â€œI feel like God has blessed me with a talent and I want to use it to its fullest.â€
Kenneth â€œThe Warriorâ€ Battle
Interview and Photos by: Richard Burmaster
Ken Battle is a quiet guy till ask him about being a fighter. Thatâ€™s when his eyeâ€™s light up and you can see that he is truly doing what he enjoys. Having struggled with injuries throughout his pro career, Ken is healthy and ready to make an assault on the TCD.Net 155lb Fighter Rankings and assert himself as on of Houstonâ€™s top lightweights. Not many 25 year old’sÂ can hang with his workouts, even less 30 year oldâ€™s and almost no one his age can hang with him in the gym. With his work ethic and belief in his talents Ken is showing us that age is truly just a number. I caught up with Ken as he prepared for his April 9th bout for the WGC here in Pasadena.
TCD.Net: How did you get started in MMA?
Battle: I have always liked the UFC since UFC 1, watched Royce Gracie win that event. Time passed on and the UFC opened up my weight division. I started watching BJ Penn and those guys and I was hooked. I started training with some buddies in the garage, went to a few open nights at a few gyms and decided that I was going to try and do this. I meet Sam right before I fought my first fight at the Verizon Wireless Theater. I had only trained for about 6 months in my garage and I won a three round split decision. I got banged up but I realized I could do this. I then went and signed up at Miletich Fighting Systems where Sam was coaching and I have been with Sam now for three years.
TCD.Net: Houston has a wealth of gyms and top notch instructors. What has kept you here with Sam?
Battle: What has kept me here with Sam is the same thing that brought me to Miletich in the first place. I had seen him fight in the UFC, he was in some tough fights with top level guys and he seemed like the man to go to if I wanted to get there. I wanted a coach that knew what it took to be a UFC fighter, so he could teach me to be a UFC fighter.
TCD.Net: What kind of confidence does it give you heading into a fight knowing that you have Samâ€™s experience in your corner?
Battle: Itâ€™s a lot of confidence. It gives me an advantage when approaching a fight. I feel more prepared mentally. Itâ€™s a lot of confidence knowing I am with someone who has been to the highest levels of our sport.
TCD.Net: Why do you fight?
Battle: I feel like God has blessed me with a talent and I want to use it to its fullest.
TCD.Net: Your last fight against Jason Carter had what some considered a controversial stoppage. What did you think about the stoppage?
Battle: It was a real good stoppage. I wish I had heard the referee when he was ending it but I was in the zone pounding him out, I have his face between my legâ€™s and I canâ€™t really see if he is out but I am just hitting him , and I am just caught up in the heat of the moment. When the ref stopped us he was caught in my legsâ€™ and he was out of it. When I picked him up and he comes too he is asking me what happened. If you have to ask me what happens that makes me think you kind of lost it for a second.
TCD.Net: Would you be open to a rematch?
Battle? Maybe if he wins a couple fights and shows that he is the fighter that he sayâ€™s he is. I am honored to get in the cage with tough fighters with his accolades, so if he proves to be a tough opponent for others I would give him an opportunity to avenge his loss.
TCD.Net: Have you seen any footage of your upcoming opponent Joshua Corey Lee?
Battle:Â I heard he is a gamer, a veteran fighter who is going to come to fight. I try not to look at my opponentsâ€™ footage. I donâ€™t want to build a false sense of security. I try to keep an open mind, and I try to train like I am training for GSP. I give Corey Lee all respect and I hope he is training as hard as I am or itâ€™s going to be a short night for him. I train to improve my weakness not necessarily for any opponent. They can put an alligator in there, if it can make 155lbs itâ€™s in trouble ha-ha
TCD.Net: How does this fight end?
Battle: If he is not on top of his game itâ€™s going to be a real quick ground and pound or a KO on the feet. I coming forward with hard punches and we will see if he can take it. If he canâ€™t take the pressure then the judges donâ€™t get to decide anything.
TCD.Net: Where is your advantage in this fight?
Battle: My advantage is my mental discipline, I follow my game plan and donâ€™t make any mental mistakes and he wonâ€™t beat me.
TCD.Net: Who are some of your favorite fighters?
Battle: I love BJ Penn, GSP, I like the Diaz brothers, Josh Neer. I like the tough guys who mix it up with you. The guys who love to do it. The ones who want to be the best
TCD.Net: At 37 where can you go in this sport?
Battle: Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, those older guys are my heroâ€™s. As long as my body allows me Iâ€™m going to take this as far as I can. I donâ€™t feel 37, anyone who thinks that will have a short night with me.
TCD.Net: Is there a fighter in Houston that you would like to face?
Battle: I would like to avenge a loss to Brian from Metro Fight Club, He caught me in a very bad spot and caught me good. I have grown as a person since then and I would like to avenge that loss.
TCD.Net: Anyone you would like to thank?
Battle: Warriorvideos.com, deadgame fight squad, Iron Dragon MMA, Those guys train with me from time to time, Crosby Veterinary Hospital, All the guys that train with me here, Cory, Josh, Elliot, Shawn,Foster, everyone that helps me to be the person I am. Sam and Erica, Erica is the best manager I could ask for. My wife and my family, everyone who respects the road I have taken to get here. This is my fourth year as a pro with only 3 fights, bad injuries and stuff but I am not going to quit.