IF you want to read about our first fight check it out here:
Last week I get a message on MySpace from John Wayne Parr and in the subject line it says “I'm going to make all your dreams come true.” Now immediately two thoughts come into my mind. 1, someone hacked his page and is messing with me or 2, he sent this to the wrong person. I open it up and start reading. He tells me that he told the people doing the second season of The Contender Asia that they need to put me on the show. Says he told them that I was better than any of the other American's that they had in mind. He also tells me that he will probably be one of the coaches. I couldn't believe it yet at the same time I thought, “What are the chances this actually happens?” Funny thing is that when I was watching the first season I had this overwhelming sense that I was going to be in this show one day. I even wrote it down on a piece of paper. It was one of the strongest feelings I had ever had, as if God was talking directly to me. Wayne told me to expect a call from them soon. I go about my normal day excited but not really expecting much. After my night training session I see that I missed a call and have a voice mail from an unavailable number. I listen and it's Sam Gollestani from The Contender. He say's that he's heard a lot of really great things about me and that he would really like to get me on the show. He goes on to say that he would try to give me a call again later as he was calling from Singapore. I couldn't believe it, felt as if I was dreaming. I mean was I really going to be on this show? How crazy would that be? After the excitement wears off a bit I really start to think about it. Two things concerned me. 1, the weight class is 160, which is about 20 pounds over what I normally fight at and 2, I would have to cancel the rematch with KangEn because they start filming July 2nd and it's for 8 weeks. Even though I had all these concerns there was no way I could pass something like this up. I waited for my phone to ring. Around 9pm it starts ringing and it's an unavailable number, it was Sam. He tells me again about all the great things he has heard and that he'd really like to get me on the show. He says that he's seen some of my fights and interviews online and that I would be perfect. He asks if I would be interested. I started laughing, “Of course”, I say. He goes on to tell me that I just need to do a video of myself answering a few questions that he would be emailing me and then send to him as fast as possible. He says that he will contact me through email from now on because it will be easier. The next day I got the questions, shot the video and sent it off to him. It was just a few things about my life, Muay Thai and things like that. I felt pretty weird sitting in a room by myself alone in front of the camera. I knew that if God intended for me to be on the show then that's what would happen, no point in worrying about it. It would definitely be a great experience but even if it doesn't happen then at least I'll still be able to fight KangEn. Sam told me that he would let me know by the end of the month at the latest. I know they will be receiving my video tomorrow so hopefully I will hear back from them soon. In the meantime I really need to put some weight on if I'm going to fight at 160. I'm only about 150 right now and most of these guys will probably be walking around at 180. No matter what I'm having fun, my life is so insane! I love it!
Last night, around 11, I saw that I had another missed call and had a voice mail. It was Sam again, he said that they had received my video and that they all really loved it. At first I thought he was going to finish off with 'but we aren't going to be able to get you on the show.' He goes on to tell me how genuine I came across and how they really loved how I just sent the original unedited clip, unlike all the others they had received. He tells me that they have narrowed it down to 3 American's and that they can only use one, although he is trying to push for two. He tells me that he may need to fly me out there in two weeks for a final casting. Hopefully I will know by the end of the week what's going on.
I got an email from Sam today. He said that they are giving a presentation of the fighters that they want on the show this week. I had sent him that note I had written back in the day about one day being on The Contender. He said it would be a great thing to add to his presentation. If it's God's will than it will be done. Either way I'm happy. I'm starting to feel a lot better since the last fight and my ankle has been feeling ok. Finally putting some weight on as well. I did legs twice with Norm this week, ended up with really bad shin splints in both legs, worst I've ever had. I ended up having to skip our conditioning at Palo this morning because my legs were just shot. I pushed myself really hard in sparring though and felt great. My recovery has been really good.
I got another email from Sam today. I was a little freaked out when I saw it. I thought that it was going to be him telling me whether or not I would be on the show. No such luck! He just tells me that it's taking a little longer than they had planned and that he should know by the end of the week. I just want to know either way so that I can focus on a goal. Training's going great, I'm feeling strong and in great shape and the weight is slowly going up. Unfortunately on Thursday I got sick and have been fighting this stupid cold for the past four days. I lost a bit of weight since I haven't been eating much. I haven't trained since Wednesday but I'm going in tomorrow no matter how I feel.
Dennis Warner called me yesterday and told me that he's in town and wants to meet up. Last night Shawn and I headed over to The Hilton to meet with him. I still haven't told him about the possibility of me being on the show and having to cancel his. I was hoping wouldn't have to until I knew what was happening. When we get to the hotel Dennis already has our contracts for the fights and wanted us to sign them. I told him that I still needed to talk to Toddy and that I could fax it over once I do. He tells me that he could swing by the gym later today so that he can talk to him in person. Crap! Well I emailed Sam last night to tell him that I really need to know one way or another. I guess I'll just tell Dennis if I have to, I just hope that it doesn't mess anything up. Almost got rid of this cold but still not feeling 100% but definitely better.
