UFC 193 in Melbourne: Steven ‘Steamrolla’ Kennedy

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Steven ‘Steamrolla’ Kennedy steps into the octagonal circle on November 14  for UFC 193, the first UFC event to be held in Melbourne. His name is currently up in lights at Theme Park at its Darkest.

How old are you, Steven?

I’m 32.

What’s your record?

22 and 7.

What titles have you held?

I have been Australian champion for K-OZ at light-heavyweight, middleweight and welterweight, as well as SFA middleweight, AFC middleweight and Roshambo welterweight. I have also been Australian freestyle wrestling champion at 96kg, and Pan-Pacific BJJ champion at 85kg.

Did you play other sports growing up?

Plenty, but none that I was any good at!

How did you become involved in martial arts?

I was watching Van Damme movies [as a kid] and I remember one day, my dad came home with a karate suit! He got me and my brother doing it and was super-encouraging.

What styles have you trained in?

All of them, literally. I’ve tried everything…

Why did you settle on MMA? What’s the attraction?

MMA is the coolest version of what is [essentially] a nerdy past time.

What do your parents/family/partner think?

My wife trains harder than I do and nowadays, my family is definitely proud of me. My older brother has been one of the driving forces since the beginning and my little bro has fought heaps and trains with me still!

What’s the Aussie MMA scene like?

Good enough to breed good talent, but fighters need to stop trying to be a big fish in a small pond.

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Who was your toughest opponent to date?

The scales! My training partners are much tougher than my opponents, but my hardest fight would be a toss-up between Perth heavyweight Dean Roberts, and New Zealand fighter Sam ‘Striker’ Brown.

Have you competed in other styles, like Muay Thai or straight Jiu Jitsu?

Yeah. I’ve entered lots of grappling comps, wrestling matches, pro and amateur Muay Thai and boxing. [I’ve also done some] weird stuff like Pancrase Elite Striking in South Africa, ‘Combat 8’, K1, judo and Kyokoshin karate.

How did you become involved with the UFC?

Beating people up! I had a good record and they needed a replacement fighter on short notice – I was the right guy at the right time. Suckerpunch Management played a huge part.

Do you have a certain number of fights to your contract, or is it on a fight-by-fight basis?

It’s a four-fight contract. I’m one fight down but it doesn’t mean anything unless I perform.

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What do you expect of your opponent, Richard Walsh?

He’s a tough, dumb fighter.

Fighting in front of a full-house at Etihad stadium is a huge thing. What do you think it’s going to be like, fighting in front of so many people?

Louder than usual, but still the same old, same old [thing].

Are you a full-time pro fighter? Do you have to work? What do you do?

I was courier driving up until 6 weeks out for ‘Total Supplies and Stationery’ (plug plug). I run a gym called ‘Kickass MMA’, which is the greatest place in the world. I also do selective personal training and stereotypical bouncer work on the weekends.

Tell us about your ‘gofundme’ project.

I ran out of money during fight camp. [Unfortunately] I don’t have any million dollar endorsement deals just yet. One of the guys from the gym set it up and promotes it for me. It literally saved my life!

You can help Steven by making a donation to his gofundme project here.

10422452_362188360647982_4300304258131444492_nThanks to William Luu at WL Fight Photography for the use of his excellent images.

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