Kenny Cross will be one most experienced fighters on Contender Series when he faces Kevin Syler on August 4. The LOC lightweight champion had a tough start to his career going 3-2 but has since won seven of his last eight fights.
“I’m just getting better, I’m in the game now more,” Cross told The Scrap. “I’m learning more techniques and I’m starting to see not just the fundamentals, but just that next level and striking in my grappling. I’m just getting more educated about the whole game. I’m knocking out Jonas Flock who was 14-4 (at the time). So I feel like that just elevated my confidence. And that that just created a whole new monster.”
Cross (10-3) is coming off a first-round knockout over Robert Hale at Lights Out Championship 7 in February. Despite facing an undefeated opponent and a Contender Series veteran, the 25-year-old believes this lightweight bout will end early.
“I’m gonna get in the middle of that cage and apply pressure,” Cross explained. “I’m gonna hit him with a couple of shots and I’m going to take them out in the first round. And it’s going to be crazy.”
“The Boss” is a proud Michigan native and hopes to join the likes of fellow hometown fighters like Kevin Lee, Cody Stamann, and Jamahal Hill in the UFC. Cross believes there are too many Midwest fighters overlooked in the MMA community.
“I feel like the Midwest, Michigan, we’re the top athletes out there,” Cross said. “There’s not there hasn’t been enough credit to us athletes in Michigan in the Midwest … especially in the MMA community until last year and the year before. Now, all of a sudden, we’re on everybody’s radar already.So for me to be a part of the pool of the top-level caliber guys in combat sports is everything. I want the world to know that that we breed killers, you know, in this kind of atmosphere over here.”
Contender Series: Week 1 takes place on August 4 at The UFC Apex in Las Vegas.