Octagon Oracles: Seven-Fight LFA Vet Dakota Bush

Dakota Bush talks at a camera in an MMA cage. Dakota Bush is getting his UFC debut against Austin Hubbard on Saturday. Photo Credit: UFC Fight Pass.

UFC lightweight Austin Hubbard’s fight on Saturday is not what it was supposed to be. Hubbard’s original opponent, Natan Levy, unfortunately had to pull out of their bout due to injury. Now Hubbard will welcome another newcomer in Dakota Bush to the octagon.

Like Hubbard, Bush is also someone that comes into the UFC from the LFA promotion. With an 8-2 record, Bush is on a two-fight win streak. His two losses come to Bellator fighters Bryce Logan and Jaleel Willis.

Shawn Bitter

Grade: A
Bush is someone I thought had tons of potential in 2017. Now three-and-a-half years later, I expect big things. Bush has something a lot of fighters don’t have and something you look for in an up-and-comer – a deep gas tank. Bush can fight at an aggressive pace and keep that same energy through three rounds. He doesn’t have any glaring holes; in both his losses he was just out-wrestled. Bush is actually a Missouri state wrestling champion, so wrestling is his bread and butter. He strikes well to close the distance, and once he does those takedowns come easy.

Bush has a strong body lock, good trips, an excellent switch, and a good double leg. Once Bush gets those takedowns he has showcased dominant jiu-jitsu. He right away gets to work to better positions and is so good at taking the back in scrambles. He has four rear-naked chokes to show how dangerous he is there. Bush is a solid wrestler and on the feet, he’s becoming very dangerous.

He throws quick straight punches in explosive flurries. As shown in his last fight, he has a sneaky good head kick and it’s something he’s landed a lot in his career. On the outside you will see him throw a one-two, land a lot of kicks, and use a lot of feints.

Out Within 1-2 Years
50/50 Winner
Bonus Winner
A Mainstay Through the Years
Top 15
Top 10
Top 5
Title Contender
Champion

Kristen King

Grade: B
Bush is well-known for his wrestling, but he has proven to be more than your average wrestler. His striking has improved a lot and he uses it well when he is trying to set up a takedown. Bush on the ground is a problem — especially if he is looking to take your back to set up a rear-naked choke — but he has struggled in previous fights against better wrestlers when it came to controlling. Still, he has good awareness of those situations and will try his best to get a better position as quickly as possible. Bush is a finisher on the feet and on the ground, which is a good sign for a fighter who plans on sticking around in the UFC for a long time.

Out Within 1-2 Years
50/50 Winner
Bonus Winner
A Mainstay Through the Years
Top 15
Top 10
Top 5
Title Contender
Champion

Vince Rodemer

Grade: B+
I like Dakota Bush. He’s a wrestler and a good scrambler. I’ve written about a few elite wrestlers recently in Danny Sabatello and Bo Nickal. Gregor Gillespie is one of my favorite fighters and the absolute best at scrambling and getting the best position to find a choke or pound away on top. All those guys are world-class. Bush isn’t on that level but has some of the same qualities as they do. I want the guy to be able to find those positions and finish fights, not just lay and pray. Bush is 26-years-old and I think he can develop into a better striker – that could dictate how good he ends up being.

Out Within 1-2 Years
50/50 Winner
Bonus Winner
A Mainstay Through the Years
Top 15
Top 10
Top 5
Title Contender
Champion