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TUF 17 Contestant Clint Hester on Failing to Get onto TUF on His First Try

January 26, 2013 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris

MMAjunkie recently spoke with TUF 17 contestant Clint Hester. Here are some highlights:

How he used to get into fights when he was in school: “Growing up, I used to fight a lot both in school and outside of school. I hung out with a lot of smaller kids who would come to me and say, ‘Man, this guy tried to fight me.’ I’d be like, ‘Cool. Let’s go beat ’em up.’ It was just fun. Fighting has always been fun for me. Now I get to wake up every day and do what I love to do…It was a toss-up between going to college and going to the military. I didn’t get a football scholarship. I saw a boxing gym, and I decided to start training.”

Hester on how he failed to get into TUF on his first try: “The second time, Mike Whitehead was with me, and he went up to Dana White and was like, ‘Man, this kid can fight. Dana was like, ‘I’d love to get him on the show, but he’s 4-3. Go build your record and come back.’ I looked in his eyes and told him, ‘I’ll be back.’ I don’t know if he remembers me or not, but I told him I’d be back. Between boxing and MMA, I didn’t lose a fight after that. I just got down on the grind.”

Hester on how he believes he’s grown and improved his game: “I’ve grown so much. I’ve been training with Douglas Lima and Brian Stann out there in Atlanta. I still train with my coaches in Marietta, but I’ve become a much-smarter fighter. I’m more ring-savvy now. I know where I am in the ring. I make veteran moves even though I only have 10 fights. I’ll keep the fight in my corner. It’s small things – not rushing things, not forcing things.”

Hester on how he likes to fight:”I love to come out and bang. Sometimes I’ll take it to the ground and a submission will present itself, and I’ll bypass the position so I can keep striking. I’ve got a few TKOs like that. I’d rather just keep the position and strike. I really think my time is now. I know my time is now. It’s presented itself, and everything came together at once. I’m going to make the most of the opportunity.”


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Jeffrey Harris
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