I got an email from Sam on Thursday. Said he was sorry it was taking so long. Tells me they have 14 of the 16 spots filled. He said that they already booked two American's but that he really wants me on. They start filing in a week and a half, I'm really starting to get frustrated. The same day I also got an email from Wayne, he tells me that he's not going to be a coach on the show. I guess the producers told him that since he's still fighting and in the same weight class that it would be a bad idea for him to coach us. What? That's the exact opposite of what I think, but what do I know. He told me that the two coaches will be Clifton Brown and Ray Sefo. What? How does that make better sense? Sefo is a heavyweight who hasn't fought Muay Thai in who knows how long. Then he tells me that the two American's are Kit Cope and Duane Ludwig. I'm not knocking either one of them, especially not Duane, but they haven't fought Muay Thai in years. Whatever, they've both payed their dues so good for them. The more I'm hearing about this show the more it just sounds wrong for me. I know it's all in God's hands regardless so I'll just see where it leads. Hopefully I will know in the next few days.
Well I ended up having to sing with Dennis, I just couldn't wait any longer. I'm actually really happy that I get to fight here in Vegas and it's this rematch. Training’s been going really good although I have the worst shin splints, can barely walk. I've been dealing with that for the past few weeks. It sucks because I can't run but I also feel like I'm in the best shape of my life. Norm's been absolutely killing me. To top it all off I decided to kick Gina right in her knee with my big toe. Damn near felt like it snapped in half. My back has been killing me as well. It's always something right? My body just feels shot. I fell like I'm in great shape, I'm just so exhausted. I put all that damn weight on because I thought I would be on the show and now I have to try and get it all off, haha. I got all the way up to 160 and now I need to drop down to 140. From one extreme to the other. Sam called me the other day telling me that the show got pushed back until August. He said that they're still considering me. I told him to call me this week to talk about it. Who knows, maybe I'll still end up getting on there.
Well training's been great, I feel beyond ready, still dealing with these shin splints though. It's weird not having ran at all for this fight, other than the conditioning stuff on Saturday's. I still feel like I'm in the best shape I've ever been in. Norm had me swimming today in order to get my lungs opened up. I thought it would be such a nice change instead of running, wrong. My body just shut down after the 2nd lap. I'm so tired but I feel great at the same time. Hit pads a few hours after my swim and it was the best session I've had so far. I'm getting really excited to fight. It's crazy how life goes sometimes. God's direction and the way things work out always amazes me. And to think, in a week and a half all of this will be over. That's how life is. There are these amazing things that we look forward to forever. They happen in a blink of an eye and then like that, it's all over and are just a memory. That's why we need to enjoy the journey no matter what is going on, even the bad stuff. It's life, enjoy it! Go after your dreams, what do you really have to lose? All's I know is that on the 25th I’m going to put everything that I have into that fight. I wont hold back for even an instant. I know that God has a plan and whatever will be will be. I will have no regrets.
Last week before the fight. I feel great, just a little drained getting these last few pounds off. Norm has me doing this straight carb diet. I just started today and I feel like I'm losing my mind. It's like my brain can't function. I think I'm going to have to adjust it a bit. I was 147 this morning, so 7 more to go. Not sure how I got through pads feeling the way I did. I felt like I was going to pass out just doing my warm up. The good thing is that I know if I can go as hard as I did feeling this way then once I get some food in me I'm really going to kill it. We'll see how I'm feeling tomorrow.
Felt way better today, still out of it and tired but not anywhere near as badly as yesterday. It's probably because I didn't keep my diet as strict. I still stuck to it just put some stuff together instead of eating each thing separate throughout the day. My body is exhausted. I was 145 this morning. James Martinez called me this morning. He said that he heard a rumor that the Chinese were having trouble getting their Visa's. Told me that Dennis had called him looking for a possible back up opponents. I will go off on someone if this fight falls through, I have gone through way too much to get here! I don't even want to consider it. I have to do the MMA Junkie radio show tomorrow over at The Mandalay Bay. Apparently that's the same show Kit was running his mouth about me on, should be interesting. Another day down.
Last day of training down. Mentally I was feeling great today, best I've felt all week. As soon as I got to the gym it was as if someone had unplugged my fuel source though. My body felt so drained. I tried to warm up and was able to get in a rhythm for a moment but then I would just crash. Nope got me stretched out and I got ready to hit pads. I didn't know how I was going to get through it. I asked him how many rounds we were going to do and he says, “three”. Thank goodness!!! I tried to get going but my body was just not having it. I did my best to just keep a good pace. My punches and elbows felt great but when I kicked it would just take so much out of me. I know that it was just from dieting but it was still frustrating. We did 3 rounds of Thai pads and then 2 boxing rounds, of which I felt much better. After that I did 2 rounds of cool down shadow boxing. Norm told me I could eat a small steak or salmon tonight. Best news I've heard all week. When I got home I grilled up a turkey burger, it was delicious. Tomorrow morning I'm going to Toddy's at 10 to have Nope give me a Thai oil massage and just do a few rounds of shadow boxing. I woke up at 144 this morning, might not have to cut anything on Friday but if I do it will only be a pound or two. I can't wait for this fight. We have to do a press conference at Caesar’s Palace tomorrow. I did the MMA Junkie radio show this morning. It was fun but I was so brain dead from dropping this weight that it was hard for me to have an intelligent conversation.
