There has never been a bigger main event in Colorado MMA history than this. At the Rock “N” Rumble card on Nov. 21, UFC veteran Chris Camozzi (19-9) will challenge for the PFC middleweight belt against champion Jeremy Kimball (10-4) in what promises to be the fight of the night.
This is the sort of title fight fans dream of, and only PFC can deliver not only a main event of this level, but a homecoming for two of Colorado’s favorite fighters.
PFC could well be called ‘the house that Kimball built.’ He’s undefeated within the promotion and ready to come back for more after fighting for RFA and Bellator.
“I’m excited to fight again. Time off was good for me, but now it is time to get back home in that cage,” Kimball said.
This will mark the fourth time Kimball has gone into the cage for PFC, with the last being in January of 2013 when he cruised to a frustrating middleweight title win against UFC veteran Drew McFedries. The match was noted for the length of time Kimball spent chasing McFedries around the ring. For fans that may have wondered at the game plan behind McFedries’s bizarre behavior that night, Kimball offers that perhaps we shouldn’t be too quick to judge.
“I don’t think he wanted to run from me until he felt my power. Once I hit people, they run or they wrestle,” Kimball said.
But when it comes to this fight, Kimball isn’t worried about the pursuit.
“Chris is a tough dude and I think he will bring it for sure,” Kimball said.
That ‘tough dude’ is coming with one goal in mind.
“For me, it’s just putting myself in the position to show people I am in that top level. Even though I have had almost 30 fights, I’m only 27 years old. I’ve been doing this since I was 18. For me to get back to that high level, I need to run through guys, at local levels and beyond, to prove who I am again to people,” Camozzi said.
Camozzi was cut from the UFC after a loss that mirrored Kimball’s own history, as Camozzi was in pursuit of his opponent for most of the fight. The loss and subsequent release is something that motivates Camozzi and his desire to make sure he never allows another fight to fall to what he considers the most incompetent workforce on earth.
“It fuels the fire for me. It was discouraging because I thought I did enough and it’s hard to fight someone that doesn’t want to fight you. Judges within MMA are so inconsistent we should just get rid of them,” said Camozzi.
“The dumbest thing I hear is ‘don’t leave it in the hands of the judges.’ Why? Why can’t they do their jobs correctly? It’s a stupid comment. That’s like saying ‘don’t leave your safety in the hands of the police or your burning house in the hands of the fire department.’ People should be able to do their jobs and do them correctly.”
But does that hostility extend to the state he calls home?
“I have a great relationship with the Colorado Boxing Commission. I love them. That said, I have no faith in the judges and I know I have to finish,” Camozzi said.
Every fighter plans to finish and we’ve seen Kimball KO some of the best on his way to championship gold. So the question remains, will Camozzi wilt in the face of those punches?
It sure doesn’t sound like it.
“I’ve taken shots from the best in the world. I’m not worried about his heavy hands because I’m going to impose my will on him and make him fight my fight. Everyone says they want to stand and trade, but we’ll see, and don’t worry, I’ll take a shot from you just to make sure you get to eat one of mine,” Camozzi said.
Strong words from Camozzi with a promise of violence to come. He certainly has the edge in terms of experience and being on the biggest stages in the sport, but what about Kimball? Is fighting a big name like Camozzi on the PFC stage daunting?
“To me it’s just another fight. Big names are just people who got their breaks and got some chances. We all put our pants on the same way, so I just work hard and go do what I do best and that’s all I think about,” Kimball said.
Because let’s not forget, besides being undefeated for PFC, Kimball is the champion and Camozzi the challenger.
“I fight big fights pretty much every fight. I’ve had bigger fights for bigger promotions, but PFC is my home and that is my belt. It’s awesome to fight in Colorado again and I’m ready to reintroduce myself,” Kimball said.
These two men need no introduction to one another. They have shared training time and know well what the other is bringing, as do the fans.
Two standouts. One main event. One championship belt to be won. One ‘homecoming’ to be ruined.
All that is left is to see who can return to Colorado victorious.
“I look at this fight the same exact way I looked at every fight within the UFC. Jeremy is coming for me and I have to put him down. People are going to see my homecoming. I might have been born in California, but I was made in Denver. His heavy hands or not, I’m not running from anybody and I’m not going down,” Camozzi promised.
“We’re coming to rumble and someone is getting rocked,” Kimball said.
Kimball put it perfectly. P.O.D. may be bringing the ‘rock’ on Nov. 21, but Kimball vs. Camozzi promises to bring the ‘rumble.’ Can the veteran Camozzi return to winning in the state that he’s given so much to or will Kimball remain champion and remind the PFC crowd why he’s so feared across the state.
There is only one place that you will see this main event, as well as the rest of the stacked Rock “N” Rumble card with a P.O.D. concert, and that’s at the National Western Complex on Nov. 21.
Go to www.RnRMMA.com for tickets.