Titan FC’s Kalib Starnes Admits to “Taking Risks” by Fighting at Heavyweight, But UFC Vet “Just Wants to Fight”
By Kelsey Mowatt
While Kalib Starnes is one of several UFC veterans who has been signed by Titan FC, the fighter’s upcoming, promotional debut likely caught a few people off guard when it was announced. The reason being is that on May 16th, Starnes will take on fellow UFC vet Dave Herman, who as most hardcore fans know, fights at heavyweight. That’s not one, but two divisions above what Starnes fought at when he was competing in the Octagon.
According to Starnes, since he was defeated by middleweight vet Joe Doerksen in 2012, he’s been having difficulty finding fights. So much so, the Surrey fighter has elected to compete at heavyweight, as a means to stay busy.
“I was offering to fight for free in places,” Starnes relayed on Full Contact Fighter Radio recently, while discussing what led to his May 16th bout with Herman. “I offered Bellator to fight any of their light-heavyweights for free,and they wouldn’t give me a fight, they wouldn’t give me a chance there.”
“I heard that (Vinny) Magalhaes had an infection or something, unfortunately, and had to pull so I offered to step in against Jason Brilz…” Starnes furthered about the upcoming Titan FC card, which was initially set to feature Brilz versus Magalhaes. After the latter withdrew with a staph infection, however, Raphael Davis was booked as his replacement. “Then they offered me Dave Herman, so I took that. As soon as they offered it to me I took it.”
It should also be noted that a four fight winning streak has coincided with Starnes’ inability to land more bouts.
“I fought Joe Doerksen, I was going through a divorce, and I walked into the fight at about 186, 185 pounds walking around, which is about twenty pounds under what I usually walk around at,” Starnes reported.
“A few months after that I really focused in and started training hard. I couldn’t get a fight, I couldn’t get a fight anywhere, someone pulled out of a fight with AFC against David Perron, and I went in and fought him on a couple of weeks notice,” furthered Starnes. “Someone pulled out of a fight with Tim Hague,so I went and fought Tim Hague at heavyweight, and he was cutting to 265, fought him, and again I couldn’t find a fight.”
After stopping Perron in the second round, Starnes went on to decision Hague two months later at AFC 19. Then, the 39 year-old returned to the light-heavyweight division to battle Clay Davidson and Dwayne Lewis with Fivestar Fight League and WSOF Canada respectively. Starnes won both fights by stoppage.
“Yeah I’m taking risks but I just want to fight,” said Starnes, while discussing his willingness to fight at heavyweight. “I want to fight all the time. I have a good chin and I don’t need to cut weight. I shouldn’t have been cutting weight for a lot of my career. I think I’m stronger and healthier at the weight that I’m walking around at.”
“I was fluctuating between about 215 and 225,” the BJJ black belt added. “I feel good. That’s my natural walking around weight. I’m older, it’s not as easy for me to cut weight to get to 185, it’s harder on my body and I didn’t really need to do it anyway. At light-heavyweight and heavyweight I’m pretty quick.”
Stay tuned to Full Contact Fighter for another article featuring Starnes and his thoughts on his recent successes as well as Herman.