Tonight, at the Northeast powerhouse Cage Fury Fighting Championship’s (CFFC) 90th event, 26-year-old middleweight Collin Huckbody (8-2) fights for both the 185-pound belt and a spot on the UFC roster, a spot he has earned but not actualized once before.
The Contender Series alum parted ways with the promotion in early December without ever taking a fight; no USADA test was failed, either. He simply, in a move that is rather uncommon, refused, stating that he did not feel ready and needed more time to develop (via MMAJunkie).
Pre MMA career
Before fighting in Mixed Martial Arts at all, Huckbody wrestled in Minnesota from the age of four, placing twice in the state at a high school level. He also trained Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu from the age of fifteen, holding a purple belt as of his Contender Series victory earlier this year.
Before transitioning to professional mixed martial arts in March 2017, Huckbody amassed an impressive 6-1-1 amateur record. He fought entirely with the amateur-heavy King of the Cage (KOTC) promotion, taking eight bouts between 2013 and 2016.
Not much information is available on his initial run, he won his first fight against another regional fighter in Daniel Olson (then-0-1) via arm-triangle choke. The submission would come to be a staple of his game, with Huckbody amassing eight finishes with the kesa gatame so far in his career. Following the amateur debut win, he would then taste his first defeat at the hands of Nate Morson (0-0) via guillotine choke.
After this, he would go undefeated across the rest of his amateur career, he took home three submission wins over Buddy Johnson (then-1-0), Benjamin Erickson (then-0-0), and Mike Vazquez (then-0-0) before snapping his win streak with a draw against Darrius Flowers (then-6-2).
His time on the amateur scene was short after this. A decision win over the unbeaten Joshua Kohler (then-6-0) on the main card of KOTC: Ultimate Collision quickly spurred him to begin his professional career.
Career to date
“Young Huck” made his professional debut against a journeyman in 20-46 Travis McCullough. Huckbody won his first pro outing in an impressive fashion, retiring his opponent with a rear-naked choke in the first round.
From here he briefly moved back to KOTC in order to fight a fellow newcomer in Thomas Krenzel (1-1), a bout he won via arm triangle — a move that was quickly becoming Huckbody’s signature — before leaving the promotion for good.
In his next venture, the nascent Minnesotan prospect would go on to almost repeat history, suffering a guillotine loss, this time for his first professional defeat. This time it was to J.P Saint Louis (2-1), bringing his record to 2-1 as a pro. Another bounce back bout at the next No Mercy event saw Huckbody score yet another arm-triangle win over Ryot Waller (2-3).
This win would earn him a spot in the so-called UFC feeder league, Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA). He faced a tough match in his first appearance with the developmental promotion, drawing future UFC fighter Bevon Lewis (4-0), who decisioned Huckbody over three rounds.
This loss seemed to have lit a fire under Huckbody, who would go on to rapidly improve his game and enter his current run. As of press time, Huckbody is on a five-fight win streak that includes two decisions over former opponent Thomas Krenzel (2-3) and the more experienced Charlie Brown (12-8).
Finally, he would go on an incredibly impressive three-fight run of arm triangles, all at various points of his fights. Huckbody started with a second-round arm-triangle submission over Nick Wagner (8-6-1), followed it with another in round two against Clarence Jordan (11-4-1), then finally took a round one win over Kyron Bowen (9-4) on the Contender Series.
His Contender Series win was an impressive one; quick work was made of grounding the fight and moving to mount. From there, his signature submission was almost inevitable. He rapidly snatched the arm up for a statement win and earned a UFC contract from UFC President Dana White, who said Huckbody’s performance “couldn’t be more impressive.”
As mentioned above, Huckbody surprisingly parted ways with the promotion, hoping for a little more seasoning before being thrown in the fire of the MMA leader’s middleweight division. A CFFC title win tonight should see him climb back into the UFC, or at least another Contender Series shot, in order to start his run up the ladder for the coveted UFC title.
Huckbody is tipped as the favorite tonight against Aaron Phillips (5-1), who came on as a short-notice replacement for Anthony Adams (8-2). With a win looking likely, his future should be very interesting to behold.
Oh, and be sure to watch out for that arm triangle.