GLORY 9′s Dustin Jacoby is taking on Brian Collete for a second time when the two square off in the opening round of this weekend’s 2013 95kg Slam. The light heavyweight fighter is currently ready to go and looking to put on a show when he makes his way into the Hammerstein Ballroom this Saturday.
The UFC and WSOF veteran spoke with MMAFrenzy leading up to his bout to discuss his GLORY 9 rematch, his future in MMA, MMA striking vs. pure kickboxing, fighting in NYC, and more.
What are your thoughts on your rematch with Brian Collete?
I’ve fought Brian before in the championship of the Road to Glory finals, and he’s a very tough guy. He is 19-1 and I am the only one who has defeated him, so I know he is going to be coming to get that back. I will be ready. I knocked him out the first time and I can’t expect that again. I also can’t go looking for the knock out, I just have to play my game, relax, fight smart, and use my head movement.
How does training for a tournament differ from training for one fight?
It really doesn’t. If I make it to the finals I’ll obviously be fighting three times in one night, but all I am thinking about is that first match with Collete. I am not looking past that and in my mind that is the only thing that matters to me and once I get that victory I will let the rest play out. I mean if I beat Collete it also solidifies me as the number one kickboxer out of the United States and if I beat him [again] that seals that.
Are you exclusive to kickboxing now?
No, I am signed with both GLORY World Series and the World Series of Fighting. As long as I work well with them and let them know in advance of what is going on, I can work with whichever one calls me to fight and needs my business. I will be working both kickboxing and MMA, so it just matters which one calls me.
That seems to be the advantage of working with a guy like WSOF president Ray Sefo, who has had a long career in kickboxing and has fought in MMA bouts as well. How helpful is that?
That’s a really cool thing. I’ve thought about that a bit, and with Sefo being a kickboxing legend himself he understands that guys like me are fighters. I’m a standup fighter, and I love standup, and if I have an opportunity to fight I am going to go fight. I only get to do this so long and I do it full-time, so this is what I enjoy doing and I might as well stay busy.
Most kickboxers that end up in MMA (Tyrone Spong, Mirko Cro Cop, Mark Hunt, etc.) typically go from kickboxing to MMA, but you went the opposite route. Was that something you planned on and why did you make the transition?
I never had any intentions of doing pure kickboxing. It came to me. I was training for my 12th MMA bout and I got a call, on 48-hours notice, to compete. I thought it would be good experience and allow me to get some good sparring. I ended up surprising some people and I didn’t surprise myself. I expected to be in the finals when I signed up, I don’t sign up to be a punching bag.
So how is MMA striking different from kickboxing?
I went over to train in Holland for five weeks and the entire time I was there I trained twice a day, every single day, and they don’t slip or roll punches at all. We rolled punches, I’ll be honest, in one practice of 40+practices over there. So those guys are taking the punches on their gloves and then before you get your hands back they’re returning with big shots of their own.
Everything’s power, not really stringing a lot of long combos together. They have combos but they’re short and powerful ones. I have some pretty good footwork from MMA but kickboxing made my footwork better. I have been mixing my MMA striking and pure Dutch kickboxing together and that’s why I can’t wait to compete this weekend.
What is it like to fight in New York City as a kickboxer that is also an MMA fighter?
Oh I think it is super cool. Like I mean with all the controversy about MMA, it’s all political stuff and that sucks. But it is really cool to compete there because I am an MMA guy and I want to compete at the highest level. I want to be back in the UFC some day and I feel the same about trying to become the GLORY light heavyweight champion.It helps to build my legacy and to be able to do it in New York City is awesome.
For GLORY to put on such an event, I just feel blessed to be a part of it. If you look at the names, and I’ll be honest I learned about it once I trained in Holland and really learned these guys, this is an incredible card. If you look up and down this card this is an unbelievable card and as a fan I cannot wait to rewatch, but then I actually get to be a part of it and put on a show for these fans. I’m so pumped!
Is there anyone you have tried to emulate as a kickboxer?
No not at all actually. I watch guys and I learn from and study them but deep down I believe in myself and I want to make myself the best fighter. At the same time I’m seeing how these guys do things, why they do things, and there’s a reason for everything. The sport is completely different and there is a lot of thinking that goes into it. Obviously you can over-think it, but you try to avoid that. Everyone has their own style and I have my strengths and weakness. Right now I am trying to make my weaknesses my strengths.
Was there any technique that you found yourself having to learn more about in kickboxing that you had to leave out, or modify, in MMA?
One technique was the standup guard. I feel my guard went from a 6 to a 9 on a real scale. MMA is different because you move in and out, and there’s takedowns and sprawls. So there’s none of that in kickboxing, it’s all standup. So I really got better in my guard by keeping my hands up and taking the punches off my gloves and then countering before they can get their hands back. That was different going from MMA to kickboxing. In kickboxing, the guys will be a foot away from each other and not do anything, they’re waiting for the other person to mess up. Unless they’re kicking of course, and they might kick each other 30 times. But they’re standing and looking to counter.
However in MMA, if you’re a foot away from someone, there’s going to be action. Kicking, punching, sprawling, clinching, there is going to be something going on. The clinch is also different because you usually look to restart, where in MMA you’re looking to throw someone off and punch.
Is there anything you want to say to the fans?
I just want to thank all of my supporters, my sponsors, and everybody that believes in me. Saturday night when I step into the ring I know they’re on my back win, lose, or draw. I really want to thank my finance, who has been there for me from the start.
You can follow Dustin on twitter at @dustinjacobyDJ and be sure to tune in as he takes on Brian Collete in the opening round of tomorrow’s tournament.
MMAFrenzy will have full coverage of this weekend’s GLORY 9 fight card, the billing will air as an Online PPV. This weekend’s card is headlined by the 2013 95kg Slam, which will feature eight of GLORY’s best kickboxers (including Tyrone Spong) battle for the tournament title at the Hammerstein Ballroom. The card will also feature elite heavyweight Daniel Ghita and Rico Verhoeven in separate superfights.