BJPenn.Com Exclusive: Alchemist Management Prospect Kurt Holobaugh Talks About His Upcoming Fight
Alchemist Management has a line-up of top stars in MMA. They have opened up doors for their clients in the cage as well outside of it. Lex McMahon and company always have their fighters best interests at heart at all times.
One thing about the company is they have a knack for finding the hidden gems. Last year one of their top prospects, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson made his UFC debut and will be fighting for the third time inside the Octagon sometime this fall.
I was recently made aware of a young man who is fighting on the regional circuit in Louisiana and Mississippi. His name is Kurt Holobaugh and McMahon believes his is a few wins away from getting a shot at the big time.
BJPenn.Com recently caught up with Holobaugh and spoke to him about his background, his upcoming fight tomorrow night and his future. He isn’t like many other fighters; he has a very limited athletic background.
“When I was in high school all I played was football,” Holobaugh told BJPenn.Com. “If we would’ve had a wrestling team I would have loved to been a part of it, but my school didn’t field one. Football was real popular in Louisiana so I took that up.”
Despite never taking any martial arts classes growing up, Holobaugh knew he had a love for MMA at an early age. He started training almost by accident while he was at work one day.
“I was a big UFC fan growing up, I remember watching Tank Abbott in the early days of the sport,” said Holobaugh. “I had some friends who had begun fighting and I thought that it might be cool to give it a shot. I was installing alarms and I was in a building next to a Gracie Barra gym and I went in and signed up and never left. We have changed the name to Gracie United, but we are still the same team.”
Holobaugh is quick to credit his coaches and is proud of the school he trains at. He is also an instructor there teaching stand-up and kids grappling classes on his days off from training and when he’s not working his full time job.
“My main coaches are Rafael Ellwanger who is a blackbelt under Carlos Gracie Jr.,” Holobaugh said. “Scott Smith is a big help he helps me out with everything and allows me to concentrate on training, he’s like a hometown manager. Chris Pham and Chris Haley are my striking coaches. It’s like a big family here.”
It didn’t take long for Kurt to realize he wanted to fight. He took his first amateur bouts just a few short months after he began training. Just a couple years later and he was fighting professional. He hasn’t lost one fight yet.
“My first amateur fight was in August of 2008 and I was 8-0 before turning professional,” the Independence, LA native said. “I turned professional in March, 2011. My first fight was for Karnival Karnage and I beat my opponent via submission in just 39 seconds. I’m 7-0 heading into my fight Saturday night against Willington Brito and that will be my featherweight debut.”
After his fight on Saturday night, Holobaugh will get right back on the horse as he has another fight scheduled less than two months later. He knows if he stays active and in shape he will be ready should he get the call he’s been waiting for.
“I have another fight lined up on October 27th for Blood & Sand,” said Holobaugh. “I think this will be a featherweight fight as well and should be for their title. I feel great at this weight, I feel faster. This is definitely the weight for me. I am looking to get a fight with Titan Fighting Championships somewhere down the line provided I win these next two fights. The thing is, you never know when that call may come.”
Having a company like Alchemist guiding you and taking care of your sponsorships allows a fighter to train and worry about his opponent. Holobaugh wasn’t actively looking for a manager, but once he spoke with Alchemist he knew it was a good fit.
“Alchemist actually had gotten in touch with me,” admitted the 25-year-old Holobaugh. “They may have seen some of my fights on YouTube and they had a guy Greg get in touch with me. He asked if I had a manager and I knew they had a great reputation. I figured if I wanted to move up the ranks I needed someone who knew what they were doing to help me out.”
A lot of fighters are looking to get a shot at the big time as soon as possible and while that works for some guys, it isn’t always the best course of action. Holobaugh realizes that he needs to take baby steps towards his ultimate goal which is to land a contract with the UFC sometime in the near future.
“I see myself hopefully getting onto an undercard of a UFC event,” Holobaugh stated. “At the very least I’d like to get a shot with Titan or the XFC organization based out of Florida that has their events on AXT TV. I’d like that to happen within the next 12-18 months or so. I’m really hoping to get a shot and I plan on making the most of it. I’ve sent tapes into Bellator because they’ve done some shows down here, but that was early on in my pro career and I probably wasn’t ready. I’m confident when I get a shot good things will happen for me.”