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Sunday, Jan 30, 2011

Robertson Knows Bout with Pierce Full of Opportunity

By Kelsey Mowatt
Last fall, Kenny Roberston was busy preparing for what was set to be the biggest fight of his MMA career to date, as the welterweight was scheduled to make his Octagon debut against Pascal Krauss at UFC 122. Unfortunately for the Illinois fighter, it wasn’t meant to be, as a toe injury forced Robertson to withdraw from the card and sidelined him for the remainder of 2010. His UFC debut would have to wait.
While Robertson would have liked to have started his UFC career last November, the brief setback opened the door to another great opportunity on February 5th, when the 26 year-old fighter takes on established veteran Mike Pierce at UFC 126. While there’s no question that Krauss remains one of Europe’s highly touted prospects, Pierce’s UFC career is well underway with wins over Brock Larson, Julio Paulino and most recently Amilcar Alves. In other words, a win for Robertson next Saturday, over a man whose only UFC loss to date came against perennial contender Jon Fitch, could create some serious buzz.
“Yeah, that’s always been the game-plan, to fight better people,” Robertson (10-0) told FCF when asked if he was excited about facing Pierce (11-3). “He’s already fought what? Four, five times in the UFC now; so beating him would really move me up the ladder I would hope.”
Perhaps due to the fact Pierce has been competing in the UFC since 2009, after fighting for established shows like the WEC and Sport Fight, Robertson did not hesitate when asked to assess his next opponent’s abilities.
“He’s a strong guy,” Robertson said. “He has knock-out power, so you have to be careful not to let him get a good shot off on you. I think my wrestling, well I hope at least that it’s better than his wrestling. We’ll find out I’m sure.”
Like Pierce, Robertson has turned to his extensive wrestling background, to provide the foundation for what has been a successful MMA career to date.
“I’ve wrestled since I was like five,” said Robertson, who signed with the UFC in 2010, after scoring stoppage wins over Igor Almeida and former “Ultimate Fighter” competitor John Kolosci. “I went to college at Eastern Illinois and wrestled there; Matt Hughes was actually a champion at the time, and he had wrestled at Eastern also. He’d come back from time-to-time and all of us wrestler’s would watch the UFCs…I didn’t really start training in MMA until I was done college.”
Robertson continues to be involved in amateur wrestling as a coach, which is just one of the many roles the pro fighter fills on a day-to-day basis.
“I also teach woods and drafting, so it’s a lot of hours between school, wrestling and training,” said the high school teacher. “With having to work out all the time I don’t have much down time.”
“They like it,” Robertson added, when asked about what his students think of his fighting career. “Some of them give me some crap about it here and there, but they’re mostly really good kids. Some of them are almost as excited as I am to fight for the UFC.”
In the modern age of MMA, the vast majority of the world’s elite fighters commit all of their energy full time to the sport, and Robertson realizes that the day may soon arrive where he will have to do the same.
“I think you have to be a full time fighter to get a solid two work outs in a day,” said the Central Illinois Combat Club fighter, who spent some time training with vets Chris Lytle and Nick Thompson to prepare for Pierce. “With the summer coming up that’s also a really good opportunity for me to get two workouts in a day and see how well I do you know?”
Of course, the financial means must be in place to become a full time fighter, and defeating Pierce on February 5th, could propel Robertson towards making MMA his primary vocation.
posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 1:09 pm
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