Despite focus on kickboxing, GLORY 13’s Dustin Jacoby has ‘unfinished business’ in MMA
Former UFC fighter Dustin Jacoby is part of a rare group to thrive in more than one combat sport.
Having spent the majority of his career as an MMA fighter, Jacoby (9-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC) recently has found success in the kickboxing industry, rising up the ranks under the GLORY banner.
While MMA always will be his first passion, Jacoby says his kickboxing fight against Makoto Uehara this Saturday at GLORY 13 is the first step toward revealing his true potential as a striker.
“I can be one of the best kickboxers in the world, and in 2014 my goal is to prove that,” Jacoby told MMAjunkie. “I plan on building my resume, I plan on competing more and having more fights.”
Jacoby’s run in kickboxing began when he entered a “Road to GLORY USA” tournament in February and won all three fights by knockout. He was then given the opportunity to win a major tournament belt at GLORY 9, but came up short in the semifinal round.
Now looking to rebound from a defeat, Jacoby is happy he can focus all his attention on one opponent and not the possibility of having three fights in one night, a situation he faced at the June event.
“Fighting a single fight has given me the ability to solely focus on one guy and put all of my time and energy into one fight,” Jacoby said. “Three rounds, nine minutes and 540 potential seconds is all I have to make an impression for GLORY.”
With kickboxing being a different sport than MMA, Jacoby has had to make adjustments to his training, primarily abandoning grappling work altogether.
“The biggest difference has been the ability to put all my time and energy into the standup department,” Jacoby said. “When other guys are doing wrestling and jiu-jitsu, I’m hitting pads and going over little techniques and specially preparing for my opponent.”
Even though Jacoby is focused on discovering his ceiling as a kickboxer, his first combat sports passion always comes back to MMA, which he intends on returning to one day.
Jacoby put together a solid record in MMA competition, but couldn’t come through any time he stepped up to a major promotion, losing both his UFC fights as well as his lone appearance for World Series of Fighting.
Those losses dig away at Jacoby. He believes his true talent in the sport haven’t shown in his performances, so people may doubt him as a world-class MMA talent.
“With MMA, I feel like I have a lot of unfinished business,” Jacoby said. “I still believe that I’m one of the best in the world at my weight class and I believe I can compete at a very high level. My run in MMA isn’t over. I signed with UFC, it was a very brief time, but I still believe one day I’ll be back and I’ll be reeking havoc in the middleweight division.”
Most of Jacoby’s notoriety in combat sports has come from MMA, but an argument can be made the opportunity for success at this point is greater fighting for GLORY.
Jacoby recognizes that and regardless of how thing turn out, he intends to find out if he can reach the pinnacle of the sport.
“Right now the door is open with GLORY, the door is open with kickboxing, it’s new, it’s exciting and I’m going to enjoy this run while it lasts,” Jacoby said. “In 2014, I plan on getting right back to kickboxing and hopefully becoming a world champion.”