Former UFC and World Series of Fighting Middleweight, Dustin Jacoby, has found a new home in the world of Kickboxing. Since Glory Kickboxing announced their partnership with Spike TV, Kickboxing has been reinvigorated in America. At their last show, Glory 12, the company did fantastic numbers, peaking at 665,000 viewers. This Saturday night, Dustin Jacoby will fight Makoto Uehara at Glory 13, live from Tokyo, Japan. I recently sat down with Dustin to talk about his transition into Kickboxing, MMA, the Tournament format, and much more.
His excitement fighting at Glory 13
I am very excited to compete this Saturday night against Makoto Uehara. I am just very honored and blessed to be on the same card as so many kickboxing greats like Daniel Ghita and Peter Aerts. I am excited for this opportunity. I can’t wait to go out there and showcase my skills. All my hard work, all my training, everything that goes on behind the scenes, I just can’t wait to show it off to everyone.
His training for the fight
I have been training in Colorado at Factory X Muay Thai. I am training alongside guys like Chris Camozzi, Joe Warren, and Scott Jorgensen. My head coach is Mark Montoya.
Are you solely a Kickboxer now?
I still train MMA, but for the time being I am a Kickboxer. Kickboxing just kind of came along, and it has lead me to several opportunities that have taken care of me. Kickboxing is my thing right now. I definitely want to get back into MMA at some point though. I feel like I have unfinished business there, and a lot to prove.
Where would you fight if you were to get back into MMA?
I really don’t know. I am currently signed with World Series of Fighting right now. I had a fight with them last year, but they just have not offered me any more fights. Glory came along and that is how I started kickboxing. Once my contract is up with WSOF in April, I am sure I will have a lot more opportunities to go fight MMA elsewhere. I can’t tell you where, but I am definitely looking forward to stepping back in the cage.
Glory Kickboxing gaining fans in the United States
I am very excited about it. I have always thought Kickboxing was cool because of the simple fact that it is two guys going toe to toe. They don’t have to be worried about being taken down during the fight. They can commit everything to every punch and every kick they throw. I think for the American fight fans, MMA as a sport has taken off so fast, that there are so many fans out there that are not even appreciating what the guys go through. They just get together to watch it on TV to see the knockouts. A lot of people just want standup and knockouts. If you look at Glory fights, that is how a lot of fights end, with big knockouts. I think the fans, die hard and casual fans, will enjoy Kickboxing big time.
Why he focuses more on himself than his opponents
When I did my first kickboxing tournament, I did it on about 24 hours notice. I was training really hard for an MMA fight about a month down the road. It was a late Wednesday night, and I had just gotten done with sparring. I got a call about competing in a Glory kickboxing tournament. Eight men, one night, and a grand prize goes to the winner. I looked at it like it was going to be hard sparring for my MMA fight, so I was on board right away. Thursday morning I got up, drove to Tulsa, Oklahoma from Springfield, Illinois, which is a little over 7 hours. I weighed in that Thursday and fought on Friday. I knew nothing about any of the competition in the tournament, and I was totally focused on myself. I went in there and took out all three guys, and ended up winning the grand prize. Before that night, I was a guy that would really watch a lot of film. Always put a lot of emphasis on the guys I was fighting. I wanted to know everything about them, and every little technique they are using. Since that Glory tournament, I haven’t looked up my opponents too much. To be honest I have watched only about 5 minutes of tape on Makoto Uehara. After that, I focus on what I bring to the table, and the skills I possess. I think it has given me a better chance at winning.
Can the Tournament format be brought back to MMA? Do you enjoy the Tournament format?
I don’t know if I necessarily enjoy fighting more than once a night, but at the same time it is pretty cool. It is a very unique experience. As far as injuries, it definitely plays a role in turning MMA promoters away from having a one night tournament. I think for the fans it is awesome. They get an opportunity to build a connection with a fighter when they fight more than once. When I fought in the Kickboxing tournament in Tulsa, the first time I came out, I was fighting the hometown favorite. I was getting booed and the cheers were really loud for the other guy as expected. I ended up taking him out, so the next time I come to the ring, the fans were cheering for me and screaming my name. By the third time I came out to the ring, the entire crowd was on their feet screaming and yelling for me to win the tournament. It was one of the most barbaric and intriguing moments that I have ever been part of.
The one guy on the Glory roster you want to fight is…
For me it is Joe Schilling. The American that won the Glory Kickboxing four man Middleweight tournament. He beat the number #1 guy in the world that night. I was definitely very happy for him, showing up for the Americans and winning such a prestigious tournament like that. There a very fews guys that I look at that I say ‘man I really want to fight you’, but Joe Schilling is one of those people. He won the tournament, and the championship, so why would I not want to fight him?
Most memorable career moment thus far
The first time fighting in the UFC was very memorable for me. I was in the back and Matt Hughes, one of the legends and one of the all time great champions is putting my UFC gloves on me. I had been with Hughes for some time at that point, but it was still incredible nonetheless. At the time I was thinking about how amazing it was, but I was so in the moment. I was not too star struck then, but looking back at it now, to be able to say Matt Hughes was putting my gloves on me for my UFC debut, it is a very memorable moment for me.