Unassuming UFC welterweight Dustin Hazelett has hit a skid at 170 pounds having been stopped by punches in his last two Octagon appearances (against Paul Daley and Rick Story, respectively). According to his coach, Strikeforce lightweight fighter Jorge Gurgel, Hazelett will attempt to remedy the problem the way that many other fighters have chose to do: by dropping weight classes. Gurgel spoke with Heavy.com and revealed that Hazelett will get at least one more chance to prove himself under the UFC banner and will do so at 155 pounds.
“[UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva’s going to have him back,” said Gurgel, adding that, “He’s actually dropping to 155lbs. again, and I think it’s going to be a good move for him. If he jumps to 155, he’s going to be a handful for anyone.”
Gurgel said that the decision to place Hazelett into the welterweight division was initially based on the fact that he expected the 24 year old to put on more weight as he got older. Seeing that that has not been the case, the decision has been made to give Hazelett a slight competitive edge by having him compete in the lightweight division.
“I figured he’d grow into a man’s body and that it would be extremely difficult for him to fight at 155, so he started fighting at 170lbs., but he walks around at 173lbs”, said Gurgel. “Now that we know that Dustin’s normal weight is 173 to 175lbs., we’re going to do everything we can to scientifically drop him off to 155lbs. so that he can maximize his performance at 155 and we’re going to go from there.”
The 6’1″ Hazelett has competed at 155 before at UFC 67 where he defeated Diego Saraiva via unanimous decision but it has been proven in the past that a drop in weight is not always a move that guarantees success for a fighter. No word yet on when or against whom the talented grappler will next appear.