An undefeated MMA prospect took another step toward their goal of reaching the UFC on March 12.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blackbelt Hunter Colvin, 26, is an experienced competitive grappler who made his MMA debut in 2019. The middleweight has fought three times professionally, winning all of his bouts by first-round finish. He represents Triton Fight Center and Brothers Jiu-Jitsu in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Currently signed to the Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA), Colvin last fought on March 12 at LFA 101 against Obinwa Ikebunna (2-1). Colvin made short work of the “Son of Africa,” taking the fight to the canvas and raining down an onslaught of submission attempts until he secured a rear-naked choke within three minutes into the opening frame.
Colvin spoke with Heavy’s Stephen McCaugherty about the win, his MMA plans and goals, as well which UFC stars he hopes to have a career like.
Watch McCaugherty’s full interview with Colvin below:
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LFA 101 Was Colvin’s First Fight Since the Start of the Pandemic But Has Competed Numerous Times in Jiu-Jitsu
“Feels great,” Colvin said of his victory. “First time with LFA, the pressures on, big fight scenario but you know, trained hard and performed well and I’m super happy with the outcome.”
Colvin told Heavy that the fight didn’t go exactly how he thought it would, thinking he’d have an easier time getting the Son of Africa to the canvas. The powerful Ikebunna was able to use his size in the early minutes of the bout but Colvin eventually got him into a position where he could use his grappling. And after a few different submission attempts, he ended the fight.
Although March 12 marked Colvin’s first fight in over a year, he stayed busy competing in grappling for promotions like Submission Underground. Colvin believes in ring rust, but since he had a busy schedule grappling, he didn’t feel it against Ikebunna.
For many fighters competing outside of the UFC, the pandemic has limited the number of opportunities to fight.
“It was hard to get fights around here with the lockdown and the pandemic,” Colvin said. “And then to be honest with you, jiu-jitsu kind of revved up with short notice matches and not having a crowd. I actually had my busiest year with jiu-jitsu last year, even through the pandemic, so that kind of kept me out of the MMA world.”
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Colvin Plans to Improve His MMA Record to 5-0 & Then Compete on ‘Dana White’s Contender Series’
Colvin signed a three-fight contract with LFA last month and plans to fight his next two bouts with the promotion before making his way to the UFC. The fighter has a few grappling matches on his radar, specifically the PanAms next month and Eddie Bravo’s Invitational in June.
Colvin also hopes to end 2021 with two more victories in the LFA.
“We’re looking at fighting again in July,” Colvin said, “Fight again in July and then finish the last fight of the contract sometime around the fall. That’ll put me about 5-0 and then I want to really try to make a run at the Dana White’s Contender Series next year.”
One of the best ways for a fighter to get signed with the biggest promotion in the world is to get an exciting win on the UFC president’s fight series.
“I think it’s easier now than ever [to get into the UFC] with the Contender Series,” Colvin said. “You have a straight path laid out for you on how to get in there. I think with 5-0, and then my jiu-jitsu record, after this contract with LFA’s finished, I think I’ll have a pretty good argument to at least get a shot and then at that point, it’s just all based on performance.”
Colvin Believes His Jiu-Jitsu Level Is Already UFC Caliber, Wants to Follow the Same MMA Path As the Likes of Khabib Nurmagomedov
Should Colvin win his next two fights in the LFA, he will have a 5-0 record. And although being undefeated with five victories is a great start to an MMA career, it still can signal inexperience.
But, he’s not worried about it and plans to go 6-0 by winning a fight in Dana White’s Contender Series.
“I think from what I’ve been feeling with people, like my jiu-jitsu, I feel like it’s already at UFC level,” Colvin said.”It’s just getting everything else cleaned up, getting the striking cleaned up and just used to being actually in the cage. And I think by the time I’m 6-0, I’ll be there. I mean, you have people like [Rafael Lovato Jr.] who won the Bellator title with only nine fights. So I feel like the jiu-jitsu experience definitely can translate to MMA.”
In his bout at LFA 101, Colvin put his opponent in a position called “Single Leg X,” something he feels Ikebunna had never seen before. Colvin believes that the kind of jiu-jitsu he uses that is seen in high-level competitive grappling matches is the trump card that will propel him to the top.
“I feel like that’s like the niche that I can offer before everyone starts catching on to that and then the game evolves even more,” Colvin said.
As his fighting career progresses and Colvin works to get himself into the UFC and up the rankings, he hopes to have a career resembling the likes of former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and the No. 5 ranked UFC welterweight, Stephen Thompson.
“I like real martial artists,” Colvin said. “I like Khabib, I like ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson. The guys that are like genuinely nice guys and only get caught up in the trash talk of it all and just enjoying being a martial artist.”