It’s been over a year since UFC lightweight Jon Tuck stepped into the Octagon.
After getting a first round submission win over Takanori Gomi at UFC Fight Night 111 in June of last year, Tuck has dealt with an inability to find fights, taking care of personal business and recovering from injury.
“After my fight with Gomi I was trying to get a fight with anyone,” Tuck told MMAWeekly.com. “At UFC (214) they had a guy fall out of a fight with Sage Northcutt, and I told them I wanted to fight on that card, but I guess the UFC and Sage’s team didn’t accept the fight because of the style of fight I would have brought.
“From there I got married and was training and trying to get a fight for UFC Australia, but nothing came through. Then I ended up having to take care of a knee injury, and that put me on hold for a bit. I’ve been helping guys get ready for fights coming up, and just staying ready.”
Just because he wasn’t fighting in MMA, that doesn’t mean that Tuck wasn’t competing during his time off.
“I actually did an Oceania tournament for wrestling just to keep me motivated because I was looking for a fight and nothing came through,” said Tuck. “I never got to compete in wrestling, and even though I don’t utilize it much in my fights, I decide to do the Oceania tournament and won the championship.”
On August 25 at UFC Fight Night 135 in Lincoln, Nebraska, Tuck (10-4) will finally return to the Octagon when he faces Drew Dober (19-8) in a preliminary 155-pound bout.
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“It’s interesting because we both came from The Ultimate Fighter 15, so we could have fought there, but we didn’t,” Tuck said of Dober. “We’re both respectful fighters and love the martial arts and bringing out the best in people. He’ll bring out the best in me.
“He’s a great fighter who definitely loves to put a show on for the fans. I can’t have a boring fight with him, and I’m excited by that. I don’t always look for Fight of the Night, but with his style of fighting and my style of fighting, I think we can bring that to Lincoln.”
Should Tuck come out of his bout with Dober healthy, he’s more than ready to step back into the cage, no matter the opportunity and no matter the weight class.
“I’m always willing and available,” said Tuck. “I always tell them for fights that are last-minute fallouts; I’ll fight at 170 pounds. Even as crazy as it sounds, I might fight at 185 pounds.
“I’m not a huge middleweight fighter, but I train with bigger guys, so putting it together and fighting in there I don’t think would be too much of a difference. I’ll fight anywhere; 185 pounds, 170 pounds, and 155 pounds too.”