Is Dustin Hazelett the Future of the Welterweight Division?

Matt RandallCorrespondent IJanuary 21, 2009

Dustin “McLovin” Hazelett. Dustin “McLovin” Hazelett. Dustin “McLovin” Hazelett.

Do not let this this name slip by, Dustin Hazelett is here to stay.

At the age of 22, Dustin Hazelett has one of the brightest futures in the UFC. Fighting in the welterweight division with a record of 12 wins (8 by submission) and 4 losses, Dustin is going to be around for a long long time.

His last two fights both wound up with him winning by submission and both being submission of the night.

He had a flying armbar at the TUF 7 finale against Josh Burkman and then a reverse armbar at UFC 91 against Tamdam McCory.

He has suffered only two losses in the UFC: against Josh Koscheck via TKO at UFC 82 and against Tony DeSouza at Ortiz vs. Shamrock 3, which was his first fight in the Octagon.

Dustin has a black belt under Jorge Gurgel and trains with the American Figher team. He has proven time and again that his Jiu-Jitsu is advanced for his age and his striking is getting better.

This was displayed against Koscheck, even though the end result was a TKO. Making no excuses for the young fighter, but Josh is one of the top dogs in the welterweight division and he held his own.

Dustin will be taking on undefeated (7-0) and excellent striker Ben Saunders at UFC 96, which will be an excellent test for him. Ben showed in his last fight that he has an excellent clinch, followed by knees and good high kicks.

This will be a great fight. Dustin will look to take him down and submit him, but he has been working on his striking and might look to bang with Ben before hand.

Dustin maybe not be ready for contend for the belt just quite yet, but give this young man some more fighting experience and his desire to win, and we will be seeing a belt around his waist in a few years.