Exclusive: Mike Kyle “I can’t believe I’m the Underdog against Mousasi”
Often in combat sports the media and fans tend to hype one individual fighter up enormously to the point where the opponent is almost completely overlooked. In a sport as unpredictable as MMA where any competitor can stop another on any given night, it’s puzzling how so many people can have such a one-sided approach when it comes to certain matchups.
Take for instance the upcoming light heavyweight clash between former Strikeforce champion Gegard Mousasi and American Kickboxing Academy monster Mike Kyle at the final Strikeforce card on January 12. The MMA community will have you believe that Mousasi is head and shoulders better than Kyle. The former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight & Dream Middleweight Champion boasts a record of 32-3-2 and has gained a ton of notoriety both in Strikeforce and DREAM. However, Kyle is as dangerous as they come and he is not someone we should be looking past at all. In fact, the AKA power puncher thinks it is absolutely ridiculous that he is considered the underdog in this fight.
“I can’t see [Mousasi] beating me in any aspect and I can’t believe I’m the underdog here. I can’t believe people are picking him over me so I’m out to prove a point that I’m a top contender when it’s all said and done,” Kyle told BJPenn.com Radio.
“Mousasi is a good fighter but who has he fought? He fought [Ovince St-Preux] and he went three rounds with him, that was his toughest fight. He fought “Babalu” who was at the end of his career so he really hasn’t fought anybody really tough.”
Despite Kyle’s claims, Mousasi does have a pretty nice resume. From 2006 to 2009, “The Dream Catcher” won 15 consecutive fights. Along the way he earned victories over Hector Lombard, Melvin Manhoef, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Mark Hunt. However, Kyle feels that the media is giving Mousasi too much credit.
“He beat a lot of those little Japanese fighters but he hasn’t beaten anyone really impressive. The toughest fighter he faced was “King Mo” and [Mousasi] just laid on his back and kept pulling guard so we’ve never really seen him get hit,” Kyle said.
“Sokoudjou is a good exciting fighter but everybody knows that Sokoudjou stops in two minutes of the first round and he gets gassed. Everybody knows that I would destroy Sokoudjou so I don’t think they’re giving me enough credit here.”
Competing at both heavyweight and light heavyweight throughout his career, Kyle seems to have made 205-lbs his permanent home. In 2009, Kyle knocked out eventual Strikeforce champion Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante. In his most recent bout, Kyle was defeated by “Feijao” in a rematch but the result was changed to a no contest after Cavalcante tested positive for the banned substance known as stanozolol.
A win over Mousasi sets Kyle up for bigger and better matchups in the UFC. Kyle is no stranger to the Octagon as he has fought for the organization in the past as a heavyweight. He feels very confident that he will truly make a statement this time in the 205-lbs division.
“That’s been my dream to get back into the UFC ever since I first went down to 205-lbs so I need to get through Mousasi and continue on my path. I think if I get through Mousasi it will be a big step into becoming a top contender.”
To listen to the entire episode click here.