Kenny Robertson isn’t crazy about doing the media rounds or the sponsor gigs or the usual pre-fight hoopla. But come fight week, there’s one aspect of his job he absolutely adores.
For the UFC 161 competitor, getting to tangle with another fighter is as good as it gets.
“I love it,” he told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). “It’s a blast, man. You’re getting paid to beat up somebody. What’s not fun about that?”
That’s the mentality Roberts (12-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) is taking into tonight’s fight with fellow welterweight Sean Pierson (13-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC) at Winnipeg’s MTS Centre. It’s part of the FX-televised prelims that precede the night’s pay-per-view main card.
If he gets some attention, as he did a with February win over Brock Jardine that netted a “Submission of the Night” bonus, so be it. But it’s not the glory or accolades he’s after.
“I’m not in it for the shine (of the spotlight),” he said. “I just like to fight. That’s why I do it.”
Robertson took his lead from a fellow blue-collar fighter. While wrestling at Eastern Illinois University, Robertson saw one of the school’s most famous alums, Matt Hughes, reign as the UFC’s welterweight champion. It sparked aspirations of someday trying MMA, though Robertson didn’t make the plunge until after graduation and a decorated collegiate career.
Once he made his pro-fighting debut, he liked what he saw. Or, more specifically, he liked what he felt.
While most humans aren’t keen on getting punched in the face, Robertson said he had an unusual reaction to it. That’s why he likes a good, competitive fight and not a one-sided beatdown.
“I usually smile when I get punched,” he said. “It’s like, ‘Oh I’m in a fight. I’m not just beating up somebody.’”
And as far as getting hit hard, Robertson got the most memorable jolt in his UFC debut. He made his way into the organization with 10 stoppage wins in 10 career fights, which included victories over the likes of John Kolosci, LeVon Maynard and Herbert Goodman.
So when did he experience the hardest hitter?
“Definitely my first fight in the UFC, Mike Pierce,” he said. “He caught me right on the chin. That was a good one. I had my hand down and I tried to throw a big overhand right followed by a hook, and he beat me to it. Smacked me right on the chin.”
Since that TKO loss, Robertson has gone 2-1 with a loss to Aaron Simpson and wins over Jardine and Lucio Linhares (the latter of which came in an outside organization). Now, for the first time, he’s looking for his first back-to-back victories, which he knows is key to career success.
“It’s huge,” he said. “I really think it’s a fight I’m going to go in there and win.”
For the latest on UFC 161, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
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