This Friday evening on AXS TV we'll get the pleasure of watching one of the biggest rematches in Lion Fight history at Lion Fight 21. Kevin Ross and Tetsuya Yamato had a knock down, drag out brawl at Lion Fight 11 and on Friday evening they will have a rematch that has the muay thai world buzzing. We asked Kevin Ross ten questions before his big fight and got his opinion on time off, the rematch and how Joe Schilling is doing.
LK: The first fight with Tetsuya Yamato saw a lot of action, a lot of blood and both of you looking fantastic regardless of who won or lost. Since the last fight you’ve both been on a winning streak, Yamato defeating Sagetdao and Masaaki Noiri, you Embree, Mauceri and Thompson. The big difference is that his fights were in kickboxing, do you think that gives you an edge?
Yamato has more of a kickboxing style anyway so it's not really that big a deal to go back and forth, although he does like to fling those elbows hahaha
LK: The Yamato loss ended 2013 for you as 2-2, but 2014 saw you go 3-0, was that important for you to have such a streak before fighting Yamato again?
KR: Not really, I don't dwell on wins/losses, I'm more concerned with the improvements I've made and the performances I've put on
LK: Who had the idea to fight again, was it you, Yamato or Lion Fight who pushed for it?
KR: I'm sure it was a bit of all 3. It was a great fight and good for everyone so we all want to do it again
LK: Is it possible for this rematch to live up to the hype, or are you kind of hoping to have an easier time with this fight and less of a knock-down, drag-out, grueling affair?
KR: I want all my fights to be ones that go down in history as great, I always want people to be entertained and as long as they are than I'm happy. I don't think you can ever really compare fights, as they are so unique and different in their own ways
LK: You’ve had some time off since your last fight, was it important for you to get some rest after being as busy as you were after you returned from your injury?
KR: No, I hate time off and never want it, it was out of my hands unfortunately. I'm sure that my body and brain were happy to have a break but I always want to be as active as possible
LK: How does it feel to see one of your good friends in Joe Schilling having the level of success that he’s had both in the kickboxing world and MMA arena over the past few years?
KR: I couldn't be happier for him! I'm a Muay Thai purist and will always prefer it but seeing him active and doing so well is wonderful
LK: Do you still have the itch to try out kickboxing now that it is taking off a bit more in the United States or are you focused on muay thai for now?
KR: I've been focused on Muay Thai since day one, it's my true love, it's my passion and will always prefer it to any other type of fighting but as long as I'm in there than that's good enough for me
LK: What’s the most valuable lesson that you’ve learned fighting over the past few years since your return from your knee injury and your profile being on the rise like it is?
KR: I'd say that no matter what struggles lay in front of you they can either be set backs or set ups for further progression, it's just a matter of how you look at them. When bad things happen I view them as tests to see if I really want something. You either overcome them or quit. They show you who people truly are. That's something I've always known, these last few years just instilled those things in me further.