Initially after picking up a win in his lone MMA fight of 2019, light-heavyweight Dustin Jacoby thought he was going to make his move to the biggest stage of MMA, but the opportunity never came.
Looking to make that goal a reality in 2020, Jacoby was hoping to get into action earlier in the year, but the novel coronavirus forced him to have to wait until late summer to make it happen.
“My last fight last year was against a tough UFC vet at heavyweight, Cody East, and I beat him pretty easily I would say; 50-45 unanimous decision. I thought I would get the call to the big show but it never came,” Jacoby told MMAWeekly.com.
“We started the year training, just the same way we ended the year, and looking for a fight. When my manager said about doing the Contender Series I was all about it, but then I found out it wasn’t until June, and this was in March. And then Covid ended up pushing that back to August."
While the coronavirus pushed back his return to fighting, it did not slow down Jacoby’s training as much as it did other fighters.
“It’s been business as usual,” said Jacoby. “We’ve been training. We never really stopped. We trained where we could, when we could. We’ve just been training, grinding, using each day to get better and get ready for Aug. 4.
“Our motto is ‘1 percent better daily,’ and if you can just show up, get through the practice and train, you’re getting better. I think I just continue to better. We’ll put a grade on the performance after Aug. 4 and see if we’re doing the right stuff or not.”
On Tuesday in Las Vegas, Jacoby (11-5) looks to punch his ticket to the UFC when he takes on Ty Flores (7-2) in the main event at Dana White's Contender Series 2020: Week 1.
“The Contender Series is looking for up and coming guys, and I feel like I’m more than a contender,” Jacoby said. “I’m a veteran of the game. I’ve been at it for a decade now. I think that my experience and my maturity inside the cage is going to show that night.”
As someone who doesn’t get worked up thinking about the future too much in his daily life, Jacoby is seeking to apply the same outlook to his fight career.
“It’s how I live my life: one day at a time,” said Jacoby. “I’m laid back. I don’t let much get to me. Everyone gets so worked up and freaked out, but it’s just business as usual, it’s life, you take it one day at a time and learn to adjust on the fly. That’s how it’s worked for me.
“I’m going to go in there and take care of business Aug. 4, get my contract, and fight again when they call and give me the opportunity.”