To train MMA full-time can be demanding and exhausting at times, but Nick Hrabec has taken it to another level.
In addition to training MMA full-time, Edmonton’s Hrabec works four part-time jobs in order to allow himself the time and flexibility to train. On top of training, Hrabec is a bartender, a kickboxing instructor, a personal trainer for all aspects of MMA and functional training, and works for a supplement company.
Hrabec, 24, said he has no desire to work all of these jobs, but he’s doing it to help set himself up for a bright future.
“I’m doing all this just to get to where I want. I know working a 9-5 job and training won’t get me where I want. I need to be training 2-3 times per day,” said Hrabec in an interview.
“I’ll do whatever it takes to train full-time.”
As is the case with the majority of up-and-coming MMA fighters, Hrabec has his sights set on the UFC down the road.
Currently sitting with a record of 5-4, which includes multiple tough losses, Hrabec said he knows it’s going to take some time to build a win streak strong enough to reach the big show, but is confident he will find himself there in the end.
“The sky is the limit. I know I’m going to get to the UFC,” said Hrabec.
“As I get the win streak rolling, it’s all going to show. I know I’m going to get there, and it’s just a matter of getting these wins under my belt.”
His pursuit of reaching the UFC started in full force when he was 19 years old and fresh out of high school.
Hrabec said the initial decision to pursue MMA full-time arose when he and a good friend decided they were both going to chase their dreams and separate themselves from the pack instead of being content with a standard 9-5 job.
“I always knew I had the talent, but I just wasn’t putting all my effort into it,” said Hrabec.
“Ever since then, I’ve told myself this is what I’m going to do. I knew I was destined to be something more.”
After cutting ties with the UFC Gym in Edmonton, Hrabec recently started working with Jeff Montemurro and the elite team at Little Sweatshop and Shaved Bears MMA before his last fight at XFFC 17, while continuing to work his jiu-jitsu game at Complete Fitness and Martial Arts.
Hrabec said what Montemurro offers as a coach, combined with working with training partners like Mike Scarcello, Teddy Ash, Tanner Boser, Neal Anderson, Menad Abella, Graham Park, Spencer Jebb and Garret Nybakken, has really elevated his overall game to another level.
“It’s the best MMA team in Western Canada for sure,” said Hrabec.
“What Montemurro brings to the table is what brought my game to another level. It’s made me more of an all-around fighter.”
Shaolin Muay Thai Base
While Montemurro may now be riding shotgun as Hrabec’s coach, it all started with muay thai specialist and UFC veteran Shane Campbell over five years ago when he and Hrabec connected at Kyle Cardinal’s gym in Edmonton.
Campbell said he’s had hundreds students over the years that have emphasized they wanted to be the next champion, including Hrabec, but Hrabec showed him he truly has what it takes to succeed.
“Nick came in and was very ambitious, and definitely went out of his way to acquire whatever skills he could from the best guys he could find around,” said Campbell in an interview.
If there’s anyone who knows what it takes to reach the highest level, it’s Campbell, having five UFC bouts under his belt so far in his career.
Campbell said if Hrabec continues on the path he’s on, and maintains his current level of commitment and passion, he has what it takes to take his career all the way to the top.
“He’s a very talented, young guy with lots of time ahead of him,” said Campbell.
“As long as he sticks with it and keeps on the grind, he most definitely can make it to the big show.”