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Monday, May 2, 2016

From the Gridiron to the Cage

Monday, July 13, 2009

Kyle Gibbons' ultimate MMA goal is to fight in the UFC.
For as long as he can remember, Kyle Gibbons has always been competitive. Throughout high school and college he used his competitiveness on the gridiron, but when the time finally came for him to graduate college, he was left with only question -- "How do I compete now?"

His answer came to him, but in a way he never imagined -- cage fighting.

"I never planned on getting into cage fighting," Gibbons said. "I loved to compete and I gravitated towards mixed martial arts like many college wrestlers do, but cage fighting was never the original idea.

"I took some jujitsu classes after college and fell in love with it and after my first three months of practicing it, I became the 185 pound national champion of the United States," Gibbons added.

It was after that he won the 185-pound title Gibbons' life would forever change.

"After I won the national championship, I had a guy come up to me and ask if I wanted to fight in a cage and I told him NO," Gibbons said. "I wasn't going to fight in a cage. I mean I've watched it on TV, back before it got so popular, but I didn't want to do it. I truly thought it was some kind of blood sport when I first heard about it.

"Then six months went by and the guy approached me again and I finally agreed to it. I fought some guy from New York and knocked him out in the first six seconds of the fight," Gibbons said. "Then I fought another guy and won that one."

Just as Gibbons was starting to find an outlet to compete again, tragedy struck. Gibbons' mother, who was his best friend, suffered a massive heart attack and passed away and he also lost his house in a fire. But as things started to get dark for Gibbons, a ray of light shined through.

"After I won my second fight and my mother passing away and the fire, a guy from Indiana called me and wanted me to come and fight for his MMA team and told me he would give me a house to live in and I said yes," Gibbons said. "I just lost my mother and my house so I really didn't have anywhere else to go. So I took his offer"

Sometimes people know what they are destined for while others, like Gibbons, come across it by complete accident.

Shortly after Gibbons joined the Indiana-based MMA team, he began tearing through opponents, winning several amateur fights in a row, becoming the 185-pound amateur champion.

"I went pro shortly after winning the 185-pound amateur championship and got a call from the UFC, Ultimate Fighting Championship, and they were interested in me fighting in the 170-pound class," Gibbons said. "I cut the weight, but it was crazy and I lost that night to Rich Clementi in Las Vegas.

"It was all kind of a shock to me. It was my first main stage fight and prior to that I blew through other pro fighters. That was my fifth or sixth pro fight and even though I lost, it was good experience. But what I really got from it was that I really didn't have the training for that fight," Gibbons said. "It was a wakeup call for me. So I came back and trained even harder and won five or six more pro fights."

But it wasn't until me met a little grey-chinned man by the name of Steve St. Pierre in a hotel room in Muncie, when his true training began.

"We were roommates at training expo there and we began talking and the next thing I know he is starting to show me kicks and punches in this little hotel room," Gibbons said.

Shortly after their meeting in Muncie, Gibbons came to Greencastle and began training with St. Pierre at the All American Karate School which is now located in the old Marsh plaza.

"I was a professional fighter when I met Steve, but now I am the complete package," Gibbons said.

With St. Pierre's expertise in kickboxing and karate, Gibbons was able to solidify his stand up game and become a complete fighter. St. Pierre was a professional kick boxer and had 27 professional fights credited to his name, compiling a professional record of 21 wins, six losses, with 18 wins coming the way of knock out.

"Steve basically stripped my stand up game down and totally rebuilt it," Gibbons said. "If you compare my stand up game from when I started to now, you can see a huge difference."

Since Gibbons started training with St. Pierre, he has fought six professional fights and has suffered only one loss, due to injury. Overall he is 18-3 in his professional career with his other two losses coming from him fighting at 170-pound weight class.

Gibbons admits that when he first got into this sport his goal was to fight for the UFC.

"That's what I was training for, that's what I worked for and strived for," Gibbons said. "And I had my opportunity to fight on the Ultimate Fighter show, but my wife was in the middle of high risk pregnancy with my son. I wouldn't have been able to have any contact with her and I didn't want that. I couldn't subject myself to not knowing how my wife was doing."

Time has passed since then, and Gibbons' son Maddox, who is now 19 months old, is running around healthy as ever and Gibbons is beginning to think about the UFC again.

"My ultimate goal is to compete in the UFC," Gibbons said. "There are a lot of shows out there people want to be on like BoDog and EC, but the UFC is where I want to go."

Gibbons has been a on hiatus from cage fighting for the last 10 months, but will be getting back in the cage on Aug. 14 at the 8-Seconds Saloon in downtown Indianapolis to start his campaign of making it to the UFC.

"It's kind of funny, I absolutely had no idea I would be where I am right now during college," Gibbons said.

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Congrats on the victory!

-- Posted by Hungry&Fat on Mon, Aug 17, 2009, at 10:41 AM

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