Professional Martial Arts Fighter Changes Careers, Focus on EMT - News - @ JEMS.com


Professional Martial Arts Fighter Changes Careers, Focus on EMT

Hazelett has been attending EMT courses at Scarlet Oaks.


 
 

DANN STUPP, Dayton Daily News | | Thursday, April 21, 2011


Not many professionals decide to take a career hiatus at 24 years old. Then again, Dustin Hazelett isn't your typical pro - and he doesn't have a typical job.

Hazelett, a Kentucky native now living in West Chester Twp., was just 20 years old when he made his debut with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He won five of his first seven fights in the world's best MMA organization, but the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt lost his most recent three and was released from the organization in December.

Hazelett's plight isn't that different from other aspiring fighters.

"I remember talking to my parents when I decided to drop out of college and started fighting professionally," he said. "I told them, 'This may not be an opportunity I get later in life. If I wait to finish college, this opportunity may be not be there.' I don't regret that decision.

"In fact, a lot of good came out of it. It paid well," said Hazelett, who won three of the UFC's lucrative "fight night" bonuses, including one for $60,000. "But I definitely spent a lot of it. I got a house. I got married. I've got a baby on the way. The money was really good, but it was never about the money."

Hazelett (12-7) still plans to fight professionally in the future, and he'll continue competing in jiu-jitsu tournaments. But he's decided to focus on that second career for now. And he made that decision in late 2010 - even before his latest loss.

"I had actually talked to (my manager) Monte (Cox) about taking a break," he said. "He said he thought it was a good idea. I had been fighting so much. ... I was getting burned out. I wasn't in a good place mentally."

So, Hazelett has been attending EMT courses at Scarlet Oaks. He'll finish in June, and then he hopes to find a job with 24-on/48-off hours. Indianapolis firefighter Chris Lytle, for example, has fought 11 years in the UFC because such a schedule leaves plenty of time for training.

Hazelett also is teaching. As a member of Jorge Gurgel's MMA Academy in West Chester Twp., he's one of the school's most accomplished grapplers. And he'll soon begin teaching a class specifically for on-the-rise MMA fighters (call (513) 889-5851 for registration information).

So what about his own return to the cage?

"I wanted to take a break and get hungry again," he said. "When you're fighting all the time, you get a little too relaxed about it. I took the 'another day in the office' mentality a little too far. I want to wait for the hunger to come back.

"But really, I'm not thinking too far ahead. I'm enjoying my time off. It's not really a break if you're always thinking about your next fight."



Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, education, careers in public safety

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Improving Survival from Cardiac Arrest Using ACD-CPR + ITD

Using active compression-decompression CPR with an ITD has been shown to improve 1-year survival from cardiac arrest by 33%.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Philadelphia Fire Department Apologizes for Medic’s Jab at Police

Union head calls photos a slap in the face of officers.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire and EMS Crews Blame New Technology for Patient’s Death

Delayed response blamed on recurring dispatch problems.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Suspect Steals, Crashes Maryland Ambulance

One killed, others injured in Prince George’s County crash.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Truck Strikes Pedestrians in Scotland

Six killed in downtown Glasgow.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Tennessee Trench Rescue

Worker pulled from Roane County worksite.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Time’s Ebola Firefighters

Doctors, nurses and others saluted for fighting virus.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


More Product Videos >