Exclusive | Kyle Kingsbury on Overeem disappointment, Velasquez, and fight with Teixeira
Kyle Kingsbury is scheduled to face Glover Teixeira at UFC 146 on May 26, 2012. The main event was originally slated to be UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos versus Dutch striker Alistair Overeem. On April 4, 2012, Overeem failed his pre-fight drug test and tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone that exceeded a 10-to-1 ratio. For reference, the allowed ratio is 6-1. On Friday April 20, 2012, Dana White confirmed that Overeem had been removed from his fight with Dos Santos and replaced by Frank Mir.
While Mir’s addition to the fight makes sense – UFC 146 carries less interest without Overeem’s involvement. Kyle was admittedly disappointed with the announcement of Overeem’s removal.
“My first reaction was that the bonuses are going to go down”, Kingsbury stated. “That was my first disappointment. The chances for fight of the night got a little less sweet when that happened”.
Ultimately Kyle was more concerned about the fate of one of his teammates, former UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez.
“I was thinking about my teammate Cain Velasquez, basically what were they going to do with him”, Kyle said. “Were they going to move Mir or Cain. I didn’t realistically think Cain would get it, but there was always that possibility. That’s kind of where my head was at. Just thinking of who was going to be replacing Overeem and what was going to happen to Cain next”.
By most accounts, Alistair Overeem was set to be the next thing. He had looks, monstrous size, and usually provided exciting rounds of fights for fans. Dos Santos has achieved that rare combination of casual and hardcore fan respect, and a win over Overeem would certainly have increased awareness of how good he really is. Even with Junior still headlining the main event of UFC 146, Kyle believes that Overeem’s removal will ultimately affect pay per view buys.
“Overeem being out means that PPV buys will go down. Most definitely it will affect PPV buys in that all the fans, and a good amount of friends that love the sport, they wanted to see that fight. There was a lot of talk about this fight. I saw Overeem beat Lesnar in person in Vegas. If there was any kind of hype before that fight it definitely came to fruition after he mauled Lesnar. He had his way with him and sent him in to retirement. I think that was the fight everyone wanted to see, and my first thought was that the blockbuster main event was gone from the card”.
Kyle’s fight with Teixeira will provide Kingsbury with a slightly different type of opponent than his last. Kyle lost to Stephan Bonnar by unanimous decision at UFC 139. Glover is on an amazing 15 fight win streak, and his momentum coming in to this fight could potentially be overwhelming. On top of that Teixeira is capable of fighting at both heavyweight and light heavyweight, but Kingsbury believes that his size is not going to be a factor.
“I’m a big light heavyweight so with the exception of Stephan Bonnar who matched me everywhere I match up well with guys at 205″, Kyle said. “Bonnar had me size wise, strength wise, and then exceeded me technically on the ground. I think that was the first time I felt helpless with somebody when I was on the ground. With Glover, he is an incredibly high level grappler on the ground. I know he’s very strong, but he’s not 6’4″ and doesn’t have the length Bonnar does. You know he doesn’t have that 80″ reach. Things like that really played a factor on the ground. Just Stephan being able to smother me, and also his gameplan was a controlled one. He didn’t take alot of chances or posture very high to strike. I worked hard on trying to fix that this time, but I don’t see it going the same way with Glover. I don’t see him doing that. He may possess greater skill on the ground, but he doesn’t have the same physical attributes Bonnar did”.
Kyle Kingsbury is scheduled to face Glover Teixeira at UFC 146 on May 26, 2012.