"I'm looking for a 1st or 2nd round TKO or stoppage. Gina may be the face of MMA, but I have to say, win, lose or draw, I'm going to be the pretty one leaving the cage. I plan on fvcking her shit up," stated a confident Kelly Kobald as she talked about her upcoming clash with Gina Carano. Check out what else she had to about Carano, her preparation for the fight and much more.
PC: How is everything going Kelly?
KK: Everything is going great. I'm training a lot.
PC: How is training going for your fight with Gina Carano in October?
KK: Training couldn't be going better. I have a really good training partner that has already fought Gina (Kaitlin Young). I have some great training partners and an amazing training camp. I'm training with Brett Rogers, the heavyweight from Elite XC and Team Bison, and I'm also training with former UFC champion Sean Sherk and also Brock Lesnar at Minnesota Mixed Martial Arts Academy as well. I couldn't have a better group of people to train with.
PC: How much will you take from Kaitlin's fight with Gina as far as seeing some of the mistakes she made and not committing the same mistakes, as well as utilizing some of the things she had success with?
KK: I'm going to use film from all of Gina's fights. Gina hasn't had a fight that I don't have film on, unless you're counting Muay Thai fights, but I have all of her MMA fights. I can definitely see her progression as an MMA fighter and the improvements that she's made and I can also see mistakes that she made in her first fight that she was still making in her last fight and hopefully I can capitalize on them. I think her fame kind of works against her in a sense that I could get so much footage on her.
PC: It seems Gina's weight is an issue in every fight. Are you prepared to deal with the weight issues that never seem to go away with Carano?
KK: Absolutely, I am prepared.
PC: What do you think of Carano as a fighter?
KK: I think Gina is a great fighter. She has good standup and her ground game is underestimated, but I also think that I'm a dangerous opponent and that I'm being underestimated being that I'm coming off of 2 losses. It's unfortunate that Gina has to be the opponent that I have to face coming off of those losses because I'm coming out to win. I'm coming for blood. I'm out to validate my name and I'm looking to hurt somebody; not just win. I need to win and once she steps inside of the cage with me, my respect for her as a fighter, or lack thereof, is really not going to come into play.
PC: When some see that you are coming off of 2 losses, although it's no shame losing to LaRosa or Kedzie, they will assume you're just another opponent being brought in for Gina to look good against. What will separate you from the other 6 girls she has faced?
KK: I'm more experienced, definitely. I've been training in this for 6 years and some may say I'm one of the best in the female fight world. You can't do something for so long with so many good people without picking up a couple of things. There is definitely no shame in losing to Tara LaRosa; she's my favorite fighter, male or female, out there. I'm definitely proud to say I went 4 rounds with Tara, much less being able to say I fought her at all. I do hope people underestimate me. An underestimated opponent is the most dangerous one. I have a pretty decent record and I've been doing this a really long time and I have some great people to help me out training. I'm bound to have picked up something. I'm also probably the biggest girl Gina has ever fought. I'm not tall, but I'm built like a brick of shit house. I'm pretty thick as far as that goes. I have more of a powerlifter type build. I've damn near had to cut off a leg to make 135 in my last 2 fights. My comfort range is to fight at about 150-155 pounds.
PC: So, you're not going to be someone she could push around like she's been doing?
KK: No, I'm definitely not going to be someone that she can push around. I've been hit hard before and I know that she can hit hard, but I can take that. We'll find out if she can because I don't think that she's ever really been tested. I'm definitely the type of fighter that is always pressing the action.
PC: You guys have amazing stamina at Bison and Minnesota Mixed Martial Arts Academy. Gina seemed to gas a little early against Kaitlin. Do you think your stamina will be the difference?
KK: I think Gina takes fighting as seriously as she can with her schedule and other things that she has going on. You can definitely tell, especially in her last fight with Kaitlin Young, that she fights smart and she had a great gameplan. She got great advice in her corner from round 1 to round 2. She was able to utilize her gameplan against Kaitlin, which ultimately ended up getting her the win. I think she fights very smart.
PC: You've fought all over the world, but October 4th, you will be on CBS in a featured fight against the most recognizable name in women's martial arts. What does that mean to you?
KK: It's a great opportunity to get my name and my face out there. I think, most important, it's an opportunity to give myself validation as a fighter. I want to be looked at as a serious athlete and a serious competitor. I have had a lot of fights on the local circuits here in Minnesota and the surrounding states. I just absolutely love to fight. I would go to shows and take what fights were available to me. I can say very early on in my career I had quite a bit of wins so it looks like I have an overinflated record, but my intention was never to claim to be the best in the world by having an inflated record. I just love to fight and I fought as often as I could and I think this is definitely a chance for me to get out there and prove that not only do I love to fight, but I'm good at it. It doesn't really matter who happens to be across the cage from me. It just happens to be Gina and a really large show. I'm definitely going to make a statement.
PC: You haven't fought in over a year. Are you confident that cage rust won't be a factor for you?
KK: I've done several Muay Thai exhibitions. I have been active and have been actively training full time. I was signed to an exclusive contract with Bodog so I was locked up with Bodog and unable to fight for other promotions for a significant amount of time until they finally announced that they would not be running anymore shows. That had more than anything to do with my delay in fighting and why I haven't been active.
PC: For someone who has never seen you fight before, what do you feel you bring to the table?
KK: I always press the action. It may not be very pretty or technical or graceful for that matter, but I very much so press the action. I never quit, I'm strong, I never give up and I'm always hitting. You won't see me in any boring fights.
PC: I can't think of a better way to redeem your back-to-back losses then to come up with a win over Carano. What would the perfect ending to this fight be for you?
KK: I'm looking for a 1st or 2nd round TKO or stoppage. Gina may be the face of MMA, but I have to say, win, lose or draw I'm going to be the pretty one leaving the cage. I plan on fucking her shit up.
PC: Damn! I like that attitude. Thanks for your time Kelly. Good luck in October. Is there anything you want to say in closing?
KK: I want to thank mmagirls.net, Island Supplements, Minnesota Martial Arts Academy, Athletic Performance Institute and Team Bison.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]