Hunter Azure made his successful Octagon debut at UFC Fight Night 158 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
In his debut, he faced a Canadian in Brad Katona, who won "The Ultimate Fighter: Season 27" at featherweight. Although Azure was the underdog, he pulled off the win. Despite taking home the decision, his path to victory was not part of his game plan coming into the bout. He primarily kept the fight on the feet, but his coaches wanted him to outgrapple Katona.
"I expected to wrestle some more. I knew he had good boxing and is usually the one putting the pressure on his opponents," Azure said to Sherdog.com. "But, when I landed a right hand in the first, it kind of switched the pace and I knew I could then beat him in striking."
When the final horn sounded, Azure believed he had won his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut. As he awaited the decision while standing next to the referee, doubt began to creep into his mind. He wondered if he had done enough given the fight was in Katona's home country.
"In my mind, I felt very confident that I had won. But, at the same time, you don't know how the judges see it or how they scored it," he explained. "However, in the back of my mind, I was thinking, I'm in Canada, did I win? We will have to see what they say."
The judges ended up giving him the win, and Azure immediately knew this was the biggest win of his career. His victory added confidence and motivation going forward.
"That is a big win for me and my career. He was going to be a tough kid and a big name for me. It gives me extra confidence in me that I got that fight and ended up beating him," Azure said.
Since the win, he has been back in the gym training and is hoping to get another fight by the end of the calendar year.
"I want another fight by the end of the year. I'm not rushing anything, but I wouldn't mind fighting again in December," he concluded.