Well where do I being? Got up this morning and went to the gym. Nope rubbed me down with Thai oil then I shadow boxed a few rounds. We did a few light rounds on the pads, exactly what I needed. At 4 I drove over to Don's and he gave me an hour long massage. It was great but I felt like I was going to slip into a coma afterward. It definite made me feel better. After that I headed over to Caesar’s for the press conference. We had to dress all fancy so I brought my clothes to Don's so I could change beforehand. My mom and her new boyfriends Alex were there, they had flown in for the fight, it was so great to see her. I get up to the room where the press conference is and Christine, Anthony, Mae and Danny are waiting outside. We are all sitting there and Christine tells me that her opponent got changed. Something about the Chinese not getting their Visa's. We still didn't know if it was just hers or everyone's. We sit through this entire press conference, which started an hour late. The whole thing was annoying and seemed pointless. Finally when it was over they bring food out for everyone, wtf? This was my Q to leave. Shawn and I got ready to head out and Dennis grabs us saying that we need to talk, here we go! I was just waiting for the bad news. He says that the entire Chinese team won't be fighting because they got their visa's, just the wrong kind. He lets me know that he has a back up opponent for me, Justin Greskiewicz, but we will be fighting at 145 for the National WBC title, which is find with me. He says that next month, August 30th, they will do another show and that's when KangEn and I will have our rematch. So the good news is that I get two title fights a month apart but poor Shawn. They wanted him and Danny to fight, which is just stupid. I don't think it will happen but they are waiting until weigh ins to talk about it. It sucks but that's the fight game sometimes. What can you do? I know that God is directing me and that everything will work out. At least I get to eat a little. I'm 147 right now, after eating a bit, so hopefully I will wake up on weight. I've seen Justin fight before, we've had a few of the same opponents. He's tough and good all around. I think it will be a great fight.
Well here's what happened. Got up the day of weigh ins feeling pretty good but at the same time very tired. I think I had just put my body through so much that it didn't know how to feel with a day off. I was 143 when I woke up so I had a bowl of oatmeal with some raisins and a banana. So nice to be able to eat before weigh ins. I ate and then tried to go back to sleep. I lay there for a while but eventually got up and went upstairs to watch some fights. Around noon I weighed myself and was still 143 so I had half of a sweet potato. Shawn came by around 4 and picked me up. I had all kinds of stuff with me. Big ass thing of water, protein shake, volumaize shake, IV stuff and my back pack. Shaw said that he still hadn't heard if Dennis so he thought that he might still be fighting, who knows. We got there around 4:30 and I had to start filling out all my paperwork for the commission. They ended up telling Shawn that he didn't have a fight. Obviously he was pissed but he knew that was probably going to happen. I got all my paperwork finished and got my physical done. They actually started the weigh ins on time which was shocking. I saw Justin and normally I would have said hello but I was in a mood. They finally called us out to the scale and we both came in at 144. I didn't even look at him and they didn't have us do a square off. Just got off the scale and started in on my recovery stuff. Jolee, the girl Rhonda was having do my IV, was running late. I didn't even really need it but figured that I might as well. After waiting around, however, I wished I had said no. Finally she shows up so my mom, my brother, Gina, Anthony and I all head up to Romie's room so I can get it done. She sticks it in my left hand, which I found odd as they normally do a vein in the arm, and gets it all hooked up. For some reason the fluids weren't going down. Of course! She couldn't seem to figure out what the problem was and I was starting to get really annoyed. I told her that it was no big deal if she couldn't do it. She had one more needle so she gave it another try. Now the first one she did I barely felt but for some reason this time it felt as if she was jamming the needle straight into the bone. It was killing me and to top it off still wasn't working. After messing around with it for a bit I finally told her to stop. Well apparently Alex is a surgeon so my mom gave him a call, as he was downstairs playing black jack, to see if he could come up and take a look at it. Seemed as if Jolee took this as her cue to leave and bounced, which seemed odd to me. Alex shows up, takes one look at it and just has this look on his face like, “WTF did she do?” He tells me that she didn't even have the needle in my vein. Good times! I was so fed up at that point I just say screw it and we leave. I was so annoyed and in the worst mood. I just wanted to go home and lay down. As we make our way to Gina's car the casino is packed. Apparently there is some kind of convention going on. I was on my last nerve. We had to take my brother, mom and Alex over to the Paris so all of us had to cram into Gina's car. It was so uncomfortable. Of course traffic was bad and it took forever. Finally we got there and dropped them off. I said goodbye and them them that I'll see them all tomorrow. Finally it's just Gina, Anthony and I. Gina asks if I want to go eat and I say sure. I say that I don't care what it is but I need to be able to get something healthy. We couldn’t figure anything out and I was getting pissed off so I finally told her to just take me home. I felt bad but I just needed to be alone. Finally got home and felt a huge weight off of my shoulders. I relaxed a bit and drank my recovery shake. Even though I hadn't had to sauna or anything I was still feeling pretty worn out. Romie had brought me a tape to weigh ins from when I had fought Freddy Medrano at the Pechanga casino. I had been waiting to see it since I couldn’t remember a single thing from that fight. He dropped me in the second round with a flying knee to the jaw. It was actually the funniest thing I had ever seen. Obviously it wasn't so funny when it happened but looking at it now I was cracking up. It looked as if I was Pinocchio getting his strings