Kamuela Kirk started his MMA journey at a young age, but he’s only getting started
Kamuela Kirk recently competed on week 5 of Dana White’s Contender Series.
After coming off his DWCS loss against KOTC lightweight champion Billy Quarantillo, “The Jawaiian” is praising his fans and supporters for all the love and support he has received. “I might have gotten more support and more love after this loss than after any of my wins” he said. Kirk lost the fight via TKO in round 3.
The Origins Behind his Nickname
Crediting his dad for his nickname, Kirk explained Jawaiian is a mix between Jamaican and Hawaiian. “When I was young, my dad called me ‘The Jawaiian Boy’. The name, which he said stuck over time, came from his mother’s side of the family having a Jamaican background and his father’s side coming from Hawaii.
The 9-3 featherweight prospect fighting out of his family’s gym, Siege MMA in Peoria, Arizona. He first started his martial arts journey when he was introduced to Jiu Jitsu at the age of four. At 14, Kirk said he knew he wanted to be a MMA fighter and took training seriously at that point.
His family opened the MMA gym when Kirk was 13 and Jiu Jitsu quickly became a family affair. Kirk says he often rolls with his dad, a Jiu Jitsu purple belt, his brother, uncle and cousins are also involved at a high level in the sport. The 25-year-old has many years of jiu jitsu competition experience on his resume, winning the World Championships at blue belt in both Gi and No Gi in 2011. Kirk laughed when he explained how his sister, Noelani, had one amateur MMA fight that got over 13 million views on YouTube, more he said than he has ever gotten on all his fights combined.
Contender Series and the Opportunities to come
Describing the moment as “surreal”, he says the call for the Contender Series came from his manager on his birthday, April 13. He said the whole UFC experience was “awesome”.
“Everyone was so friendly and easy to work with and made our jobs as fighters easy,” said Kirk, who credits Brian Butler and Brian Hamper from his management team at SuckerPunch Entertainment for creating a bridge between him and the big shows. He has competed for some of the top MMA promotions, fighting on the Contender Series, Victory FC and LFA.
With plenty of opportunities on the horizon, Kirk knows it has “been a crazy journey so far,” but he’s only getting started.
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The Scrap’s Caroline Romero is a journalism graduate and has 3 children involved in combat sport. Make sure to follow her son Simon Romero on his Behind The Grind podcast on YouTube.