On May 24th, Dakota ‘Hairy’ Bush (6-1 MMA) is looking to take advantage of the biggest opportunity of his career so far. With a co-main event spot at LFA 67 against Jaleel Willis (9-2 MMA), a win will surely elevate the 24-year olds stock within the 155lb division. Speaking exclusively with FightBook MMA’s Sasha Moks, Bush shares his story from an amateur to a professional.
Like Father, Like Son
In today’s era of mixed martial arts, it seems the age to begin competing is getting younger and younger. Bush is a prime example of this. At just 18 years old, he began his career towards being a successful mixed martial artist. Beginning his journey by wrestling in high school and college, Bush looked to his father -an amateur fighter for a push to really take the next step towards the biggest chapter of his life.
I wrestled my whole life growing up. I wrestled a year in college, and it kind of wasn’t fitting for me. It just wasn’t fun anymore. My dad, was an amateur MMA fighter and he had about 10 fights. So growing up, I was around it. Never thought I was actually going to do it. And then just got the itch one day and went 9-1 as an amateur. Now I’m 6-1 as a pro, and it’s just in my blood now, really. I can’t live without it.
With his father right by his side, it was evident that Bush would be under the proper guidance to kick-start his own MMA career. As a family man and proud husband, Bush believes that having a tight-inner circler will be his ticket to success. “That’s really what got the ball going for me. A lot of people know it now, my father-in-law is actually my coach. So it’s all kept close and we’re a tight-knit and I think it makes it better that way”.
Training Camp, Jaleel Willis and Weight Cutting
The three main things that every fighter focuses on while preparing are their opponent, getting the proper training and the grueling weight cut at the end. Bush has been realistic with his training, and with a dangerous and bigger opponent, he is making sure that he isn’t exhausting his body more than he has to. With a little over a week left, Bush is feeling great and getting those last minute touch-ups in his camp. This particular fight, Bush has been putting extreme regiments in his training. A win here may catapult him into a spot at the UFC, as LFA has been a hot-commodity in funneling the next generation of talent into the world’s biggest MMA promotion.
LFA is the hot spot right now. They’re moving guys in and out of the UFC and I really want to get this big win coming up. I think that boosts me no matter what – hopefully a shot at the UFC. But if not, [I’m] just going to keep climbing the ranks and get that LFA strap by the end of the year, hopefully in my next fight. But I don’t want to look past Jaleel. He’s a tough opponent, skilled and we off-set each other well. I’m definitely not looking at anything else right now, except for him. My fight camp has been amazing. I kept my weight up a little higher than I usually do, trying to stay fully-fed for as long as I can. The weight-cut is just now starting up and I feel great. I’m excited, it’s going to be fun.
As the home town kid, Bush is looking for the opportunity in his fifth promotional fight. With LFA 67 taking place in Branson, Missouri, this is the ultimate platform for Bush to show his family, friends and the world that he belongs with the top contenders at 155.
The Hairy Bush
When fans first see a Tapology or Fight announcement with Dakota Bush, they might be surprised at the nick name the young prospect has chosen for himself. Making the most out of a natural opportunity with his legal last name, Dakota went all in by going ‘Hairy’. That’s right – it’s Dakota ‘Hairy’ Bush.
Growing up, my grandpa’s name is Harold. And my uncle’s name is Harold. My uncle was the junior, so growing up everyone called him Harry. Same with my grandpa. [His friends] called him ‘Hairy’ Bush, as a joke. Everyone called him that. Now, when I was coming up some people were calling me little ‘Hairy’ Bush – just messing with me. I was in the same spot – trying to think of a nickname. Something that would ring, or something that would be good for a fight and I couldn’t think of anything. Eventually, I was just like ‘Hairy’ Bush! What can be better than that!
Complete Knockout With Dakota Bush
To watch the entire interview with Dakota Bush, click the video below of the FightBook sponsored video podcast – The Complete Knockout.