Friday night marks another important night for MMA fighter Kevin “the Anishinaabe Kid” Clark as he returns to the fight game in Sioux Falls, SD. After a period of time on the recovery list, Clark will be back in action with RFA as he looks to continue his winning streak. Clark took some time to answer some questions for his fans.
Who are you fighting? What do you know about his record, or his fighting style, and his fight reputation?
I will be fighting Matt Lopez from California. He is 5-0. He has one knockout, and I believe the rest of his wins are from submission. Who would have thought? He was a Division 1 collegiate wrestler. The ground is his happy place. I know he likes to stand for a bit, see if he can control you there. If he can’t, most of the time he tries to take his opponent to the ground.
Are you training any differently for this bout, or in anticipation of his style?
My training hasn’t really changed. I still work all aspects of mixed martial arts. I have been working on my footwork a bit more than usual. For the most part I have been working on my wrestling like I always do. The reason for this is, it seems like every fight I get into I am usually fighting a wrestler. I’m not worried at all about Matt’s wrestling. My coach, Joe Trottier, and my teammates are so amazing with all their knowledge and years in this sport, I feel like I can stick with the best wrestlers because of them. When I first came to Joe, I didn’t even know what a “whizzer” was.
Tell us about your staph infection that recently sidelined you.
I was training for a big fight I had coming up with King of the Cage. I ended up catching staph infection during the training. I was going to a few different gyms at the time and trying to cut more weight than usual, and I ended up having surgery. It sidelined me for over a month. It was really hard on me, not being able to do what I love to do. But in another way, it helped me. Taking that time off helped the rest of my body to heal and got me back into the gym feeling 100% again.
How has it affected your fight game?
The time off really helped my fight game. I was able to add a few more things to my fight style, which I wasn’t able to do because of a few injuries I wouldn’t let heal.
What do you think will come next for you after this RFA fight?
I don’t know what is next for me yet. I take one fight at a time and focus on that. I would love to get back to King of the Cage again. I really enjoy working with their organization. We will see. I have nothing but time, I am in no rush at all.
Anyone you’d like to thank?
I would like to thank my family for all of their support, and my manager Dean Lamb. Without them none of this would be possible. I can’t forget about my sponsors. I would like to thank the Academy of Combat Arts for pushing me to the limits every day. Without ACA and the coaches I would have quit this sport a long time ago. Tainted Industries for always taking care of me and giving me the best gear a person can wear. All-American Vitamins for keeping me healthy during my career. Midwest Industrial X-ray for always being there, and working with me to help me advance in my career as a radiographer and a mixed martial artist. Last, but not least, the “Beautiful” Sandy Hackenmueller and Fight to Finish Photography. Sandy truly loves the sport more than anyone I know. After a fight, a fighter can’t wait until she posts her pictures of their fight and the photography always comes out perfect. It’s nice to be able to look back at those memories from the shots she has taken.
Please follow Kevin Clark as he continues his MMA journey. He can be followed on Facebook and Twitter at @kevinclarkmma!