As far as kindergarten teachers go, Tim "The Thrashing Machine" Hague is in a class of his own.
The 26-year-old Edmontonian traded in the crayons and glue last year to chase his dream of fighting in the UFC.
Hague admits it hasn't been easy.
Undercard fighters can walk away from a UFC fight with as little as $3,000 -- double that for a victory.
So, in between training, Hague puts on seminars and scouts out sponsors to pay the bills.
"At the moment, I'm a full-time fighter. We'll see how this fight goes," says Hague of his scrap with Chris Tuchscherer at UFC 109 on Feb. 6.
Entry-level fighters such as Hague have a tenuous hold on their UFC careers.
Back-to-back losses or poor performances could bring immediate dismissal and there's a long line of scrappers looking to bump them.
The 6-foot-4 Hague understands that and knows he needs to put on a show.
He has yet to make it out of the first round in his first two UFC fights.
In his debut, Hague submitted Patrick Barry early in the first round at UFC 98 last May, then suffered a stinging seven-second knockout at the fists of Todd Duffee at UFC 102 in July.
Hague says there's a good chance his next scrap will make it out of the first stanza.
"It very well could because of Tuchscherer's wrestling style," says Hague, who boasts a 10-2 MMA record (eight wins came in King of the Cage, the other at a Raw Combat event in Calgary in October 2008).
"I'm going to have to stuff a couple of takedowns and then take over with cardio and get the TKO."
Hague is optimistic that if he can string together a couple of wins, the UFC will serve him up as a marquee fighter.
INSPIRED BY WIFE, KID
"If I could do that, I'd be 3-1 in the UFC and then maybe get a guy like Junior Dos Santos," says Hague, who tops 280 lbs. in between fights, then cuts weight to make the 265-lb. heavyweight limit.
The soft-spoken giant draws inspiration from his wife and one-year-old son Brady.
"They're the most important thing in my life and my wife is very supportive of my career choice," he says.
"She's been with me since the beginning and there's a lot of travel and things, but for the big events like UFC 109, it's great because I get to bring her and she can enjoy Vegas while I work."
As for his time as a kindergarten teacher in Rochester, Alta., Hague learned a lot from his pint-sized pupils.
"I learned to just have fun and that anything is possible," says Hague. "Kids that age are so carefree and we could all learn a little from them."
UFC 109, headlined by Halll of Famers Randy "The Natural" Couture and Mark "The Hammer" Coleman, is available on pay-per-view.