Thursday, September 1, 2011
Dustin Kempf Interview
Dustin Kempf has fought some of the best in Ohio and beaten some of the best as well. On September 24th he gets that chance again against Frank Caraballo. However this time it's for Bellator. Dustin is getting a much deserved chance to show his exciting style to a big audience. For those attending Bellator in Canton, this is one fight you want to make sure to watch.
Q: First, can you talk about how you got started in the sport?
A: I was at an ex-girlfriends house and her older sister's boyfriend came over and was talking about it. I was being the smart alec and said "I'll fight, get me a fight and I'll fight" and two days later he called and said 'You are gonna be on the Next Level 2 show". So I talked about it so I had to do it. Low and behold my very first fight was against a guy from the Ultimate Fighter, Thomas Hayden, I am his only loss right now. So I fought and just kept on fighting and here I am now.
Q: Up to this point is there a fight you are most proud of?
A: No, not really. Every fight I always have someone come up and say "good fight, I love watching you fight", so if I can get ten fans to do that each fight, I am proud of it, as long as people love to watch me fight, if I can make one person who doesn't like the sport, turn and say I love the sport, I am happy with that.
Q: Your next fight is Bellator against Frank Caraballo, what do you know about him?
A: Frank the Tank. His name speaks for itself, he is a tank, a beat. He has heavy hands, good on the ground, hopefully its gonna be an all out war. I am sure no one will tell us it's a boring fight. I bring it, he brings it, Bellator is gonna love it, Canton is gonna love it, fans of MTV 2 are gonna love it, the only ones who wont love it are the bantamweights cause I am sure we are gonna steal the show.
Q: Safe to say this is your biggest fight?
A: Absolutely. I had a pretty big fight against Donny Walker a couple years ago, but this is Bellator. This is what we all fight for, we all go to the gym for, friends are out partying and having a good time, we cant go out cause we have a fight coming. Bellator is the next step and my biggest fight.
Q: You have taken some time off, do you worry about ring rust?
A: No, I really believe it's all in someones head. I have competed all my life, there is no ring rust there.
Q: What is the key to the fight for you?
A: Dictate the fight. The key to every fight and victory is make it your fight. If I wanna keep it standing keep it there, if I gotta take it to the ground take it there. Without saying my game plan, as long as I keep it my fight and do what I am capable of, I think I can win that fight, and its a good win for me.
Q: Do you expect him to want to keep it standing?
A: Yeah I would say so, but you never know. Frank is an intelligent fighter, a great fighter. He is an elite at 145, not only in Ohio, but in the country, I feel he is one of the best 145'rs. He is gonna have a good game plan and try and exploit my weakness and I will try and exploit his. You never know, its a fight.
Q: His last fight was an eleven second KO over Doug Kulbis, how impressed where you?
A: It's impressive any time a knockout punch is thrown. You know, someone walks in, and you set up a punch in MMA with those 4oz gloves, one punch can change your whole night and unfortunately for Doug it changed his whole night.
Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: I have no prediction. Only thing I am predicting is somewhere along the line, my hand is gonna get raised in victory, the become the 145 pound champion and run the NAAFS at 145.
Q: So is the hope to impress the Bellator people and earn more fights with them?
A: Yeah, this is my time to shine. Seven years of hard work, sacrifice and dedication into fighting and this is my time. When Bellator takes a look at me, I am hoping they say "This kid has a lot of potential". I took this fight on four and a half weeks notice, so hopefully they add it on to that and select me to be in a tournament. I have no problem dropping to 135 if they asked me to be in a tournament, or 145 either one I am capable of doing.
Q: Is it harder to get ready taking a fight that short notice?
A: No, all along I have been doing my best to stay in shape. Everybody wants a beach body, so I have been keeping my diet clean all summer and lucky for me I wasn't too too heavy. My weights on point, everything is on point to peak at the right time. I may switch my training camps to four week camps cause I feel real real good.
Q: You signed a contract with NAAFS, is there a reason you like fighting with them?
A: Greg (Kalikas) and Nichole (Long) are awesome to work with. They are always seeking to build their reputation and organization and if they do that then fighters who fight for them will build to. They are great to work with, everything is good. It's a great company, they give fighters exposure, they got Stipe Miocic in the UFC, Forrest Petz, Jason Dent, Donny Walker, people going to Bellator. They are opening doors for young hungry fighters in Ohio, and the NAAFS is like the CFL of NFL football right now, putting people in position to get big fights.
Q: So its safe to say you wanna keep fighting for them?
A: I would love to keep fighting for the NAAFS. They broadcast people, push them to bigger shows, its an awesome time to be part of the NAAFS.
Q: From having taken a wrestling class with you, it seems you enjoy teaching. Is that true?
A: I love teaching, especially wrestling. I have been wrestling since I was five, I go to the state wrestling tournament every year, I put my little cousins in wrestling, now mixed martial arts is a big deal and I love teaching and educating people in that. Its a great feeling knowing you helped someone get a little better.
Q: Are there any fighters you enjoy watching or picking things up from?
A: I enjoy every fight. Whether its an amateur who throws a slick boxing combo or does something nice, any fight is interesting and you can always learn something from somebody.
Q: Anyone you want to thank before we finish?
A: Yeah, I wanna thank Terry Blackwell, Zach, Aaron, everyone from Victory Martial Arts/ Team Instigator, also Robert Meese and Brian Cadle from Mainstreet boxing, I owe those two gyms the world. True Assassin and Intimidation clothing for helping me out with this fight. Joey Holt, he is also fighting for Bellator, he is helping me, Team Impact, Josh Stansbury, everybody helping me get ready for this fight, I cant thank people enough for this.