Whenever I see Dustin Hazelett my nerd-alarm goes off hardcore and I have to resist the temptation to try and headbutt him through my television and steal his lunch money. It’s pretty damned obvious that the guy was probably pretty awkward growing up … hell, he still looks awkward now. So it’s no surprise to me that he spent his youth being terrorized by the popular kids and fighting is all about exorcising those memories. From his UFC profile:
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started martial arts when I was a sophomore in high school. Unfortunately for me, it wasn’t just as a hobby. I was tired of getting picked on and not being able to do anything about it. So I started training, hit a growth spurt, and things started getting better. Then I saw a tape of the first UFC, and thought to myself “that is awesome.” I knew I had to do it, so I started taking BJJ when I was 16.
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It is the first step to the realization of a goal I’ve had since high school. For those people who played a lot of sports growing up, they are used to having a crowd cheer their name, they are used to having fans. Before I started fighting I was not. To have the ref raise your hand and hear the crowd scream your name is possibly one of the best feelings I have ever found.
More on Dustin’s painful high school days here care of an old UFC press article. Personally, I love having geeks, freaks, and weirdos in the UFC. The day someone like Dustin Hazelett defeats a GSP is the day nerds will rise up in exultation and beat all the popular kids to death with pocket calculators, D&D manuals, and Spawn action figures.