Nick Hrabec has been a familiar face inside the Unified MMA cage and he now finds himself in the most prominent spot of his career.
Edmonton, Alta.’s Hrabec (8-5) will battle Canadian MMA veteran Tim Smith (16-12) in the co-main event of Unified MMA 49 on Saturday night in Edmonton. The bout will be contested at 165 pounds.
Hrabec, 28, will step into the Unified MMA cage for the twelfth time in his career and hopes to follow the path of one of his long-time coaches, friends and training partners.
“If I can go out and make a good performance, a stellar performance, I think that puts me up there for fighting for a title for Unified,” said Hrabec in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I know Shane (Campbell) has it; I would never fight Shane. That’s my OG, that’s my boy. But that guy’s just too good to be fighting on the local scene. He should be getting signed to the UFC after his fight. My boy Shane’s going to handle business, get that title and I’m sure he’ll get called up to the UFC. I’m sure he would love to pass the torch, the 155 belt, my way and let me fight for it against someone.”
With the bout being in the co-main event slot, this will be Hrabec’s first time in his career in a prominent spot on the card, including the card being featured on UFC Fight Pass.
He said this is going to be a perfect opportunity to show people what he’s really all about.
“I think the exposure’s going to be huge for me. I think people are really going to see what I’m capable of. I feel like still no one has seen what I’m capable of. I feel like they’ve only seen 20 per cent of me,” said Hrabec.
“I feel like I’m really going to showcase what I have to bring to the table, that I’m an up-and-comer and the next biggest thing coming out of Edmonton.”
At the time Hrabec was making his amateur debut back in 2012, Smith had just completed his nineteenth professional fight.
Hrabec said Smith is someone he watched growing up and said it’s going to be an honour to share the cage with him.
“I think the first Unified event I went and watched he was fighting and I was literally a kid. I was literally 18 years old when I saw him fight. I was only just starting to train,” said Hrabec.
“It’s pretty cool that I get to fight him. He’s a veteran of the game, I got nothing but respect for the guy, and we’re both from Edmonton, so I think this is a fan favourite. I think this is the people’s main event.”
Hrabec has stood across the cage from the likes of Garret Nybakken and Behrang Yousefi so far in his career, but he said Smith is likely going to be his toughest test to date.
But despite the tall task ahead of him, Hrabec feels he will also have his best showing to date.
“He’s fought so many guys, he’s an OG, he has a lot of experience and this is for sure my toughest test,” said Hrabec.
“But I think this is going to be my best performance to date. I’m the up-and-comer, I’m going to be the next big thing coming out of Edmonton, so I’m excited to show that on Saturday.”
“My coaches and training partners at Wolfhouse and Shaved Bears MMA, and my strength and conditioning coach, Mike.” Follow Hrabec on social media: FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM