• Drew Pierce

UFC Lightweight Austin Hubbard looks to Mile-High cardio to push pace on Saturday


Photo: UFC


On Saturday, UFC Lightweight Austin Hubbard will be looking bring his UFC record above .500 in a bout against Brazilian Jiu Jitsu blackbelt Joe Solecki.

Solecki had to pull out of the origional matchup that was scheduled for June, but he is officially back and hitting the Octagon on August 22.

On June 20, Hubbard defeated Max Rohskopf via a second-round retirement that sparked controversy about fighters throwing in the towel.

After securing this victory, the UFC told Hubbard that he will fight again in August. However, the promotion went on to move the fight until the end of September. Shortly after, another setback moved the fight to August 22, giving Hubbard two weeks to prepare.

For some, a constant change of opponents and scheduling may be frustrating and pose a serious challenge. However, this is nothing new for Hubbard.

“To me, it doesn’t really matter,” Hubbard said. “For the most part, I’ve always had opponent changes within the last week or two [before a fight]. I never really put too much thought into my opponent. I try to just concentrate on me.”

Through Hubbard’s four bouts in the UFC, he says that he is growing and improving like never before.

“I am getting a lot more confident in there knowing I belong,” Hubbard said. “I think my ability to scramble and get to my feet is second to none. I’m super excited. I felt like I made some great steps forward in my last fight.”

A lot of this comfort is credited to Hubbard’s place in Elevation Fight Team based in Colorado. He is able to consistently train with a learn from UFC stars like Justin Gaethje, Curtis Blaydes, Neil Magny, and more.

“The experience I have been getting while training with all of these amazing fighters at Elevation Fight Team is invaluable,” Hubbard said. “All these guys are top guys in the world. It really has been great for my career.”

Solecki is 2-0 in the UFC, counting the Contender Series, but has yet to fight in 2020. This will be Hubbard’s third fight this year and has been viewing every matchup as an opportunity to move up the ladder.

“I think every fight is a ‘must-win’,” Hubbard said. “I’m back on a win and am really determined to get a streak going again. This will be the third fight for me this year and I should at least get one more.”

Solecki is known for his slick grappling as a black belt in Jiu Jitsu. Six of his nine professional victors came via submission, with a majority of these coming from the rear-naked choke. Comparingly, Hubbard only has one submission victory in his professional career.

Although Hubbard isn’t known for his grappling, he feels good about his ability to hang with the best.

“I feel pretty confident in my grappling ability,” Hubbard said. “I’ve fought some world-class grapplers. I think I will fair just fine. Obviously, I will try to keep it on the feet a little more, but I think I will be fine.”

Hubbard will look to his Colorado cardio to push the pace even more on Saturday. This will allow him to maintain Octagon control and be on the attack when he needs to be.

“I’ve been working on opening with aggression even more,” “Definitely plan on seeing more aggression and attacks and even a higher pace in this fight.”

Hubbard and Solecki will square off in the UFC APEX in Las Vegas on Saturday night as both look to rise through the ranks as growing contenders.

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