cut haha. I watched it like 10 times and laughed more and more each time. Dawn was out of town and let me crash over at her place. I just wanted to make sure that I got a good nights rest and that no one bothered me. On top of the fact that she has the most amazing bed ever. I got over there and her mom had bought me a bunch of food. Olive Garden and Outback Steak House, I was in heaven. She's so sweet. I took all the food up to Dawn's room and layed it out on the bed. I had about five trays of food surrounding me. It was amazing. I didn't want to gorge myself but I was getting close. After stuffing my face I watched a few fights and passed out. I haven't slept that good in forever, I defintely need it. Woke up around 10 and felt as if I could sleep all day. I would have too but I needed to make sure that I got plenty of food and water in me. I headed back to my house and had some breakfast. I was still feeling really worn out which annoyed me. I knew I would be fine come fight time. Sat around and watched fights and tried to rest as much as possible. Mike Pyle came over for a bit and I showed him the Medrano fight as well as the KangEn one. I was icing my shin splints the whole time in hopes that it would help take the edge off. I didn't even realize the time and had to grab all of my stuff quickly and head out. I headed over to Mark's house and chilled out for a bit watching TV. We left for the fights around 5. When we got there they still weren't letting people into the back so we just chilled. I wanted to just lay down and take a nap. Around 6 they finally let us in and I immediately went into the green room, which was sick. Couches, TV's and plenty of space. I lay up on the couch for awhile. The TV in showed the ring but the view was really far away and you couldn't really see what was going on. It sucked because I wanted to watch the fights. There were seven fights on the card and I was 6th so I would at least be able to go out there and watch the first few. Nope finally showed up and stretched me out. I still hadn't heard from Toddy. Mark got my hands wrapped and I stretched out some more and just relaxed. I was feeling really good. I was really trying to just enjoy every moment. Finally the fights start and I went out to watch the first two. The theater looked packed, almost sold out. I couldn't wait to put on a show. Finally I started shadow boxing and moving around a bit. My back was a little tight but nowhere near as bad as it had been. Hit some pads with Nope and everything felt great. Still no sign of Toddy and it was my turn to go out. I'm going to have a long talk with him after all this is over. Made my way through the back and up the stairs to where we waited by the curtains that led to the stage. Mark and Nope gave me some last minute instructions and I pumped myself up. Something that I have to do before I fight because I am always too calm. I was wearing a Triumph United hat. John knew the owner and they were hooking me up with a sponsorship. Mark was holding onto my mongkol so I could put it on before I got in the ring. Finally they call my name and the crowd erupts in applause as I walk out. The place was packed, it was such an amazing feeling. As I get closer to the ring, to my surprise, Toddy is standing there by my corner. He looks me in the eye and says, “Nothing can disturb you.” There's just something about him being in my corner to where I know that nothing can get in my way. I jump over the ropes, seal off the ring, do a quick three bows in the center and then walk back to my corner. They didn't want is doing wai kru's because there wasn't time because of the TV. The ref brings us together in the center of the ring and gives us last minute instructions. Justin didn't look me in the eye, not that most people do or that it actually means anything. I was extremely confident but I wanted to take my time and make sure and finish him. We get started and move around a little. He seemed sure of himself as he was making little smirks after each exchange, which actually pissed me off. He was decent all around but nothing special. I was actually feeling really stiff. Not sure if it was the 6 months off or the fact that I hadn't warmed up good enough. I had totally forgotten to get that first wind out in the back. I always have to because my conditioning is so good. It's like getting a mack truck started. I was landing some good hard kicks to his body, which is what I had planned on. I was also standing my ground, he was trying but I was walking him down. It was nice that I didn't have to chase him around. He was still making his faces at me. I thought to myself, “Keep it up while you still can.” After the first round I was feeling good. My ankle was holding up great and my right hand was actually feeling good for once. It was great having Toddy in my corner. He is always really specific and tells me exactly what I need to hear. Mark was also getting his thoughts in, which can be difficult when two people are competing to talk. Going into the second round I wanted to continue with my hard body kicks and punch combinations. The smiles stopped in this round and I knew that I was breaking him. I caught him with an over hand right and he dropped like a sack of potatoes. I was surprised because I hadn't really let my right hand go since I had broken it in 2007, three times. He got up, which didn't surprise me as I knew he was tough. I got a little carried away and started winging over hands but was able to settle back down and get back to my combinations. I split him with an elbow at some point but it wasn't a big cut. We clinched up a few times, I could definitely notice the size difference in there. At the end of the round I landed another flush right hand that sent him reeling back all the way across the ring into the ropes. I ran after him to follow but eventually he hit the floor. HE got up but I knew that it was only a matter of time before I finished him off. Ding ding, end of round 2. Going into the 3rd Toddy told me to stay on the outside and light him up with kicks. I was finally getting into a good rhythm and started to really relax. Part of my wanted to bust out some of my crazy moves, spinning elbows, cartwheel kicks, etc, but the other part wanted to stay smart and make sure that I took him out. I kept pressing him and finally landed a flush front kick to his face.. He stumbled back into the ropes. The ref comes in and starts counting as I walk back