UFC veteran Kurt Holobaugh is looking to make a return to the organization that cut him after only one loss; one loss in which he put on a great show and had many confused by his release.

Holobaugh won his first nine professional fights which allowed him the opportunity to fight, at that time, the number one contender in Strikeforce. That number one contender is the current Titan FC lightweight champion, fellow UFC veteran, Pat Healy. Due to his early success, Holobaugh knew he was going to get matched up against someone at the top, like Healy.

“I started out great. I started out how any mixed martial artist would want to start out. I was 8-0 as an amateur and then I made the jump to the professional level. My first professional fight was against a BJJ brown belt, so I was nervous going into the fight. I ended up winning by guillotine in like thirty some seconds and won my first fight. From then on I kept fighting guys and kept finishing guys. I got to 9-0 and, you know, I thought how long could I keep finishing these guys. So I knew I was going to get matched up against one of these good guys, and then I was matched up against Pat Healy.”

That fight would be Holobaugh’s first career loss. Reflecting back on it, Holobaugh is appreciative of the experience.

“Fighting Pat Healy was a very fun fight for me. I really think if I did not make the mistakes I made, the fight would have been different. That is a guy that has been in the cage close to 50 times. The level of fighting the guys I was fighting and then jumping to Healy was a huge difference, man.”

After the loss, Holobaugh talked about how he felt losing for the first time in his career after starting 8-0 in amateur, and 9-0 professionally.

“Well, after losing…the feeling was terrible. I have never felt a loss before and I kind of grieved a little about it, but I got back into the gym. I knew I was already getting signed with the UFC after that fight so I was still kind of happy.”

Holobaugh was kind of happy, but he was signed by the UFC to fight Steven Siler at UFC 159 on April 27, 2013. This was a fight that went all three rounds and some people believed it could win Fight of the Night. In the fight, Siler won the first round, but Holobaugh bounced back to win the second. It came down to the third round and that was when Siler stole the fight. Siler won by unanimous decisions. This was the second loss of Holobaugh’s career and his second loss in a row. Holobaugh talked about how he was feeling after his UFC debut loss to Siler.

“After the Steven Siler loss, you know, I really took that loss to heart. Two losses in a row, you know, I consider myself a winner and taking two losses was not good. I was really down, bad. I said, ‘I got to make a comeback.”

The reason for the comeback was because after his first loss in the UFC, Holobaugh was released from the promotion. Some people, including Holobaugh himself, did not think he would be cut. He touched on his release.

“I really had no idea I was going to be cut. I knew that losing two in a row, because the Healy fight was under the same contract, was not good. I just always thought they would cut you after three fights. I really did not have any idea I was going to get cut. I thought I put on great performances stepping up on a short notice just to take fights. You know, they took a lot of fighters from Strikeforce, so they were looking to get rid of some guys. I was on a losing streak so I was the guy to get cut.”

Since his release from the UFC, Holobaugh has once again been on a tear, winning his last five fights. Three of those five fights have been with Titan FC. Holobaugh talked about his climb back and his time with Titan FC.

“After the UFC cut me, that is when I really got pissed off. I went back on the local circuit and started to work my way back. Titan has been a blast. Every fight I have fought for Titan has been really fun. You know, they are a big organization; they are bigger than a local circuit organization you are going to fight with. You know, with them being live on CBS (Sports), and all three of my fights being live on the main card, it has been great. Titan does a great job with their show.”

Holobaugh’s time with Titan has been fun, but his last fight was one of the biggest of his career. He took on Desmond Green for the Titan FC featherweight title. Holobaugh talked about his mindset for the fight and the fight itself.

“You know, going into that fight, it was kind of like a make it or break it. You win the fight; you have a huge possibility to get back to the UFC. You lose the fight; you probably get between a year or two year setback. I kind of looked at it as my last chance to get back to the UFC. I really took this fight seriously. In the fight I did not feel gassed or tired. That was my first five round fight ever.”

Holobaugh won the fight by split decision over Desmond Green. After his huge victory for the Titan FC featherweight title, and what Holobaugh felt was a step to get back to the UFC, he talked about what was next in his career.

“Well, you know, I really want to be signed by the UFC. Worst comes to worst, and they can’t take me in, I will take another fight with Titan. I feel like I have earned my way back to the UFC. When I was cut they said, ‘Go back and win two or three fights,’ and I have won five. Not only have I won five, but also they have all been over pretty good guys. The last three guys I have beaten have been ex-Bellator competitors.”

Holobaugh talked about what it would be like to get that call back to the UFC.

“It is going to be payback time. The first time I was there, it did not feel real, I was trying to get used to it. You know, I am more experienced now. I am a veteran now. I have fought a bunch of different places…to work my way back.”

Holobaugh has been to the UFC before and since his release he has been winning fights. He believes, as do many others, that he will be back in the UFC and had one last comment in our interview.

“June 6! Lets go! I’d love to fight in my hometown on the UFC New Orleans card.”

Time will tell if Holobaugh will be added back to the UFC, but until then, you can watch him defend his featherweight title for Titan FC where he will look to make it to 6-0 since being released by the UFC.

 

 

About The Author

Jeremy Klump
Interview Coordinator / Video Manager

Jeremy Klump is a Sport Media major at Ithaca College and has been writing about Mixed Martial Arts for over a year now. He interned at MVC Sports Management and AMA Fight Club. While interning at MVC and AMA, Jeremy found out that he had a true passion for writing about Mixed Martial Arts. He has interviewed and wrote articles on top UFC fighters while also having knowledge of regional fighters and the top new comers. He looks to grow as a writer and expand his knowledge of Mixed Martial Arts while being a proud member of The MMA Corner team.