Kevin Ross is one of Muay Thai’s most recognisable faces. As well as being the current Bellator kickboxing featherweight champion, his achievements also include the Super light weight (140 pounds) WBC International championship Title, the Welterweight (147 pounds) WBC USA National championship Title, the FIDAM Welterweight championship of Mexico and the United States Muay Thai Federation Welterweight champion.
Kevin Ross also has a mentality like few others, even in such an alpha combat sport. Possessing an unbreakable warrior’s spirit, Kevin Ross has bounced back from some serious injuries in the last 10 years. Broken ribs, torn ACL and many other injuries have never stopped ‘The Soul Assassin’ from pursuing his career as a Thai boxer.
Wondering what drives a man like Kevin Ross to pursue his dream?
Muay Thai champion and current Bellator featherweight kickboxing champion Kevin Ross. Photo credit: Muay Thaimes
Kevin Ross Tells Muay Thai Pros What Drives Him Beyond Pain to Succeed
Discussing the requirements of a champions mindset, Kevin Ross details his attitude towards fighting:
Kevin Ross: For someone to have heart in Muay Thai it’s all about that never say die attitude. No matter how high the odds are stacked against you, no matter the outlook or how many times you’ve been down, cut or hurt, you keep pushing and give it every ounce of yourself until that final bell sounds.
To me someone that has heart never changes how they fight, regardless of whether or not they are winning or losing.
Continue reading below after checking out this incredible video of Kevin Ross:
Kevin Ross: I think this is something you have or you don’t; however, I do feel that it can be strengthened, or weakened, through experiences. I think a big part of it for me can be credited to the fact that I got such a late start in the fight game, that and the fact it’s what saved me from alcoholism, and other things that would have inevitably cut my life short.
From the beginning it was all or nothing.
I would never hold back or short change myself. I’ve always felt I had so much more to prove of myself because I was so late to the game. Giving up was never even a consideration. I’ve always been an all or nothing. Which can be good or bad depending on the situation, my alcoholism being a negative one.
Well I’d say in life in general it’s about taking every opportunity, not just in the gym or in a fight, but in your everyday life, to work on your self-control. It can be something as simple as not eating that piece of chocolate. Now you know it won’t help you but will it hurt you? Probably not.
Kevin Ross will star alongside Marcelo Garcia and Andy Souwer on June 16/17 in Denver, Colorado
I always say it’s 100% mental, because I don’t care how good your skill may be, if you don’t have it mentally than you don’t have it at all. Just like heart it’s something certain people are born with but regardless it can be strengthened or weakened through experience. Anyone can have the edge in skill but having the edge in the mental side is invaluable.
Can’t tell you how many unbelievably naturally gifted athletes I’ve seen that just couldn’t get it together mentally, more often than not actually.
It goes along the same line of people that are born with talent usually lack in a lot of other areas because they never had to work for it. It’s like being a spoiled little kid, one day it’s going to come back to haunt you whereas someone who has had to work for everything they’ve got will push through.
Exciting as always, Super Seminars is so ecstatic to have Kevin Ross as one of our coaches in Denver. Tickets available here!
Sparring, the age-old practise of getting in rounds before the big fight night. Sparring is useful for conditioning, timing, gameplans and muscle memory, sparring is used in combat sports at all levels. Regarding professional combat sports, things can get a little hairy during sparring sessions. When fighters train most of their lives to compete professionally, they often learn to use just enough in sparring as to not obliterate their training partners.
Some, however, do have the occasional war that goes a little too far. Since the expansion of social media hit, we have reels of footage available of sparring and training sessions. offering an in-depth look for their fans, fighters often release hours of training footage before fights.
First off, let’s take a look at the clip of UFC lightweight/welterweight Donald Cerrone accidentally knocking out his training partner at the gym:
If you don’t like tinny hip hop music recorded on a cell phone, hit mute before you play this video!
One of Cerrone’s go-to combinations in MMA-left hook to the body, right hand to the head followed by a switch head kick. Cerrone used this combo to demolish Rick Story. Cerrone’s unique striking style has seen him take brutal stoppage victories over ‘The Horror,’ Matt Brown, Yancy Medeiros, John Makdessi, Jim Miller and that poor SOB in the video above.
Next up is a video of prolific striker Uriah Hall:
And finally for Conor McGregor’s hard sparring with Paulie Malignaggi
Leading up to his August 2017 boxing clash with Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor got some serious rounds in. Sparring a number of different opponents, ‘The Notorious’ was hoping to scvore what would likely be the biggest upset in sporting history. Unbeaten and relatively untouched in 49 fights, Mayweather would eventually have his way with McGregor to make it 50-0.
There was some hype before the bout, ironically mostly surrounding McGregor’s rough sparring sessions with Malignaggi:
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The majority of amateur fighters believe that learning how to “cut weight” is your secret weapon to winning fights. I challenge that train of thought.