to the neutral corner. By the time I get there and turn around there are already a bunch of people in the ring. I had no idea what was going on. At first I thought maybe the doc was checking out his eye or something but then one of the commissioners comes over and says, “Nice job Kevin, good fight!” I say, “What happened, is it over?” He replies, “Yes.” “Did I win?”, I ask. He laughs and says yes. That's when it all hits me. I was so happy and excited. I jumped on the ropes and the crowd went nuts. Toddy got in the ring and told me how happy he was for me. I thanked him for everything. I was running around hugging and thanking everyone. I told Justin how grateful I was that he took the fight and that if he ever wanted a rematch I'd be happy to give him one. He said, “You deserve it man. You're the best!” I was so happy! Randy Couture presented me with the belt, which I thought was a bit odd but always good to see him. It felt so great to have that belt around my waist, a dream come true. One of the commentators came in the ring to interview me, Blinky Rodriguez. I was hoping that I would be able to speak to the audience but it was just for TV. I made sure and thanks God first, Blinky told me how nice it was to hear a fighter giving God the glory. After my interview we took some photos and then I got out of the ring. They ended up having to take my belt back. They said they were sending it to me because the one they had was someone elses but I could take some pics with it if I wanted to. I went downstairs back to my changing room. Took a few photos and then I did an interview with Maurice for IMANtv. I was so happy but immediately I was already focused on my rematch next month. No time to screw around
Well we are three weeks out from my rematch with KangEn. Got a few nagging injuries but at least my right hand and ankle are feeling good
Two weeks to go and I've been feeling really burnt out. My injuries are feeling better but I've just been really tired. I was feeling really good on Monday and Tuesday but Wednesday morning Norm has us do these crazy ass sprints. Got through them ok but Thursday and Friday I could barely do anything. I'm feeling much better today. Just trying to refocus and get some rest. Guess the three days off after the last fight weren't enough :P It was just so much work putting all the energy into the last fight, which was supposed to be the rematch and now trying to get right back into that state of mind. I know that no matter what God is with me and things will happen the way they are supposed to.
One more week to go and of course, I get sick. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were really rough but I was feeling good. After my last session on Wednesday I started feeling a cold coming on. I did my best to fight it off filing myself with vitamins but no luck. Dawn was out of town so I went and crashed at her pad. Thursday I woke up feeling terrible, couldn't even get out of bed. I lay around all day just praying that I would feel better soon. I mean I definitely need a day off but being sick wasn't what I had in mind. I couldn't even make it down to teach. I rested as much as possible. Friday again I couldn't get out of bed. I was hoping to at least be able to train a little but I could see that wasn't going to happen. Sheila came by and gave me a B12 shot, which did make me feel a little bit better. I wasn't too worried about getting sick. I mean it wasn't the best thing but it's definitely better than getting sick next week. Spent the rest of the day resting. I knew that I was going to train today no matter what. I got up this morning feeling a little better. I wasn't looking forward to running with Norm but I figured that it'd be good to get my lungs opened up. I headed up to Palo at 9. It was an overcast day, on the verge of raining. Normally I would have enjoyed it but today's our last day so it's only a 20 minute run and I was hoping to get some sun. When we got up there I thought that I was feeling better, two days off had at least let my body heal a bit, but I was wrong. Just walking up those damn stairs to go and do our warm up was a bit much. Started the jog and I was just dragging ass. My body was shot and the cold was not helping a bit, it was so hard to breath. I know if I could just keep up than that would be good, I really tried to push myself. Somehow made it through. My hamstring started hurting towards the end even since Chaz popped his I always get paranoid. I was feeling worn out but my lungs at least opened up. We headed home and had about two hours before sparring. I was wondering if I should even go. I finally decided that I would and just see how I feel. Got over to the gym about half an hour early so that I could get a nice stretch and warm up in. I was feeling really exhausted. Did my best to get warmed up but I just couldn't get going. Sparred about 6 or 7 rounds and actually felt way better than I thought I was going to. I decided to stop a little early just to be safe. Sheila came by and gave me another B12 shot. She also brought me some Claratin and Mucinex. I hope that they would help at least a little bit. When I went home I was feeling really lousy. I just lay in bed and rested the rest of the day.
Well I woke up this morning feeling 10 times better. I could breath and just felt much less congested. I lay in bed until about 10. For some reason I had a ton of energy. Went to church with Chaz, John and Amber. I was really emotional and just felt like bursting into tears the whole time. I just feel so blessed to have this gift and am so grateful to be able to touch people's lives with it.
I'm still feeling better but I'm still a bit congested. Did 5 rounds with Shawn this morning and felt pretty good although it was hard for me to breath. I know that I'll clear up by fight time and even if I don't I'm not worried. I woke up at 147, which made me happy. Felt pretty good the first part of the day but after that I was having a hard time. Just felt like eating everything in sight. Git a massage at 5, which was wonderful and made me feel a lot better. I feel great other than this stupid cold. A few more days to go. Got a press conference on Thursday in China town. That should be interesting Decided to go to LA the week after the fight to hang out with my dad and brother. Just need to get away and have a healthy break. Can't wait! Well Toddy's back so hopefully I'll see him tomorrow and he can sharpen me up.
