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  • Austin Hagan is December’s Martial Artist of the Month


    There are few things in this world that can match the feeling of when you step into the cage for you very first MMA fight.


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    Austin Hagan was a high school and collegiate athlete, receiving accolades and awards for his accomplishments in wrestling and football. At the age of 24, Austin wanted to continue to stay in shape and fuel his competitive desires, so he began training mixed martial arts. It was obvious from the start that Austin had a bright future in combat sports. His Muay Thai Foundations coach, Jim Sheppard, recalls Austin’s first couple of weeks at Straight Blast Gym:



    It was clear from the very beginning that Austin was a fast learner. I would show him a technique or striking combination, and he would pick it up in minutes. I remember thinking, during our first few sparring rounds that we ever had, “Man, I’m going to have to get the better of this guy while I still can, lol.” Fast forward to today and Austin’s striking is way ahead of where it should be for a guy who has been training for 6 months.


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    Between Austin’s drive to compete, and his wrestling background, Austin began to make some serious noise in SBG’s Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu programs, even winning a gold medal in his first jiu jitsu tournament. Straight Blast Gym’s Head MMA and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coach, Phillipe Gentry, felt that Austin was ready to compete in MMA and booked him in his first fight against a 2-0 MMA fighter from another local gym. Come fight night, Austin was more than ready…both mentally and physically. Coach Phillipe recalls the fight:



    Expectations are always fairly tempered for someone doing their first MMA fight. No matter how much you practice, you can’t replicate that feeing of getting into a cage to fight another person. Austin was a true gamer, and despite the proverbial adrenaline-dump, he pushed through it and never stopped fighting.


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    After a very tough, back-and-forth fight, Austin was declared the winner! Always the competitor, Austin immediately started making plans for his next MMA fight, which has now been booked for January 27th in Atlanta, GA.

    Congratulations Austin, and we look forward to seeing you in action this January!


    Jim Sheppard

    is one of the co-owners of Straight Blast Gym Buford and Straight Blast Gym Atlanta. He has been training / coaching / competing in Muay Thai since 2013 and holds a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.