Following his TKO win over Jerel Askew at XFC 43 in November of 2020, lightweight Kenny Cross was looking forward to what was coming next but things didn’t work out how he wanted.
Shortly after the win over Askew, Cross suffered an injury and has spent the latter half of the last year waiting to get back to action.
“I believe the performance (against Askew) was well done and wanted to keep moving forward after that,” Cross told MMAWeekly.com. “It was back to training and getting ready for the semi-finals of the tournament, but unfortunately for me tearing my Achilles changed the following days.”
While Cross was understandably disappointed to have to take time off for injury, he maintained a good outlook and focused on his return more than the missed opportunities.
“When you injure yourself there are some fears that will cross your mind, but I feel that I had the right people around me to approach it correctly, and keep that internal dialog positive and staying committed to the craft that I’ve put seven or eight years into already,” said Cross.
“You take your time with it, do your diligence, day in and day out, really grind, put that work ethic into it and you’ll get to where you want to be. I feel like a year later I’m where I want to be with the hard work that I’ve put in.”
This Friday in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Cross (12-3) will look to get things back on track when he takes on Jose Martinez (12-5) in the 155-pound main event of XFC: Young Guns 4.
“Right now he has nothing to offer me,” Cross said of Martinez. “He is a decent fighter and he’s not going to down easy, but I think I’m going to set an example by my performance and it’s going to allow me to show everybody what I’m going to do.
“I feel I’m going to go out there, impose my will, and just destroy this kid.”
While Cross would like to look forward to 2022, he’s more focused on defeating Martinez before he can do anything else.
“I always think about future plans,” said Cross. “I think if I just positive and I keep going down the right path that the world has a lot to offer me in this fight game. And I have a lot to offer it. But right now I just want to focus on Jose and beating his ass.”