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!
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.
Leg Kicks – A Key Ingredient of a Good Striking Strategy
Leg kicks or also known as low kicks are a very important part of a well rounded striking strategy. Leg kicks will impact your opponent’s ability to make basic movements. Additionally, if used correctly, leg kicks will also degrade your opponent’s ability to defend themselves. Which means more leg kicks, punches, elbows, and overall pain for your opponent.
How Leg Kicks Work
When you deliver leg kicks to your opponent, their ability to move and balance weight is impacted. Since properly placed leg kicks effect movement, an opponent’s ability to “sit down” on punches and strikes will also be hindered. Additionally, as kicks to legs connect, the damage adds up and an opponent’s ability to check kicks and move away from strikes is diminished. As kicks to the legs hit the thigh area, the two major areas impacted are the muscle tissue and the Sciatic nerve. The difference being that nerve attacks immediately cause the temporary loss of control for the limb and muscle tissue attacks cause swelling, cramping/knotting, and gradual deterioration of muscle function. Both hurt, just in different ways.
Leg Kicks On Display
The powerful effect of leg kicks was on full display during the Jose Aldo/Urijah Faber 2010 WEC Fight. Faber took a total of 31 kicks to the legs. Faber admitted that he was in a lot of pain, beginning in the first round when Aldo delivered some good kicks to Faber’s thigh. As the rounds progressed, Faber was limping and unable to fight his best. After the fight, Faber said he thought he was going to pass out. Post-fight medical examinations revealed tests Faber suffered no broken bones.
After the fight, Faber admitted that Aldo’s leg kicks put him at a disadvantage early on in the fight. He was unable to recover from the lack of mobility and the pain he was feeling and Aldo took full advantage.