Jeremy Kimball is back. On April 29th he will appear at the OKTAGON 42 tournament in Bratislava. The popular Grizzly will face the unpleasant Ruben Wolf. In an interview with Ruik, he talked about his plans to return to the welterweight division, his ambitions or a possible fight with Karlos Vemola.
Half a year since his last fight. This time not at heavyweight, but at catchweight up to 104 kilograms. Do you plan to return to the welterweight division?
Yes, currently I would like to go back to 93. The Octagon has patience with me so they allowed me to have some fights at the agreed weights.
In your last fight you were defeated by Hatef Moeil. In retrospect, how do you rate that fight? Was it a mistake to take it? Was Moeil too physically strong for you?
I felt good in that fight. I thought my punches were landing but everything was going too heavy and I couldn’t move that well, so more than anything now I need to lose weight to move faster.
Now Ruben Wolf is here to check you out. What do you think of him? You’ll go into the fight as the favorite. What’s your prediction and what should the fans look forward to?
I never care too much who the favorite is. Anything can happen in MMA, so I’ve prepared as much as possible and I’m ready to fight. I think we’ll put on a great fight with Wolfe.
How do you feel now? How do you rate your form?
I feel really well prepared. People might have seen me training in the garage, but that’s what I want them to see. I’m ready and I can’t wait for the game.
Maybe a bit of an awkward question, but despite being popular with us, there are sometimes doubts about your motivation or your ambition. Is there anything you’d like to say to the critics?
I don’t think these people even understand when you’ve been training all your life. It’s hard to be passionate about something all the time. In some of my earlier fights, I didn’t have that fire in me and I came out of them empty-handed.
But now I’ve come back after two years, I’ve found that passion again, I have a beautiful family and I want them to see how good I can be. When I fought Hatef, I enjoyed the fight and I played with him too much.
But now I’m working on my weight and I want to make one more run. I hope to show people the qualities I have now that my passion for wrestling has returned.
So what are your ambitions now? Would you like to maybe fight for a title as well?
My ambition is to give it my all. To be and show how good I really am. Whether I can get a title fight or not. I want to show everyone that I’m a quality fighter.
You’re currently on your third fight in a row after practically a six-month layoff. Do you plan to keep up this pace?
Fighting every six months is a good pace. Now that my son is getting older, I might try to fight once every four to six months.
Last year you addressed a potential fight with Karlos Vemola, who wanted the heavyweight title. But now it doesn’t look too likely. However, Vémola is the welterweight champion. Would you still want to fight him?
I think me and Vémola could deliver a really great fight. Two totally different styles, two guys with specific personalities. Who wouldn’t pay to see something like that?
How do you feel about the Octagon at the moment? You first wrestled here in 2018, the organization has come a long way since then.
I love Oktagon, I love the people in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, I love the fans. It’s really crazy how the organization is growing. When I first fought here, I was the only American here. I feel like I opened a door that’s huge right now that allows it to compete with the UFC in this part of the world. I’m grateful to be a part of that.
Do you watch the Octagon tournaments when you’re not wrestling or is your primary focus on yourself and your career?
I mainly watch the big name fighters. I never miss a Vemola, Hatef or Jonas Magard fight. And when I have time, I love to watch whole tournaments.
What about your personal life? What do you do when you’re not wrestling?
My personal time is spent being a parent. I have a big family and my three kids fill all my free time. It’s something I love to do.
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