Former Titan FC featherweight champion Kurt Holobaugh is heading to Russia to compete in the Akhmat Featherweight Grand Prix Tournament and he will meet Bellator Season Eight Featherweight Tournament winner Frodo Khasbulaev in the opening round on March 12.
Holobaugh (14-3) confirmed the fight booking to The MMA Report on Friday and explained that he has been a free agent since losing the Titan FC featherweight title to Andre Harrison at Titan FC 34 in July.
“After the fight with Andre Harrison, that was the last fight on my contract,” Holobaugh told The MMA Report. “I did not get re-signed right away and I had not fought since. I have been out of action for quite awhile now. I was hoping to get on there [Titan FC] December card that actually got canceled. So when I get hit with the offer for Russia, I was like ‘why not.’ I am not signed with anybody. I have been out of action for awhile and I am still sitting on a lost. I need to get back in the cage and get a win back under my belt.”
“I am the type that sometimes like to take — depending on the type of fight, a couple of months off.” he continued. “But it was a little too long for me. So it was already getting a little frustrating. I started calling [Titan FC CEO] Jeff [Aronson] telling him, I think it was before December that I was ready to fight. I don’t know if he thought I was injured and wasn’t ready. But I called him and started to tell him, ‘look I am ready for a fight. Let’s get me on a card.’ I wanted to get a fight in before Christmas, but of course that did not happen so now we are on to Russia.”
Holobaugh is currently in preparations for his fight against Khasbulaev and the entire tournament. To win this tournament, he will have to win three fights over a six month period and he is treating this tournament like a six month training camp. He is taking it one fight at a time and all he is concerned about at this time is preparing for the tournament, along with spending time with his family when he can.
Everyone remembers Khasbulaev (22-6) from his time in Bellator and since exiting that promotion, he has gone 1-1 and is coming off a lost against Eduard Vartanyan by unanimous decision in December. While Holobaugh knows he is facing a tough opponent, he is concentrating on his game plan for the fight and is not trying to concentrate to much on what Khasbulaev may want to do in the fight.
“He is a great fighter and has a lot of wins,” Holobaugh said about his upcoming opponent. “He does a lot of things well but I think that some of the stuff that he does, I do a little bit better. I know he likes to pressure. Like most of the fights that I have seen. I have not seen a whole bunch. I am not trying to keep my mind on him. I just really want to focus on myself and on my training other than his. But he does like to push forward a lot and that is the type of fighters that I enjoy fighting. Those are the type of fighters I feel I can pick apart with my timing and speed. That is what I think is going to be a serious factor in this fight and I think that is what is going to get me the win at the end.”