I woke up this morning feeling awful. Started blacking out as soon as I'd try and stand up. Decided to take the morning off and just rest, felt a lot better after that. I did weigh 144.8 which made me feel a lot better. Decided to try and eat a little more today and felt a bit better in the afternoon. Went to Toddy's at 4, he's finally back from Thailand as is Dayel. He said he wanted to watch me train. I had been hoping that he would hold pads for me but I knew as long as he was there that he would correct whatever Wong, the guy that had been holding for me lately, was doing wrong. Well that's what happened but it was basically 5 rounds of me being his guinea pig trying to get Wong's technique squared away. All right kicks. Fun times! It was good though because that's the one thing that I felt I was missing. Knowing I could get through that torture and still feel strong made me a lot more confident. Two more days until weigh ins. Feels like forever. Got two sessions tomorrow then maybe one on Friday. I feel great other than this stupid cold.
Well we had the press conference today. That was fun! Got up this morning and hit pads with Shawn. Felt pretty good. Still feeling out of it and weak from dieting though. We went to the press conference at noon. I was hoping that they would have my belt for me but no luck. Dennis told me that it's on its way. The good thing was that all the Chinese were there so I didn't have to stress about them not making it again. They brought KangEn and I in front of everyone. I wanted to smack him in the face and take my belt....soon enough!!! I can't wait to hit him as hard as I can. I want to break him from the inside out. There will be no question after this one is over. I'm done being nice in there. I used to not want to be angry, that's just not me, so instead I would always end up being overly nice. Not to say that I didn't beat on people but it was never anything that viscous For some reason, just recently, I figured out that I can be mean without being angry. Just started realizing that going into the fight with Justin. I can't wait for this. Sick or not I'm going to destroy him. There's nothing that he can do to stop it. Went to Toddy's at 4 and he worked on sharpening me up on a few things. It really helped, always does. Can't imagine how good I would be if he actually trained me this entire time. Going to hit pads with Mike tomorrow just to break a sweat then got about 30 hours until weigh ins. Boo!!!
Woke up this morning at 143, which was nice. Had me a big bowl of oatmeal then headed to the gym. Cold is clearing up more and more, but still there. Matt Lucas met me there to do an interview for mymuaythai.com. Chaz and I clinched from about 20 minutes and then I did 5 rounds of boxing with Mike. I was feeling really sharp and strong. Did the interview with Matt and then headed over to see Bob. Got cracked then did some laser on my ankles and shins. Headed home, showered and had a little pasta. Dana hit me up and had me come over so she and Mike could pray for me, it was really nice. After that I stopped by Dawn's to give her tickets. I started feeling really out of it and tired at that point. Went home to rest a bit then went to Shawn's for a haircut. Feeling better now, just hope to wake up on weight.
Well I'm much better...and fatter :) I woke up this morning at 144, I couldn't believe it. What the hell?How did I gain 2 pounds from eating lettuce. It really pissed me off. I was feeling really out of it and weak. I had planned on just going to the gym to burn off any weight I needed to but there was no was I could feeling this way. I called Dawn up to see if I could use her sauna. She said of course so I just rested the rest of the morning until I needed to go over there, in and out of consciousness. I was feeling really weak. I knew it wouldn't be a problem to cut the weight, I was just pissed about it. Shawn hit me up and said he might have a pound to cut as well so he would come pick me up at 3 and we would go to Dawn's. I started feeling a bit better and before I left to cut the weight I checked and was down to 142.6. We head over to Dawn's around 3:20. At first I was a bit worried because the sauna didn't seem very hot and I wasn't really sweating much. Finally after about 10 minutes the sweat started to come out. I did 15 minutes and then checked my weight. Shawn was already there and I had about a pound to go, no big deal. I went back in for another and Dawn joined me. Finally she looks at the temp and says, “Man, it should be at 170!”, It was only at 140. No wonder I couldn't sweat. By that time the 15 minutes was up so I just got out and checked my weight. 139, one under, perfect. What was funny was that I felt better after cutting the weight than I had all morning. Shawn dropped me off at my house and I grabbed a nice cold shower. Chaz showed up a little later, he had cut weight over at LVAC and said that it had been a rough one. He looked pretty sucked up. I was feeling ok. We headed over to the Hilton and got there around 5. The weigh ins were at the Manilow Show Room, right next to the theater where we would be fighting tomorrow night. We get in there and do all of our paperwork and medicals. Finally an hour later the Chinese show up. Everyone was pissed how late they were but I could of cared less. I have been waiting 8 months for this so what's an extra hour? Shawn and Chaz weren't as patient. Finally after about an hour and a half of waiting we finally get on the scale. KangEn and I both weighed in at 139. We did our pose off and he tried to do that tough guy stare. He did a double take at me and I could see the doubts creep into his mind. He knows that he's not getting into the ring with the same guy he fought in China. It was the same look Matt May had in his eyes the day before I knocked him out. The second this fight starts he's really going to know, that's when I'm going to break him. I know that I can destroy this guy. I know that I have all the skill, heart and passion to be the best. Now all I need to do is go in there and show it. Show him that we aren't even on the same level. I don't just want to win, I want people to wonder why we are even in the same ring. Now I just need to get some sleep and try not to think about the fight too much. Plenty of time for that tomorrow.
