If you think back in UFC fight history, there are only a handful of names that stand out that have taken multiple bouts in the same month on very short notice. Performances that stand out are those of UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who took two fights in five weeks and claimed the title with a victory in the second of those contests, and Chris Leben, who put away two opponents in approximately two weeks to give him a nice payroll for the month. But add another name to the few who have stepped up to take short notice fights within weeks after competing inside the Octagon.

After falling to John Albert in his Octagon debut, Dustin “The Disciple” Pague went on to defeat Jared Papazian by first-round submission, a victory that would be worth celebrating considering it was his first UFC win. But Pague then got a call from UFC matchmakers to inform him that an opening was available. The only catch? He’d have to fight again just 14 days after defeating Papazian.

Pague immediately jumped on the idea, accepting a fight against Ken Stone at UFC on FX 4. However, he was edged out by split decision in the contest. But “The Disciple” only had one regret in that loss.

Pague (rear) chokes his opponent (Heavy MMA)

“It was really just mental, honestly. After I beat Jared up, the next day I drove to the beach with my wife. So I was sitting on the beach eating donuts and just being lazy. Obviously, I wasn’t expecting a call, and when I got the call, I immediately just had to start cutting weight,” explained Pague in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “So I think during the Ken fight, it was more mental, not that I was actually out of shape, because I don’t think I could have gotten bad out of shape in a week’s time, but I was just afraid to really push it during that fight because I was afraid I’d gas out. That’s the only regret I had, but other than that, I felt fine.”

For other fighters out there who are given a chance to take a fight on short notice, Pague is your go-to guy for advice.

“It really depends how your body is. My motto is ‘fighters fight,’ so anytime I have an opportunity to provide for my family and do what I love, of course I’m going to take that opportunity,” stated Pague. “But you do have to be smart, especially at the UFC level. I think if your body is ready and you feel good about it, definitely. But if there’s any doubt in your mind, then I wouldn’t take it, because you have to perform well and produce wins to stay in the UFC.”

The Ultimate Fighter 14 competitor is preparing to return to the Octagon for the third time in two months when he steps into the cage on Aug. 11 at UFC 150, which means he won’t get a full training camp for his upcoming fight, but he will be better prepared this time with a strict training schedule.

“We had a short notice, so it wasn’t a full train up. But I stay in shape year-round because I’m always training and being active. We just jumped right into what we did for previous fights. Usually, my day starts out at 8 a.m. I go to the gym and do some sort of grappling, take about an hour break, then hit strength and conditioning with Chris Merritt. We usually finish that off with some cardio, and then I go home, rest, then my night session starts around 6 p.m. Three-a-days, six days a week, just grinding hard,” the 25-year-old explained.

Pague (R) delivers a knee (Keith Mills/Sherdog)

“Physically I feel great, the training is going great, and I’m ready to kick some booty.”

Pague’s opponent for this Saturday in Denver will be Chico Camus, who is making his UFC debut. While Pague isn’t all that familiar with the Roufusport-trained fighter, he is still expecting a good fight from his adversary.

“What I’ve seen, he likes to stand and bang, [but] I’ve also seen fights where he goes for the takedown. He seems like a well-rounded fighter, so I’m going to be prepared for everything,” the bantamweight said. “You can game plan so much, but bottom line: you never know what a guy is gonna do and [you] just gotta expect the unexpected.”

With a longer, balanced training camp at his home gym in Virginia, Pague is excited to get back on track with a win. You can bet on seeing a faster, stronger Pague on Saturday.

“I’m really going to push the pace in this fight. I know with my last fight against Ken, like I said, I wasn’t my usual self. This fight, I’m really going to go after [Camus], fight my kind of fight, push the pace, and pick him apart.”

Dustin would like to thank his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for blessing him with so many great people in his life, his beautiful wife Jackie and soon-to-be-born son in December, his friend and strength-and-conditioning coach Chris Merritt, Scott Howard, Sean Reed, Neil Johnson, Ryan Farhat, Paul Sitcharing, Kevin Breeden, his manager Bryan Hamper, and all his friends and family. Follow Dustin on Twitter @DustinPague

Top Photo: Dustin Pague (L) has his hand raised in victory (Heavy MMA)

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.