Jamie Te Huna is an New Zealand-born mixed martial artist trained by Mark Hunt who was signed by the UFC to a four-fight contract last October. He will be making his UFC debut in front of a home country crowd in Sydney on February 21. Leading up to the event, Te Huna will be blogging on Heavy.com about his history, his training, his thoughts on the state of MMA today and more.
It’s been seven years in the making, but the time has now nearly arrived – on February 21 in Australia, I’ll be making my UFC debut in front of 16,500 fans. The fight will take place on the UFC 110 event at the Acer Arena in my hometown of Sydney and I couldn’t be more excited or fired up for it.
This is what I’ve been fighting and training my whole career towards and now I’m getting the chance to live out a dream. Not only that, I’m also being given the opportunity to fight in front of my biggest crowd I’ve ever fought in front of.
The way this link-up with the UFC worked was kind of unbelievable to begin with. I was coming off a run of wins and fought a UFC veteran (Anthony Perosh) in a Sydney based mixed martial arts league. I stopped him pretty early in the first round and I knew that the UFC were coming to Australia the following year. I realised that if I looked good and finished my opponent quickly, word would get around at the UFC and I’d have a good chance of signing with them ahead of their Australia show.
That’s exactly what happened and I’m delighted at the way it has turned out.
The UFC contacted my brother after my fight and he then got in contact with me and told me about the UFC’s interest. I thought he was just joking around with me, to be honest. He’s always joking like that and making prank calls. I didn’t think he was serious or if he even knew anyone at the UFC. He broke the news to me and it was unreal. I’ve been training and competing for the last seven years in the hope of one day joining the UFC and here it is. It’s a dream come true.
I’ve always been a fan of the UFC and watched plenty of UFC tapes during my own time in mixed martial arts. Right from the very beginning I pinpointed the UFC as the long-term goal for me and I’ve now got there.
It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t always something that ran smoothly. I’ve had to work hard to reach the UFC and I’ve had to sacrifice an awful lot – including my job as a bricklayer.
I sensed that doors were starting to open for me in my mixed martial arts career, so I gave up the bricklaying work and concentrated on training full time. I knew that if I strung together some good wins there would be a good chance of me joining the UFC when they eventually came to Australia. It was a big risk on my part, and I had to borrow money from friends and family to get there, but I’m glad it all worked out for the best.
I’m now a full-time mixed martial artist and am gearing up for the biggest fight of my life to date. My opponent on February 21 will be Croatian striker Igor Pokrajac, a training partner of MMA legend Mirko Cro Cop. I treat every fight and every opponent as the most important and dangerous in my career, and this fight at UFC 110 is no different. The eyes of the world will be on me come February and I can’t wait to show them exactly what I can do inside the Octagon.