Man, that was rough! Where do I even begin? Well I woke up around 10 morning of the fight and got some food. I was feeling really good, strong. Just lay around watching fights, resting and eating the rest of the day. Chaz and I headed over to the Hilton at 5. We didn't get the green room this time unfortunately because they had to put all the Chinese in there. Actually the room they gave us was a little better because it had it's own bathroom and shower. They had the same TV in there, with the camera of the fight that was so far away you couldn't tell what was going on. At least you could hear it and know who won and when the fights were over. It was Chaz, Jack Thames, Joe Schilling and myself all in there. They put Shawn in that little closet one they had Christine in last time. I told him to just join us in our room. I got stretched out and after Mark finished wrapping Chaz's hands he did mine. My right hand has actually been feeling really good lately, a nice change. It was so great having all of us on the same card. Chaz, Shawn, Scotty Ray, Christine, Jack and me. Jack was up first so I went up to watch. He's such a nut! He fights the exact same way he spars. Just lets people hit him as he walks forward. He fought one of the Chinese guys who totally gassed out after the first round. First time I had ever seen someone get tired before Jack haha. He was having his way with him. Landing really hard kicks to his body and legs, wearing him down. His opponent was game and was landing some good shots of his own, just not enough. Jack was constantly dumping him and you could see his energy just plummet. Finally in the 3rd Jack landed a hard body kick and then two body shots and his opponent just crumbled. I was so happy for him. Chaz was up next. I knew that he could beat Chike as long as he stuck to a good game plane and stayed sharp. Either way it was going to be a great fight. We all walked out with him and then stood off to the side to watch. It starts and they are just feeling each other out taking their time. Chike wasn't moving around as much as I thought he was going to. They were going back and forth, it was close. The only thing I gave the edge to was Chike in the clinch. The pace picked up throughout and was still pretty even although I thought that Chaz was landing the more effective combinations. Every round Chaz seemed to be getting more and more comfortable and letting loose. The 4th round was Chaz's best, right up until the point he got dropped with an elbow. It was one of the nastier ones I had ever seen. Put him face down into the canvas, which is usually a sign that you ain't getting back up. It had hit him right on the temple. Surprisingly he got right back up as if nothing had happened, the rest of the round was close. He did really great and I was proud. They ended up giving a majority decision to Chike, which means that one of the judges had it a draw. If Chaz hadn't been dropped he would have won. I still thought it should have been a draw. Either way he did great against a really experienced, tough guy. Of course he was bummed but he knew that he had performed well. He ended up having to get 6 stitches. Luckily they had a doctor there to do them, nothing worse than going to the emergency room. Christine fought an amazing fight, she really dominated. So much so that when they went to announce the decision I went down to the back because I already knew. Once she was back in her dressing room I went to congratulate her. She looked pissed. I said, “No! They didn't seriously screw you over did they?” I couldn't believe it, I was so pissed. Felt so bad for her. It's one thing when you lose because someone is better but to get screwed by idiot judges is the worst. I guess it was because they had fought under san shou rules and her girl had thrown her down a few times, which is major points in that sport. Ridiculous! Shawn was up next. I didn't think that his would get out of the first few rounds but his Chinese opponent came to fight. He was big and in shape. Shawn hit him with some good shots and anyone else would have went down. At one point Shawn elbowed him as the ref was coming in to break them. Right after that his opponent elbowed him back as the ref was in between them. I thought he was going to lose it but he kept his composure and went back to work. There was another point where Shawn slipped and the guy went to soccer kick him in the face, only thing that stopped it was the fact the ropes were in the way. I was pissed, these mother fuckers. Shawn ended up winning a decision, it was a good fight. He told me that he was having a really hard time with his footing in the ring and kept slipping. After that I went down and started getting ready. I was feeling really good, although a bit tired from sitting around all night. I started hitting pads with Mark and felt really strong although my sinuses were still bad. I just wanted to get out there. Finally it was my time, I was ready for war. We made the long walk up the stairs all the way to the waiting area right behind the stage. It was all very surreal. It was pitch black behind the curtain but you could hear the buzz of the crowd, I couldn't wait. Finally they announce my name, the crowd explodes into applause as I make my way out. It was the most amazing feeling. The past 6 and a half years had brought me to this moment. For an international title and my revenge, time to go to work. I said a prayer then jumped over the ropes. Toddy came up on the ring apron and gave me some last minute instructions. It wouldn't matter who was across the ring from me with him in my corner. I could hear them announce KangEn and he came in the ring but Toddy kept my attention on him. Tony Weeks brought us together in the center of the ring. KangEn was trying to give me this friendly look but I was having none of it. I remember last time! We can be friends later. We went to touch gloves, for some reason I thought he was going to push me so I shoved him first. Looking back I don't think that's what he was trying to do but either way I wasn't there to mess around. He tried pushing me back at the same time but I had already moved him to far. You could hear the whole crowd go, “ooooohhh.” They knew it was about to get crazy. He went back to his corner but I tried staying in the center. I wanted him to know that this was my ring and I wasn't going anywhere. Finally Tony tells me to go back to my corner. The bell rings. I went straight after him and could tell immediately that this was going to be a war. He had clearly trained hard for this one. He fought completely different than he had last time. It was as if I was fighting a different person. This threw me off. My distance and timing were