by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
(Photos courtesy BodogFight)
Sometimes fighters go into a match-up knowing that they could easily as well come out unscathed, perhaps with a few nicks and bruises, but otherwise unharmed. Then there are times when someone knows they’re in for some pain, regardless of winning or losing, it’s going to hurt either way.
Kyacey Uscola is one of those fighters that when you fight, you know you’re in for a beating and you’re going to be feeling it for a while, win or lose.
He’s hard-nosed, relentless and will throw down with anyone, and it’s just those attributes that’s made him a fan favorite on the West Coast fighting circuit in his early days all the way up until his new stint as BodogFight middleweight contender.
Since debuting in the amateur ranks in 2003, Uscola hasn’t backed down from any challenge, sometimes to the detriment of himself. He’s a hard worker, and thanks to his willingness to learn from anyone that has something to teach him, is starting to become the fighter he’s always wanted to be.
So it was no surprise that when he spoke to MMAWeekly recently, he divulged that he’d been traveling, picking up techniques and cementing himself as an all-around fighter and not just a brawler.
“Last couple months, I’ve been out in Salt Lake City [Utah] with Brandon Keiser, he’s been doing my Muay Thai, and just getting my cardio up,” said Kyacey. “I’ve been out in Reno, Nevada with Ken Shamrock’s IFL team [the Lions], getting in some good work with Pat Healy, John Gunderson, Vernon ‘Tiger’ White and guys like that.”
Uscola further commented, “[I'm] just going along with the MMA game and just trying to keep in shape. I fought in Costa Rica a while back, had a good showing out there and the fight will be on the 29th on the ION Channel.”
As Kyacey mentioned, he’s poised to make his return to television later this month against veteran Shooto and Pancrase fighter Izuru Takeuchi for his third appearance in BodogFight.
After a lot of hard work and occasional passing over by other big promotions, Uscola seems to have found where he belongs, in one of the sport’s newest premier fighting organizations.
“They’re invested in me and I’m happy with them,” exclaimed Kyacey. “They’re being pretty cool to me and I think they’re going to be around for a long time. They have the money to back up what they’re doing. They’re pleasing fighters and treating us well.”
As Uscola points out, one of the many reasons that fighters are happy with BodogFight is because the promotion is giving athletes a chance to fight full time, due to their pay scale.
“I’m getting paid quadruple to ten times what I was making before for a fight,” explained Kyacey. “It’s not even worth it for me to go to the UFC right now compared to what I’m being paid in Bodog. So, I’m definitely happy, they’ve treated me really well and it’s been awesome experiences every time I’ve gone out with them.”
Before fans get a chance to see how Uscola does in his next BodogFight match-up, he’ll be making appearance in his hometown as part of this Saturday’s XFS show at the Qwest Arena in Boise, Idaho.
“I’m in the co-main event and they’re selling out forty-five to fifty-five hundred fans every time they have a show out there,” commented Kyacey. “They put on a good production and I’m sort of the hometown hero here. I have a lot of friends and family who are going to be there and it should be pretty cool.”
Uscola continued, “I’m fighting [Colorado fan favorite] Chilo Gonzales. He’s pretty tough coming out, he’s a brawler for about three or four minutes, but I should be able to break him. I’ve trained my ass off for this fight; I’m definitely not overlooking him.”
According to Kyacey, the main reason he’s decided to return to Boise is not financial, but rather an opportunity to give back to his hometown and build a foundation for future MMA opportunities.
“I’m not doing this for the money – it’s not Bodog money – it’s for my notoriety in the town,” explained Uscola. “I’m trying to build my name and eventually open a gym out here. A lot of my friends and buddies live out here. I have family from all over coming out, probably 30 family members and a hundred or more friends coming out.”
“So it’ll be pretty cool to fight in front of my family, and of course the after-party is always kick ass because you have all your homies with you,” added Uscola with a chuckle.
When it comes to squaring off with a veteran fighter like Chilo Gonzales, Kyacey believes the hard work he’s been putting into his own game could very well be the determining factor to the fight’s outcome.
“You can expect a well-rounded fighter,” said Uscola to the fans that will be in attendance. “I’ve been working with Alex Stiebling a lot lately and those guys in Salt Lake City on my grappling. I just won the advanced division at Grappler’s Quest a couple weeks ago, [so] my grappling’s there, along with my hands.”
Kyacey further stated, “Brandon Keiser, my Muay Thai instructor, has been working me over pretty good and we’ve been putting together some good training sessions. My hands and my feet are just getting better and better. I have to give credit to Brandon, he’s Erik Paulsen-certified and probably the best mitt holder I’ve ever seen.”
Should all go well this weekend in Boise, Uscola looks to continue his current winning streak and further gain the kind of consistency and stability he needs to make a real run at the top of the middleweight division.
“My goal in this is to not lose any fights,” simply stated Kyacey. “I’ve taken some fights on short notice in the past, just because I needed the money or thought I could take a guy when I didn’t do my homework and I wasn’t prepared cardio-wise or certain aspects of my game.”
“I don’t need to jump on every fight that’s thrown at me because Bodog’s taken care of me. It’s been good to not have to take every fight that’s offered to you just because you need that next paycheck. It’s pick and choose, and staying in shape and not partying. It’s just being a professional fighter all the way around,” added Uscola.
So before Kyacey gets an opportunity to shine on a national stage when his episode of BodogFight airs on May 29th, he urges fans in his hometown to check him out this coming Saturday and see the current and future state of the man nicknamed “Ice Cold.”
“I want to thank my manager Tom Supnet, BodyBuilding.com, Fairtex, Full Contact Fighter, all my fans, friends and family – they’ve been great and supportive, so thank you all,” concluded Uscola. “Definitely come out to the XFS show here in Boise at Qwest Arena. I think they’ll be sold out and it should be a great show. I plan on displaying my skills and putting a hurtin’ on Chilo Gonzales.”