A standout amateur wrestler who pushed for a spot on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team, Brian Cobb has been viewed as one of the top fighters in the 155 pound weight class not competing in the UFC.
However, at UFC 95 on Feb. 21 in London, England, that will no longer be the case.
In an exclusive interview with FiveOuncesOfPain.com, Cobb confirmed a previous Sherdog.com report stating that he has been tapped to replace Justin Buchholz next week in a non-televised lightweight preliminary bout against Terry Etim.
“I got a call right around 3 (p.m. PT on Thursday) from Urijah Faber saying Justin Buchholz has a staph infection in his knee and that he was going to pull out (and he) asked if I had a valid passport. I said ‘yeah” and he said ‘Do you want to fight in the UFC?’ And I said ‘Yes!’ and the next thing I knew my manager and agent were calling me left and right. I went through a whirlwind of paper work and made sure my all my physicals and blood work up to date… It all began around 3 o’clock and didn’t end until around 12:30 last night.”
Away from the cage, the 28-year old has a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Kinesiology (the study of the body and human movement) from Cal State-Bakersfield. As a fighter, Cobb has accumulated an impressive 18-4 record during his four and half year MMA career and holds notable wins over M-1 Challenge veteran David Gardner and former UFC lightweight competitor Diego Saraiva.
Currently the Palace Fighting Championship’s lightweight champion, Cobb also indicated to Five Ounces of Pain that in addition to signing a bout agreement for UFC 95, he has also inked a four fight contract with the organization.
For Cobb, the call to the big leagues is a dream come true.
“It’s awesome,” he responded when asked about how landing a contract with the UFC felt. “My camp and I have been talking for the last year now about taking on better opponents so that we could make the jump to the UFC… It’s been a lot of hard work. I worked really hard when I was in wrestling in college but now I have to work hard on wrestling, jiu-jitsu, and striking. I’ve just really put my life into it.”
Previously slated to fight on Feb. 21 in Seattle in the 2009 season opener of the M-1 Challenge, Cobb is currently set to finish a training camp up on Sunday. Scheduled to leave for the U.K. on Monday, Cobb indicated that he is prepared for Etim in spite of the short notice.
“I was supposed to fight on the M-1 card and more or less it’s the same exact scouting report I had for my other opponent,” said Cobb. “I’m traditionally a wrestler and I know he’s got a good submission game since nine of his 11 wins are by submission. He’s also traditionally a kickboxer so he poses a threat everywhere. I just need to be smart about it and put him outside of his comfort zone and use my cardio as an advantage.”