Austin Hubbard: Win Over Michal Figlak ‘Big Relief’

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Austin Hubbard (16-7 MMA, 4-5 UFC) got back into the win column with a unanimous decision win over Michal Figlak (8-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC) last Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Hubbard said he felt “pretty good” about his win.

“Obviously, like every fight, you can always pull something to work off and continue to work on and improve,” Hubbard told MMASucka. “Overall, I was pretty happy with the fight.”

Hubbard entered the bout with eight times the amount of UFC fights of Figlak. He felt the experience was an X-factor that helped in situations where he mixed things up and went for takedowns to get Figlak thinking about the ground game.

“When the striking numbers are so close, I think if you can steal a takedown or two per round, or whatever you can, it’ll weigh a little heavier in the judges’ minds when it goes to the scorecards,” Hubbard said. “When it’s so close in the striking numbers, you’ve got to give them something more to go off of. I felt like getting those takedowns did just that.”

Hubbard said he felt “pretty confident” when the judges were preparing their scorecards.

“I knew the striking numbers were close, but I felt I had more damage, and I felt like I had more variety and mixed things up better. Obviously, I had the takedown edge, as well. It was a close fight, but I felt pretty confident that they were going to call my name, and yeah, they did.”

Hubbard said Figlak came forward in the striking like he likes to do, presenting a similar style to his own.

“But I did think I had the wrestling advantage and ground advantage, which I took advantage of and got those takedowns, which I think, helped me to the unanimous decision,” he said.

The win marked Hubbard’s first in the UFC in over three years. A loss to Vinc Pichel led to his release, where Hubbard went 2-0 on the regional circuit to earn an opportunity on The Ultimate Fighter. Hubbard defeated Roosevelt Roberts and Aaron McKenzie in the show’s exhibition bouts. Kurt Holobaugh submitted Hubbard to win the TUF lightweight tournament championship in the pair’s first fight back in the Octagon.

Then came the win over Figlak.

“Oh man, it felt great,” Hubbard said. “It was such a relief. I worked very hard to get back there. I worked very hard all fight camp for that result. I felt I had a ton riding on this fight. Not just for my immediate future, but going forward with the UFC. I wanted to prove that I could go in there and still win fights. Earn my keep so to speak. It felt good getting that win. It was a big relief, for sure.”

The timing couldn’t be better, as Hubbard is expecting the birth of his daughter in a couple of weeks.

“I’m very excited,” he said. “It was perfect timing. It was a big motivating factor to get a win in this fight and get double checks coming into a newborn baby.”

Hubbard aims to return to the Octagon in mid-to-late summer or early fall. He wants to get his newborn into the world and go from there. The opponent doesn’t matter, however.

“I really don’t care who I’m fighting,” he said. “All the fights, I just go in there to fight, and whoever the fans and the UFC want me to fight, that’s who I’ll fight. It doesn’t make any difference to me.”

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Michael is a big MMA fan who enjoys interviewing the sport's athletes, writing about the sport, and just discussing it. He earned his Master's in Journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and his B.A. in Journalism at Stony Brook University. He also enjoys hockey, football and baseball. Feel free to hit him up if you want to discuss MMA, or any other sport!

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