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Kendall Grove: "I’m going to try and destroy Tim Boestch"

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Kendall Grove came onto the MMA scene with his appearance on The Ultimate Fighter Season 3. The 28 year-old has held notable wins against such fighters as: Ed Herman, Alan Belcher and Evan Tanner. As of late, Grove has had a bit of a rough patch, losing 3 of his last 5 fights (and 2 of his last 3). I asked him what he’s learned from his recent adversity.

"I’ve learned to stop giving these guys too much respect. I’m a humble guy, I respect everybody. I respect every fighter. The one thing that I’ve learned in my last two fights, and through my whole career is just to not give too much respect, to just go out there and have more confidence in myself that I can hang with the best. One of the best jiu jitsu guys (Demian Maia) couldn’t finish me. I had (Mark) Munoz out, and my amateur mistakes got me in trouble. I’m gonna go into this fight respecting Tim Boetsch, but I’m also gonna try and destroy him."

Boetsch, Kendall’s next opponent at UFC 130 on May 28th, will be fighting his first fight at 185 pounds in the UFC (he had previously fought at 205 lbs). I asked Grove how he felt about fighting a guy who may have a size/strength advantage.

"I’ve had a lot of guys say: 'Oh, he’s a big 205 pounder, he’s gonna gas!' Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t know how he’s gonna adjust. Look at how Jake Shields fought against Martin Kampmann. He wasn’t the Jake Shields of old. People were like 'He’s human!' He gassed because of the drastic weight cut from 185 to 170. It could be the same way with Boetsch, but I’m going into the fight expecting the same Tim Boetsch from all my tapes. There’s always gonna be excuses. The only way you’re gonna find out is if they fight. Right now, I’m fighting Tim Boetsch, and if he comes in 100 percent, it’s gonna be a great fight. If he comes in NOT 100 percent, it’s gonna be a great fight for me."

I asked Kendall about the TUF show and how it has progressed and impacted the sport of MMA.

"That show brought our sport to the world! It turned haters into lovers (of MMA)! People who didn’t really understand the sport got to sit down once a week, pick one guy that they could relate to and root for him to win the whole thing. Those fans are now fans for life. They pick a fighter every season, and if that fighter continues to stay with the UFC, they become fans. That’s good for us as fighters. It’s good for the sport of MMA."

The Jon Jones-Rashad Evans drama has recently opened the conversation floodgates regarding fighters fighting teammates and training partners. It always interests me to hear how different fighters feel about the topic. Thus far, every fighter I’ve spoken to has said that they wouldn’t have a problem fighting a teammate. Kendall was no exception.

"If the price is right, I would (fight a teammate)! I ain’t got a stacked team like Rashad does, but, at the end of the day, I could fight my best friend. How do I pay bills? I need money. How do I get that? I gotta fight. Let’s just go out there and fight! I don’t care! That’s the business! A lot of these guys gotta stop crying and lollygagging. Like, c’mon dog, we’re in the HURT business. Fight! If not, then don’t ever say 'I could have been the champion.' Go try and BE the champ! Our job requires us to fight other people. People gotta stop being sensitive. You can quote me on that!"

Done. During the conversation, Kendall took issue with MMA fans who he feels lack loyalty. He made it known that he loves his fans, but it was evident that a certain segment of MMA watchers are on his naughty list.

"A lot of fans are biased. I might be shooting myself in the foot. I’ve shot myself in the foot during interviews and I got chewed out by my bosses. I might get chewed out right now for this, but fans gotta learn to be loyal! A true fan will stick by his fighter, win or lose! The prime example that I noticed in the past, that p---ed me off, was when Shogun fought ‘Bones’ Jones. A lot of people were cheering for Shogun, and then when Jones won, these same guys that were cheering for Shogun were like: ‘Oh yeah! Bones Jones! I knew he was gonna win!’ If you’re gonna be a fan of mine, be a fan of mine to the end. These fake people p--- me off and give me motivation to try and prove them wrong."

Parting shots and shout-outs:

"Check out Sun-Rite Fight Guard. It’s an all natural prevention from staph, ringworm, MRSA. It keeps your immune system high. They got other stuff that you can drink and stuff, and put in your water, that keeps your immune system going. You can even spray it in your eyes! After a long trip, you get off the plane, and spray it in your eyes and you’re golden!

I also want to thank my crew out in Maui for helping me train. You guys for letting me say what I wanna say. All my fans. The fans of the UFC.  I personally appreciate it, and I can say we (the fighters) appreciate it. Thank you Uncle Dana. Uncle Joe Silva. The Fertitta brothers. SpikeTV, for being the baddest television station out there. I @ I Training Center. Straight Rootless Jiu Jitsu. Mom, Dad, my fiancé, my kids – thank you guys. Peace out! I’m out!"


Check out Kendall Grove vs. Tim Boetsch on the Spike TV Prelims for UFC 130, on Saturday, May 28th at 8pm (ET).

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