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An interview with McLovin

Even though Sam Caplan hates our guts, we still have a lot of respect for his journalistic endeavors. Five Ounces of Pain is a great blend of news and opinion, and Caplan’s interviews for CBS are head and shoulders above the “Holy fuck this sucks” level most other interviews are at. Case in point: this awesome interview with Dustin “McLovin” Hazelett. Forget those cliche questions about training and UFC aspirations. This covers shit like worrying about your job: 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.

Financial planning:

 DH: I have a financial adviser now, Brad with Viva Advisor Group, and he’s been a tremendous help as far as sitting down with me and going everything that I’ve earned so that I have a complete total of how much money I have in the bank right now. And we’ll go over my expenses; how much I am spending on every single little thing. Then he’ll tell me how long I can last at that rate and he’ll tell me what I need to do and what I need to invest in.

That’s a tremendous help but before I got with him, fighters like Rich Franklin and Jorge Gurgel at the gym would be like, “You need to do this and this. And don’t spend money on stupid stuff like this and that. It’s a lot of money all at one time, so don’t be going out and spending it on stupid stuff.” They were really a big help before I got with Brad and now that I’m with Brad, he takes care of everything and tells me what I can and can’t afford.

And parental support:

DH: They were very supportive but I remember when I dropped out of college to move to Ohio to fight full time they weren’t very supportive of that. At first, they thought it was going to be a big mistake so they cut me off for a while but then they talked it over and my mom was like, “We were talking about it, and you might not have this opportunity a couple of years from now when you graduate college. We want you to be happy and you have a rare opportunity to live your dream. We can either leave you a big inheritance when we die or invest that money in you now and help you out when you need it.” So that’s what we decided to do and ever since then they’ve been incredibly supportive. And even before I dropped out they were supportive and had only missed a few of my fights.

The whole thing is worth a read and really lets you get to know Hazelett as a person. Props.

  • cyph

    I’m a fan of his after his fight with Koscheck. Young talented fighters are the future of the sport. The Fedors, Nogueiras, and Cro Cops are on the way out.

    He left the UFC to finish his college degree so that he has something to fall back on. He’s definitely a smart kid. And you need smarts as much as brawn to go far in this sport.

  • fightlinker

    I’m pretty sure it was McCrory who left the UFC to finish college, not Hazelett

  • cyph

    Ahh… Thanks for that.

    Great interview. Sam Caplan is a workaholic. He posts on his blog like five times a day and then he goes and work for CBS and put out excellent interviews. Then again, Hazelett gave very detailed answers.

    This was gold though:
    I used to race dirt bikes. … I used to race cross-country on the GNCC circuit and I always wanted to race motocross because I felt it was more exciting. But my parents wouldn’t let me do it because they said it was too dangerous. So I remember watching my first UFC and I told my dad, I was like, “I don’t want to race motocross anymore, I want to fight MMA.” And my dad is a real quiet, reserved guy, and he kind of paused for a minute and looked off for a second, and he said, “Well you know, so-and-so has got a 125 for sale and we can get you into a motocross camp before the end of summer.” I was like, “No, too bad, I’ve changed my mind.”