Following a focus on his kickboxing career over the last couple of years, light-heavyweight Dustin Jacoby made a successful return to MMA fulltime with a unanimous decision win over Ty Flores on the August 4 of Contender Series 2020, earning himself a UFC contract in the process.
Though he wasn’t able to finish Flores, Jacoby is nonetheless pleased with how he was able to handle his business in the fight and get another shot at the UFC following an eight year stint away.
“Ty was an incredibly tough guy; super durable; very hard to put away,” Jacoby told MMAWeekly.com. “My main goal was to finish the fight in the first couple rounds, and I certainly tried to, but kudos to him for being super tough.
“After the fight I wasn’t sure I got the contract because it was a decision win, but I knew I won the fight pretty decisively. I was happy with my performance. There was a lot riding on the line, and at the end of the day I got it done and got the contract, so I’m happy.”
While he was able to earn a UFC contract with his victory over Flores, it took a while for Jacoby to fully settle into the idea that he was returning to the promotion.
“It definitely took a minute to sink in,” said Jacoby. “I was so exhausted after the fight. I had to go to the back and get 11 stitches to my eye from a really good knee that he had landed. Then my coach told me that I got it.
“It wasn’t until an hour after everything and I got to the post-fight interview is when it really hit me. I got emotional thinking about all the time and energy and hard work that I’ve put into this. I was pretty emotional but extremely happy.”
Now that he’s back in the UFC, the focus will solely be on MMA and making the most of the time he has remaining while staying with the company as long as possible.
“I’ve been working hard the whole time, but everyone says it’s easy to get to the UFC, but it’s hard to stay there, so the real work is about the start,” Jacoby said. “I’m about to be fighting the best guys in the world, and I’m looking forward to the challenge, but I understand it’s going to be a lot of hard work.
“I’m not a kid anymore. I’m 32 and I realize there’s a short window of opportunity in this sport. This is my last run. I plan on being here for a while, but all my focus is geared toward the UFC and MMA.”
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(Video courtesy of UFC)