Kai Stewart BKFC

From titles to teaching, Kai Stewart is making Montana proud

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Most 23-year-olds aim to figure out what they want to do in life. Kai Stewart, however, is learning on the fly. Last June at BKFC 44, he became their youngest-ever champion by capturing the inaugural featherweight title.

Raised in Great Falls, Montana, Stewart is a homegrown talent who trains out of Team Great Falls Wolfpack. He is prideful of his roots and is putting his state on the map. Many combat sports athletes have admitted to feeling lost when they won championships at young ages. But what makes Stewart different from his peers? The rising star is enjoying the moment while slowly plotting for the long term.

Here is how he is making Montana proud:

Despite Differences with Sean O’Malley, He Stays Classy

Kai Stewart is one of Montana’s champions in major combat sports organizations. Who is the other? None other than “Suga” Sean O’Malley, the UFC bantamweight champion.

The drama between the two surfaced when O’Malley said Stewart “sucks” after winning his title at UFC 292 last August. Stewart took offense to that, but admitted that he respects and roots for O’Malley, as they represent the same state. He even predicted his victory over former UFC bantamweight champion, Aljamain Sterling. Further, he hopes the two can share the cage in the future.

“As two Montana forces in combat sports, I think that would make an awesome fight one day,” admitted Stewart. “We’ll go have a beer afterward, a good old Montana afternoon.”

The two do not speak, but have cosigned on multiple charity contributions to Montana. Both have contributed signed memorabilia, so the people are the biggest winners of this feud in the end. “Competition happens at the bottom, collaboration happens at the top,” professed Stewart. “We’re both in our own lane, doing our own thing. If a fight could happen, I would absolutely love to squash the beef.” 

Regardless, combat sports in Montana is growing because of the two.

He’s Inspiring the Youth by Coaching Wrestling

Bare Knuckle was not Stewart’s first love. He spent most of his grade school years wrestling. That is also where he found his true self and realized his valuable relationships. His beloved mother has shown up to every single one of his events to support him.

Why is Stewart not fighting this winter? Because it’s wrestling season, and he wants to support his wrestling students like his mother did for him. He has a deep passion for the sport that opened many doors for him. This is where his long-term goals reside. “If I could give back to the sport of wrestling, in my local community, wherever I end up, hopefully kids can train for free,” he expressed. “No child left out of wrestling because wrestling is important.”

Stewart is a man of wise words and has this motivation to preach to his students:

“You got to work hard. Wrestling is a hard sport. We’re hard on you, but we care. We’ve seen the growth in you. It’s a passionate thing for a coach to see their [students’] improvements. So, you have to get out there. You have got to be a dog because that’s what it takes to be a wrestler. You’ve got to find that dog in you and use the skills you learn in wrestling in life. If you want something, grind for it—even one takedown, you have to grind to get one takedown. You have to run your feet, run your feet. That’s with everything in life.”

Having a champion’s mindset means improving oneself by helping others. As a coach and fighter, Stewart could be holding multiple pieces of gold soon.

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