After his loss to Paul Daley at the co-main event of UFC 108, Dustin Hazelett says he’s not in any hurry to get back into the cage.
Hazelett has been suspended until early July for a fractured orbital as well as a nasal fracture he acquired during his fight with Daley. He just returned to training last month and is working on gi jiu-jitsu.
But as most fighters would be antsy to get back to fighting, Hazelett is being a little more cautious.
“I learned a little bit of a lesson about rushing into things,” Hazelett stated. “I want to take my time with it, and work on some holes in my game. I’m not as worried about who I’m fighting next or when I’m fighting next as I am with fixing the holes in my game.”
Dustin spent his first couple of months after his fight completely taking it easy, basically what most of us do when we’re sick.
“I took full advantage,” he said. “It let my body heal up completely.”
Hazelett had barely any time to train for his fight with Daley, taking it only a few weeks after Karo Parisyan dropped out of a fight against at UFC 106. Everyone Hazelett’s team thought the last-minute fight was a bad idea, except his Muay Thai coach, Dorian Price.
“My mind said it was a bad idea, but my heart said, ‘Take the fight,'” Hazelett said. “Any time you listen to your heart, that’s what you’re supposed to do regardless of how it turns out.”
Unfortunately for Hazelett though, all the training he had done for Parisyan- grappling pro- would be useless against Daley, who was all about striking.
As Hazelett entered the octagon, he looked at little too calm, and seemed a little out of step with Daley. And soon enough, Daley knocked Hazelett out cold with a mean left hook.
“The gameplan was to take him down as soon as possible,” Hazelett said. “But I didn’t want to rush it too much. I wanted to get him to leap in so I could time it properly. I knew that if I just shot out of the blue, where he’s so explosive and quick, he would get out of the way. The gameplan was definitely not to stand with him. But I just didn’t get around to it quick enough.”
Hazlett’s new game plan is all about what he can do better. He has hoping to make his return late in the summer, but it’s not for certain.
“If I rush back into a fight, I know I’ve got to start preparing, and the fight camp will start sooner, and I won’t get as much time to work on the stuff I’m bad at,” Hazelett said. “I’m just kind of taking it slow.”