Kenny Robertson on Returning to UFC to Fight Aaron Simpson: “Being the Underdog is the Best”
Although Kenny Robertson is coming off a highlight reel, spinning backfist knockout of fellow UFC vet Lucio Linhares, the welterweight is the first to concede that he didn’t expect to be returning to the Octagon this soon. Thanks to Robertson’s open door policy in terms of opponents, however, and an unfortunate injury to Jon Fitch, the welterweight will make his UFC return against Aaron Simpson on July 11th.
“Well that fight was all the way back in October,” said Robertson, while discussing his win over Linhares at Fight Festival 31 and the recent news that he’ll replace Fitch. “I had a couple of fights since then fall through, but I just figured that I would need another decent win before they called me back.”
Fitch was forced to withdraw from the bout, which will take place at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, due to a knee injury. According to Robertson, the promotion didn’t have to look very far before a new opponent was offered up.
“I was surprised because I hadn’t heard from them in so long,” Robertson recalled. “But my manager was able to say, since he saw Fitch was out, “hey, he’ll fight anybody,” so I got called back in.”
Robertson (11-1) was released from the promotion last spring, following a TKO loss to Mike Pierce at UFC 126 in February, 2011, in what was the 28 year-old fighter’s Octagon debut.
“No;I kind of had that feeling in the bottom of my gut that they might let me go,” said Robertson, when asked if he was surprised that he was released following his first pro loss. “Just because they’ve been known to do that from time-to-time and they had just had that big merger.”
Now, not only is Robertson back where he wanted to be, but he gets to face a high profile and established fighter like Aaron Simpson in a televised main card bout.
“I think that’s awesome,” Robertson noted about the fight which will be broadcast on FUEL TV. “A lot of people have been asking me what are the ways to watch my fight and this way they can watch it…I’m excited to fight someone who is well established so that when I win it will make me move on up.”
Simpson is coming off a split decision loss to Ronny Markes in February, which ended the former All American wrestler’s three fight win streak and prompted his move from middleweight to 170 pounds.
“Well, obviously he has top notch wrestling skills,” Robertson said about his 37 year-old-opponent. “I haven’t really watched that much film on him yet, so, I haven’t really broke him down but I know he’s a big guy…it should be interesting. It should be good.”
“I think I match up pretty good against anyone honestly,” added Robertson, who is also a former Division 1 NCAA wrestler. “If they want to stand-up I’ll probably try to take them down; if they want to be on the ground I’ll probably stand-up, and that’s probably the way he is too. That’s probably why we’re willing to stand with certain people.”
The upcoming bout will be Simpson’s ninth UFC fight, and to date, the Power MMA fighter has scored wins over veterans like Tom Lawlor, Ed Herman, Brad Tavares and Eric Schafer among others. As a result, Robertson understands and welcomes the fact that many people will view him as the underdog come July 11th.
“Being the underdog is the best,” the Central Illinois Combat Club fighter acknowledged. “It’s kind of the position I’ve been in my whole life, off and on, so it’s good.”
“He’s got all the pressure,” Robertson added. “I have no pressure, but I’m still going to go out there and win.”