Dylan Stubblefield was already ecstatic after retaining his 145-pound Rubicon amateur belt Saturday night.
The drive home from Massari Arena in Pueblo to Colorado Springs made it an even better night.
On the ride, Stubblefield’s mixed martial arts father-son coaching combo of Ernest and Jeremy Kimball told their fighter that it was time to turn pro.
After 13 amateur fights and nearly four years working the amateur circuit, Stubblefield was told he’s ready.
“I had no idea, they kind of sprung it on me while we were driving back,” Stubblefield said Tuesday, while taking a break from laying sod in his grandmother’s yard. “… It felt relieving. I felt like there was a weight lifted off my shoulders because I’ve always had this pressure of performing to the best of my ability and proving to them I could go pro.”
Stubblefield, a 2009 Doherty High graduate, made short work of Saturday’s opponent at Top Shelf Entertainment’s Rubicon V. He needed just 2:31 to stop Fernando Sanchez and hold on to his amateur title.
Stubblefield trains at Shin Gi Tai Jiu-Jitsu in Colorado Springs. He believes that the quick work wasn’t as important to his coaches as something else he did.
“I’ve had it in the past where I’ll dominate my way and sometimes I get in trouble if I do that and don’t listen to my coaches,” he said.
“They saw that I was listening really well (Saturday) and that’s a huge, huge characteristic of a pro fighter is they’re able to listen to their coaches, make it work for them in the ring and come out with a victory.”
Jeremy Kimball backed up that theory and added to it.
“I thought his wrestling and his cage work looked dominant,” he said. “We’ve still got to fix some things, but very little. He didn’t get in a brawl, which is normally what Dylan likes to do.”
Stubblefield took minimal damage in the fight (his grandmother actually joked with him that he took too long in getting rid of Sanchez) and is ready to step into the cage again as soon as possible.
He’s heard that Legacy Fighting Alliance might be holding another show in Colorado in the coming months and if that's the case, he would enjoy that as a debut.
LFA and Top Shelf Entertainment co-promoted a card in April at Massari Arena. LFA shows are broadcast nationally on Axs TV.
“I want to go as soon as possible,” he said. “… But we’ll see, we’ll take it as it comes. I definitely want to get back in there quick. My grandma kept saying I drug it out too long because I wanted the fight to keep going.”
Stubblefield is ready to take his amateur momentum to the pros.
“I’ve had some setbacks,” he said. “But I think now I’ve finally hit my stride and really understand the work ethic that I need to have to keep it going at the pro level.”