by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
(Photos courtesy April Pishna / PishnaPhotoGallery.com)
Kevin “Bad Boy” English is just one of those types of fighters that people love to root for.
He’s a hard working, determined fighter, who has taken on the sport as his full-time job. More importantly, he’s a dedicated family man just trying to earn a living, keep food on the table, clothes on the backs and a roof over his family’s heads.
After years of fighting on small, local shows, with occasional trips to other states, English will be getting the biggest opportunity of his career as he steps up into an IFL superfight on their April 7th card in Moline, Illinois. There he will face MMA veteran standout Jeff “The Frog” Curran.
“The opportunity itself is outstanding,” exclaimed Kevin of his chance to headline an IFL show. “This is what I’ve been working for, a big fight with a good payday, with a big headline to help me move along in MMA.”
Moving along, continuing to work hard towards bettering himself as a fighter is something that English has been doing for quite a while. Even though he comes from a high pedigree background, he knows that to succeed in MMA, he has to become a complete fighter and he pushes himself constantly to do so.
“I started as a wrestler, just wrestling, and I actually trained with the US Olympic program in Northern Michigan when I was around 19,” said Kevin. “It was a Greco Roman program geared towards young athletes that were geared towards making the Olympics. I left there and ended up coming home, coaching, [and] doing a little bit of MMA just for fun.”
English continued, “So I started as a wrestler and evolved into a more well-rounded fighter, doing Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu [as well].”
As for his main motivation, simply put, Kevin’s priorities lay in the people who depend on him.
“This is all I do. I’m a full-time fighter. I have a family: two kids, a wife and a baby on the way to support,” commented English. “I have a baby due April 20th or 21st. I could really use the money to help my family out, so it [the IFL] came at a great time.”
It’s an opportunity that not only poses financial gain, but it’s an opportunity for Kevin to take on a higher level of competition.
“I’m extremely happy about the opportunity to fight Jeff Curran,” exclaimed English. “I would have fought anybody that they told me that I had to fight to get on the card, but Jeff is a great opponent.”
Kevin further stated, “I’ve watched him fight. He’s a well-rounded fighter, has been in every big organization in MMA and it’s going to be a war.”
When it comes to the fight itself, English feels he has the skills to hang with a veteran such as Curran, and beat him if the opportunity presents itself.
“I’m going to go in there, take it to him and wherever it leads, I’m fine with that,” said Kevin. “I’m not afraid to go on the ground with him. I understand he’s got great submissions, but I have eight or nine wins by submission as well.”
“I know he’s dangerous down there, but I am too. It’s literally going to be a chess match; the first person to make a mistake is going to end up losing the fight,” added English.
April 7th in Moline could very well be the stating point for bigger and better things for Kevin, should he perform well and prove to everyone that he can be on the upper levels of MMA.
“My main goal is to make money for my family to survive and for me to keep doing what I love,” explained English. “It’s a dream to be able to do MMA, make good money in it [and have] my family be well off, be able to pay my bills, and my kids are able to have what they need.”
Kevin continued, “I want to continue to make a name for myself and prove one day that I can be one of the top 155-pound fighters in the world.”
So when Kevin English and Jeff Curran throw down on April 7th after the IFL teams duke it out, fans can expect something special and English urges everyone to come out to Moline and check out the show.
“I was born in Chicago, so hopefully I can get some Illinois-based wrestlers to come out and support me,” said Kevin. “I want to thank my teammates over at Duneland Vale Tudo for pushing me really hard; my dad for managing me and personal training me in the morning; and my brother for supporting me and helping me bust my tail; my wife and family for being so loving and patience with me in this.”
“I want to thank KTFO for sponsoring me, and I hope the Indiana-based fans come out and support me as well. Hopefully I can gain more fans with this fight, so they can see how good of a fighter I am,” concluded English.