Former UFC middleweight Rob Kimmons admits he didn’t make the most of his time in the promotion.
“My whole life, my whole career, I dreamed of fighting in the UFC, and when I got there, I was just kind of happy to be there,” he told MMAWeekly.com. “To be completely honest, I wasn’t even having fun in the UFC because it was so stressful.
“Everybody you fight is one of the greatest fighters in the world. Every fight you fight there’s a 50/50 chance you could lose. This (upcoming) fight, I’m not really nervous at all. For the first time in a long time, I feel really excited to fight.”
After being cut from the promotion earlier this year following his loss to Dong Yi Yang at UFC on Versus 3 in March, Kimmons has developed a renewed sense of urgency to succeed to go with his excitement.
“Now that I’m out of that, I can’t lose, a loss is not okay,” he said. “I never want to lose again. I want to hurry up and get back into the UFC.”
Kimmons will get his first opportunity to make a case for his return to the Octagon when he returns to action Friday night in Kansas City, Kan., for Titan FC 19 live on HDNet in a fight that didn’t come as easily as he thought it would.
“I always thought after the UFC, it would be just easy to fight anyway, pick fights, challenge whoever I want and that all the promoters would want me, and it’s not really like that,” he said. “I’ve had trouble getting a fight.
“This fight card for instance, we went through about five people. People get injured in this sport, but I find it hard to believe that everybody got injured. It’s just crazy.”
Eventually, King of the Cage veteran Brendan Seguin stepped up to take the fight.
“He’s a good veteran and has fought everybody, but I just feel like I’m better than him,” said Kimmons. “As bad as that sounds – and I don’t mean it to sound (disrespectful) like that – but I’m just really confident because I’m really prepared right now and I just think I’m more talented and well-rounded than him.”
Kimmons also will approach his fight with Seguin with a different outlook than he had during his time in the UFC.
“One thing about the whole UFC stand that was really good for me is that I think I’ve learned something about game planning,” he said. “I saw other people that I looked up to like Randy Couture or Greg Jackson’s fight camps putting out these game plans, so I would put on these game plans for my fights in the UFC, but I feel like individually myself that I fight better if I just go in there and fight.
“If I have a game plan, I think I don’t fight as well. Granted, I have somewhat of an idea (of what I want to do in there), but it’s just better for me to just let my skills do it rather than try to plan everything out before the fight. That’s what I’m going to do in this fight. I’m going to take what happens and try that for a while.”
After Titan FC on Friday, Kimmons has plans make the kind of run he always intended to make.
“My plan is to win three or four fights at 170 (pounds) where I’ve never been defeated,” he said. “I’m a better fighter at 170 because I’m faster, stronger, and in better shape. I want to get back in the UFC and make a run at my natural weight class.
“I don’t want to look back 10 years from now and wonder how good I could have been. I don’t want to wonder that at all. I want to make a good run in the UFC and see how high I can get and see if I can make a name for myself.”