completely wrong and I was trying way too hard to knock him out. This was causing me to miss a lot and opening me up for his counters. He clipped me really good right off the bat with a right hook that shook me. His punches seemed ten times harder than last time and he was landing a lot. My equilibrium was all out of whack because his punches looped around to the back of my ear a lot. There was a moment that I clearly remember. For a split second a part of me just thought, “Why don't you just give up, it would be so much easier to just let him knock you out.” As soon as that thought entered my mind the stronger side of me said, “F that, he's gona have to kill me first!” As soon as that argument with myself was over all the doubts were gone. He ended up cutting me in the 2nd round with an elbow. I knew it wasn't bad and was only on the side of my head. I was still feeling really off and was having a hard time getting my legs under me but I just kept grinding and pushing forward. I was landing some really hard shots but he was connecting with a lot of numbers. In between rounds I was feeling frustrated, I just couldn't seem to get anything working. My wind felt great it was just my muscles felt shot, maybe because he was blasting me with kicks. The 3rd round I was feeling a little more solid and was starting to get in a bit of a rhythm. Going into the 4th Mark was telling me to box more. After that I started letting my hands go and everything seemed to loosen up. At one point I teeped as he came off the ropes and then just touched him with a left hand. He fell to the ground and was laying there for a second. I wasn't sure what was going on because I didn't think that I had hit him that hard. Toddy was screaming at the ref, “Why don't you count?” I thought, “Oh hell no, not again.” Finally KangEn gets up, there was no way in hell I was going to let this go to the judges. I went after him hard and could see he was running out of steam. I gave it every thing that I had and knew it was only a matter of time. Throughout the fight, each time we had clinched up, I would get double under hooks and kept trying to bring my knee up to his face, but each time it was just out of range. Moments after going after him since the knockdown we clinched up again. This time I brought the knee up and felt it smack him in the jaw. I could feel the life start to go out of his body and I smashed him in the face one more time and let go, he was out before he hit the floor. I went over to the neutral corner thinking, “Don't you dare get up!” he was flattened on his back but lifting his head and arms. A few seconds went by as Tony counted. Finally he waves it off as KangEn flattens back out. The crowd explodes, loudest thing I have ever heard. I couldn't believe it. Immediately this wave of emotions hits me. 6 and a half years or pain and sacrifice had all brought me to this moment. Toddy jumped in the ring, I dropped to my knees and thanked him. I couldn't even begin to hide my emotions and was balling. He picked me up and said, “You did it baby, you did it.” I walked over to the corner, dropped to me knees and thanked God. Got up, climbed up on the ropes, the crowd was still going crazy. I could see everyone's faces clearly. Friends, family, training partners, everyone that had helped get me here. I thanked them all. I just wanted to hug each person individually. KangEn was still on the ground. Anthony Brown and Mark got in the ring and I told them both how much I appreciated them. Mark says, “You're a bad dude.” Finally the emotions settle down a bit, KangEn gets to his feet and they bring us together in center ring to announce it. They say, “And, by way of knockout, the NEW wbc international champion....KEVIN ROSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!” Best thing I have ever heard. 8 months of waiting, all the rehab, training, had all payed off. I was so happy. Took forever to finally get out of the ring because we had to take about a million pictures. Once I got out of the ring everyone was trying to come up and congratulate me but the commission was dragging me into the back so they could pay me and give me my drug test. I made my way back downstairs to my dressing room. Everyone that I passed told me what an amazing fight it was as they congratulated me. Once I get back to my room the commissioner gives me a cup for my drug test. Problem was I really didn't have to go. I figured that I could at least get enough out for the test. He told me just to try so I did. It was almost to the line but not enough, damn! He let me know that we would have to do it again but now I really didn't have to pee. I started chugging as much water as I could handle. Must have put down almost a gallon. I could barely even breath because I was so full. Everyone was sitting around waiting for me to be able to take a piss. It sucked! I felt as if I could go but I didn't want to waste it and not be enough only to have to start this process all over again. The fact that everyone was waiting on me didn't help any. I felt bad but I wanted to leave just as much as they did. I went and got my head stitched up in the meantime. Ended up having to get 6 stitches, no big thing. Just a few more to add to the collection. Chaz and I had hoped to get sushi afterwards but they closed at 11 and it was already freaking midnight. I continued drinking as much as I could. Chuck, the commission guy, was cracking up saying, “This is gonna be a good story for him to tell.” Finally around 12:30 I decided I'd give it a try again, I just barely got it over the line. Thank goodness!!! Everyone applauded haha. We all walked out and I said goodbye to everyone. Norm and Sheila gave me a ride home. We stopped by the Peppermill to get some food on our way back. For some reason, the second I got out of the ring, I couldn't stop sneezing. It was as if I had the worst allergies of all time. When we got outside I could finally see why. There was smoke and ash blowing in from the fires in California, the air was awful. I'm just glad it hadn't hit me during the fight. It was horrible, I couldn't breath. By the time we get to the Peppermill my legs were really starting to swell and the pain was setting in. I gimped into the booth and sat down with my belt. I was so tired but had to eat something. It was really nice hanging out with Norm, Sheila, AJ and TJ. Normally I would be out drinking, doing something that I would regret. This was so much better! Had some sliders, they were ok. Then we all shared an enormous sundae. It was so good! I was starting to pass out by the time we left. They dropped me off at my house. I said goodbye and thanked them for everything. I was so tired but couldn't fall asleep until almost 8am.