In the Cage with Tom Kenney
A.M.A.M.: Tell us about one of your last fights?
TK: It was another exciting King of the Cage event, which took place June 9th at Soboba Casino in San Jacinto, Ca. and it was on PPV.
A.M.A.M.: Who was your opponent this time?
TK: Funny enough…Thomas Denney. The fight has been in the making for about four years now. I fought one of his students in 2002 and I knew after the fight that we were going to fight sometime down the road.
A.M.A.M.: How did it feel to be the under-dog in that fight?
TK: It didn’t bother me at all, if anything it gave me motivation to train harder. I’d been hearing that I was going to get knocked out in two minutes and some other stuff but like I said it just gives me more motivation.
A.M.A.M.: What can we expect to see at one of your fights?
TK: I guarantee an exciting match and that everyone at the venue will always get their money’s worth!
A.M.A.M.: What got you interested in fighting and when was that?
TK: In 1993 one of my wrestling coaches sat us in front of a TV in the wrestling room before a dual meet and told us to watch this stuff. It was the first U.F.C., and the fight was Gererd Gordeau vs. some Sumo wrestler (I think?). Gordeau knocked the guy out and in the process he knocked out the guy’s tooth! All of us were going nuts and couldn’t believe that this stuff existed. That’s what got me so into the U.F.C. About four years later another one of my wrestling coaches overheard us talking about some fights that we’d been in, he asked us if we thought we were tough. Our reply, being crazy 18 year olds, was “Hell, yeah!” Then he says “You guys stay in shape I have something for you in two weeks.” He booked me and two of my friends for our first fight.
A.M.A.M.: What do you train in and where do you train?
TK: I’ve been training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under John Delao since 2000 almost every day. Once I started I got hooked and I rarely miss a day. Along the way I’ve trained in boxing with Armando Shore and Muay Thai with Patrick Leon.
A.M.A.M.: What does training mean to you?
TK: Training is my full time job. My instructor John has turned a hobby of mine into a career. I’ve been really fortunate to have a school where everyone is cool. There aren’t any egos or anything like that and we all get along and try to help each other. It’s hard to find a school where everyone has the same outlook and the reason for this is our instructor. John doesn’t try to hold anyone back and he’s always making sure that everything that he’s going over is fully understood and done properly.
A.M.A.M.: How long have you been fighting?
TK: Since 1998, I was 18 at the time.
A.M.A.M.: Did you have any formal martial arts training at that time?
TK: No. I wrestled and that’s all my wrestling coach told me that I needed. I won my first two matches off of straight wrestling and the sheer will to win.
A.M.A.M.: What fight has meant the most to you?
TK: There are two fights that really stick out in my mind. The first one was against Jorge Perreria in June of 2004 for King of the Cage. Jorge is a fourth degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Rickson Gracie, so I knew it was going to be a hard fight for me. During the second round I dropped him with a straight right hand. The crowd was going crazy so I told him to get back up and I was able to do it one more time earning me the unanimous decision.
Lately, Tom Kenney has been somewhat plagued by (California State Athletic Commissioner) Armando Garcia’s apparent bias towards the sport of MMA and its fighters. Garcia, an advocate of Boxing, is known to despise MMA and has been accused of preventing its fighters to compete by overly delaying the approvals of the required medical paperwork and state applications.
Due to Garcia’s prejudice, this recently happened to Kenney in the 11th hour just before a pre-scheduled fight to take place in Long Beach, California.
Although Tom was advertised on the fight-card, his many fans were disappointed to arrive at the show only to find Kenney was not to fight!
However, Tom Kenney is tough and landed on his feet. He will be seen fighting in upcoming KOTC as well as other MMA events this year.