder Josh Davis -- and has been writing for the site ever since. Corey attends Austin Peay State University, where he majors in Communications with a focus on journalism. When he's not covering MMA, Corey is still writing on many sports with both local and campus newspapers. His favorite sports teams are the Atlanta Braves and Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at the link below.