Interview With Dustin Hazelett

Dustin Hazelett

As the vast majority of you who watched the UFC series, “The Ultimate Fighter 7 – Finale” already know, then you saw MMA rising star Dustin Hazelett lay waste to Josh Burkman in their bout; Hazelett also earned $64,000 for a guaranteed purse, a win bonus, sharing “Fight of the Night” honors with Burkman and “Submission of the Night” for his efforts.  Because of that blue-ribbon night by Hazelett, he appears to be on the fast track to becoming a contender at the welterweight division class of the UFC.  In an interview with Sam Caplan of CBSSports.com, Hazelett discusses his future and several other topics; below are some excerpts from the interview:

CBSSports.com: The UFC has cut several fighters who have lost undercard bouts the past several months. Did you feel like that being dropped by the UFC was a possibility if you lost?

Dustin Hazelett: Coming into the fight, it’s always in the back of your mind that it’s a possibility.  But Dana (White) always has a fighters meeting after the weigh-ins and he said, “If you come out here and you fight, we will not cut you, win or lose.”  He was like, “If you lay it all on the line when you fight, you have nothing to worry about.”  When he said that, I wasn’t worried at all because I knew it was going to be a good fight.

Q: According to Nevada State Athletic Commission records, you made $24,000 for your win over Josh Burkman.  You made an additional $40,000 in bonuses for winning Fight of the Night and Submission of the Night.  What was your reaction when you were informed you had won both bonuses?

DH: I was ecstatic.  I knew there was a really good chance that I was going to get Submission of the Night. But Fight of the Night?  I hadn’t seen my fight so I didn’t know if I was going to win Fight of the Night or not.  I wasn’t really expecting to get both of them.  I’m actually in the process of buying a house right now and really needed that money, so it was great that I got them both.

Q: That was actually my next question.  I wanted to know if you had any plans for that windfall.  Can you give any details about the house?  Is it a big house?  A starter house?

DH: It’s actually a really big house but it’s a foreclosure so it’s a really, big nice house at a starter house price.  That’s about the best way to describe it.  As a fighter, your money is not steady — it’s not a steady income.  It’s very risky work so it’s always scary to invest in something that big and to have that kind of financial commitment, but those bonuses definitely help me sleep a little easier.

For the rest of this interview, click here.

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