Though cutting weight can give you an advantage in pounds, nothing beats good old-fashioned hard work and smart preparation. Actually, cutting weight can and will alter your metabolism. In the long runs, during a bout or your general state of well-being. Dehydrating by 5 lbs is not a huge derailment of your metabolism. But what I am referring to is the 10-20 lbs that you sometimes hear about when a fighter bravely takes a bout on short notice.
Is Cutting Weight on short notice the answer?
Although this can be considered a heroic and courageous to step in for a match-up that has fallen apart. Why not be a little more forward thinking to stay prepared for a battle at all times? My first trainer, an ex-fighter from Thailand, taught me to think like a true warrior. He would say “Don’t train FOR a fight, train TO fight.”. To me, that meant staying in shape all year round to prevent the extreme “cutting” process. Hovering close to “fight weight” meant eating right and training daily. I followed his way for most of my AM/PRO fight career, doing my due diligence to stick with this mindset. This kept me able to fight in the super middleweight division during my entire journey as a Nak Muay. (What is a Nak Muay? Click Here -Courtesy of Wikipedia.)
I was always ready, willing and able until my second to last PRO fight. I made the mistake of not following the game plan that had kept me ready for years. Not having a confirmed opponent for the bulk of my 8-week fight camp. It allowed me to lose focus, not train seriously and let my normally, healthy dieting process go by the wayside.
This resulted in me sitting in the sauna for hours the day of the weigh-in. I was fighting worn, sluggish and just making it out of the fight by the skin of my teeth. All credit to my opponent who was indeed the better fighter that night. The result of that difficulty in making weight cost me the glory of getting my hand raised, in front of my hometown crowd.
A Muay Thai Lifer – “Staying in Optimal Health”
I’ve always known that I was a Muay Thai Lifer – whether I was going to fight beyond my prime or instead take on coaching full time. Staying in optimal health is the only way to ensure this path and depends solely on the food you put in your body for performance, recovery, and your overall well being!
Believe that you not only train like a warrior, but eat like one too. There are better ways to get to “fight weight” other than starving and dehydrating yourself. Explore your options and be “Battle Ready”
About the Author: Chris Romulo is a retired Muay Thai fighter who won titles in an amateur and professional career that spanned 16 years.
Strength and conditioning are important in Martial Arts and MMA! Use these 3 Pro tips for the best ultimate strength and conditioning results.
Gym Machine or Not to Gym Machine? That is the question.
1. Your Strength and conditioning doesn’t need to be on fitness machines. Stay off the Machines! As a Muay Thai practitioner you ARE the machine, so don’t lock yourself into another one. Stay out of the “health club” gyms because a seated chest fly has no benefit for a Martial Artist. There are hundreds of pushup variations that will build strength, speed, and power while incorporating other muscles than just your chest. Martial Artists are not bodybuilders, don’t train like one. Pick up and use dumbbells (no bicep curls), medicine balls, kettlebells, and barbells.
Stay Simple! DeadLifts, Back Squats and Presses, OH MY!
2. Go back to the basics! When it comes to your skill training, there is no such thing as too much practice. Things like shadowboxing, hitting the bag, and pad work are all staples of Muay Thai. There are a few things that are a must in your strength and conditioning program if you want to excel and build armor around your organs. For your weight training: Deadlifts, back squats, and presses are essential. When using your own bodyweight (calisthenics) such as pushups, pull ups, dips, sit-ups, back extensions, squats and lunges. You will build a great foundation for you to move on to more advanced methods. Quick advice, learn to crawl before you walk, then run!
Recovery is Training and its smart Training!
3. Recovery is just as important as the training! Your body doesn’t get stronger during the workout. It gets stronger after the workout. When your body is in repair mode, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bone heal. The heal to become more resilient than your last training session. Learn to listen to your body if longevity is a goal for your training and fighting. There is a thin line between being lazy and listening though…Your own research and experimenting are crucial on your path to becoming a smart Muay Thai practitioner. In my 20 plus years of fighting and training. I have been blessed to have used a multitude of recovery techniques that still keep me active. Acupuncture, massage, yoga, swimming, chiropractic care and physical therapy have all kept me able to now teach, coach and train “The Art of 8 Limbs” at 41 years old.
Here is workout we do here at our CROM Physical Culture facility in Rockaway Beach, NY. You will perform 12 exercises in a row at 10 reps a piece to develop your agility, balance, flexibility, endurance, power, speed, stability and strength. Also known as the “CORE 8”. Watch, practice and then perform!!
GET TO WORK!!
CROM’S “CORE 8” WORKOUT BELOW.
SHREDbyCROM: Crazy Snake
3 min jump rope
***15 min AMRAP***
Reverse burpee – 10
Ab-mat sit-ups – 10
Frog push-up – 10
Cossack squats – 10
Knee to elbows – 10
Jump squats – 10
Alternating superman plank – 10
Reverse crunches – 10
Power skaters – 10
Toe touch crunch – 10
Sit through – 10
Hindu squats – 10
The goal is to eventually make this a 30-minute AMRAP, at 30 reps per exercise. Progress as you feel ready!
The Super Seminars World Series is coming to Denver, Colorado on June 16 and 17, 2018. Click here to reserve your tickets now!