Lightweight Prospect Kurt Holobaugh UFC-Bound Despite Loss at Strikeforce

Scott Harris@ScottHarrisMMAMMA Lead WriterJanuary 15, 2013

Photo credit: Mark D. Smith/USA Today Sports
Photo credit: Mark D. Smith/USA Today Sports

Kurt Holobaugh may have suffered his first professional defeat Saturday night, but apparently it wasn't enough to dampen the UFC's enthusiasm for the lightweight prospect. reported Tuesday afternoon that Holobaugh (8-1) is the latest fighter to move from the now-defunct Strikeforce promotion to the UFC Octagon.

Holobaugh lost a unanimous decision to UFC veteran Pat Healy during last Saturday's Strikeforce undercard. It was the final event in Strikeforce history.

Healy, originally scheduled to fight for the promotion's lightweight title, was able to control Holobaugh on the ground and escape several submission attempts from the younger fighter. After the fight, Healy indicated that his own move to the UFC was "a done deal."

Holobaugh, 26, has six of his professional wins by tapout. Though he is largely unknown to casual audiences, Holobaugh has been on the prospect radar for some time. Holobaugh accepted the fight with Healy on only 10 days' notice, stepping in for an injured Jorge Masvidal. Masvidal himself was replacing lightweight belt holder Gilbert Melendez, who had previously backed out because of complications related to a pre-existing shoulder injury.

It was Holobaugh's first fight under the Strikeforce banner. Despite the new stage, the short notice and the far more accomplished opponent, Holobaugh acquitted himself well, staying out of major trouble and working for submissions throughout. 

Holobaugh will not fight right away for the UFC, as the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission announced Monday that Holobaugh received an indefinite medical suspension for an injury to his right hand. 

Holobaugh is probably best known for an unusual experience that unfolded outside the cage. On Oct. 27, Holobaugh married his longtime girlfriend, and fought later that day. He won the fight via first-round knockout.

Other fighters who have or are expected to move from Strikeforce to the UFC include Melendez, heavyweight Daniel Cormier, welterweight prospect Roger Bowling, light heavyweight Gegard Mousasi, middleweights Derek Brunson and Ronaldo Souza, welterweights Nate Marquardt and Tarec Saffiedine and women's champion Ronda Rousey.