Brandon “BK” Kesler will be making his promotional debut at TOP FC 6 against Kim Eun-Soo on April 5, 2015 in Seoul, South Korea.
Not short of confidence or words, the long-time Asia-based professional MMA fighter gives his thoughts on training in Thailand, his outlook on his career, and his thoughts on his upcoming match.
Asia MMA: How does it feel to be competing in Korea for the first time? What is your perception of that country?
Brandon “BK” Kesler: I am always excited to travel to a new country. That is one of the things I love most about being a professional fighter. I have no idea what to think about Korea as I have never been there but I’m betting it’s a lot colder than Thailand.
Asia MMA: How did this fight against Kim Eun-Soo come about?
Brandon “BK” Kesler: A few good friends of mine, UFC Veteran Will Chope and James Goyder, put in a good word for me. I met Will back in the day when we were both competing for DARE in Bangkok around 2011. It has been crazy to watch Will grow as a fighter, that kid has always impressed me!
Asia MMA: What do you think of him as an opponent? Do you see any dangerous aspects or any weaknesses in his game?
Brandon “BK” Kesler: I have only seen a few videos on him but one thing is for sure he comes out to fight! Looks like he likes to stand and bang and that’s fine with me, I have been boxing since I was 18 and have been training my Muay Thai in Thailand off and on since 2010 but if he wants to go to the ground I’m ready for that as well.
Basically, I’m ready for WAR, let’s do this!
Asia MMA: Your opponent, Kim Eun-Soo, has all KO wins and all his loses are via submission, does that affect how you prepare for the fight?
Brandon “BK” Kesler: Not really, I train for all fights the same. These days, it’s hard to really have a straight forward game plan that’s why I just train everything. I train hard and will be ready for wherever the fight takes me. I am known as a boxer/wrestler but my BJJ and striking has improved drastically in the last few years.
Asia MMA: This fight is in the middleweight division and you haven’t cut down to this weight in a few years. How has it been so far? What has your diet been like?
Brandon “BK” Kesler: Cutting weight always sucks and let me say that again CUTTING WEIGHT SUCKS!!! I absolutely love to eat! I have a sweet spot for junk food, mostly candy bars and soda so I really have to try hard with cutting weight. I do not keep any food at my house just a little oatmeal and maybe some bananas. I live with my brother back in the States and this drives him crazy when it’s time to cut weight, all food is removed from the house and anything left in the house must be hidden and hidden well! If not I will find it and eat it! I don’t know, but it’s the only way I can do it.
Actually, I cut down to middleweight only about 9 months ago for a fight that was canceled due to my opponent not passing his medical for smoking marijuana (allegedly), are you freaking kidding me! I was literally warming up 20 minutes before the fight when I was told the fight was off. Now, that’s heart breaking! I had a few hundred people at this event to watch me fight as well as this show was near my home town in Washington state.
But I’m pretty good at cutting weight. I have been doing it for years. Check out this youtube vid I made on how to cut weight.
Asia MMA: You are a native of Washington state, so what took you to Thailand and particularly to Gym Bangarang?
Brandon “BK” Kesler: Well long story. Have you ever seen the movie Kick Boxer? HAHA!! Just kidding! But not really! Well, Thailand has always been a place I wanted to train. When I was a kid about ten years old my uncle’s friend Pete Crous would always teach me different fighting techniques as well as educate me on his philosophies on fighting. He would always tell me if you become great at wrestling and great at Muay Thai you will be unbeatable. And he was not too far off. Keep in mind, this was like 1989 – 1990, pre-UFC! So, at a very young age I had some ideas implanted in my head and when I get some ideas of what I want to do, I always take action.
An ounce of action is worth a more than a ton of theory!
As for Gym Bangarang, one of the owners is one of my best friends Chris Smith. Chris and I met at the local boxing club in Kelso, Washington where we became good friends. We have been training together for years and because of our similar size and skills, we make great training partners for each other. Chris with his two partners Phil Burns and Samantha Vogee opened this Gym less than a year ago but have really made it into a wonderful facility. They offer Weight Loss Boot Camps, Personal Fitness, Muay Thai, Boxing, and large assortment of other classes you should definitely check them out on their website here.
Asia MMA: How has your experience in Thailand been?
Brandon “BK” Kesler: I absolutely love Thailand! The relaxed atmosphere mixed with great weather and nice people, not to mention you can really leverage your money so you can focus on training full time, it’s kind of a fighter’s paradise. But it’s not for everyone, I mean if you’re not into pretty girls, sunny days, stress free living, great food, inexpensive everything, then it’s not for you.
Asia MMA: You are on a six fight winning streak and all of them have been finishes, which fight are you most proud of and why?
Brandon “BK” Kesler: I will be most proud of my win on April 5th at Top FC! Honestly, I don’t gloat over my accomplishments. I’m probably my own worst critic and maybe that’s why I’m always trying to learn and impose my skills. I don’t know If I will ever be satisfied. There is always more to learn and more to improve on. That’s one of the things I love most about this sport, you can never learn it all. It is absolutely a wonder sport!
Asia MMA: You are streaking right now but in your career what was the biggest hurdle that you had to overcome?
Brandon “BK” Kesler: I was a little bitter about my last lost to Daiju Takase because I really thought I had won that fight and I think if there were judging it on a 10 point must system I would have, but I believe they were judging it like ONE FC does, they score more for attempts to finish a fight rather than damage. It’s my own fault for not knowing the rules. But losing is learning and losing that fight really pushed me take my game to the next level. I promise if I had that rematch I would be dominating that fight! Daiju Takase is a very tough dude, this guy beat Anderson Silva and has fought the best of the best. I have so much respect for the guy but really I do believe I am the better fighter. But, hey one fight at a time, right?
Asia MMA: Last year you had four fights and this year you already have two under your belt, how many times are you planning to compete this year? Is there a reason, or a goal you set for yourself?
Brandon “BK” Kesler: Well, really I had 6 fights last year but two were cancelled. I am just really focused right now. I have my eye on the ball, I’m just ready for my time to shine! Everything is going good for me, I’ve surround myself with great, like-minded people who believe in me. 2015 is my year! I taking this year and making it my bitch! If you will!
Asia MMA: How has your training camp been going? Are there parts of your game that you have been focusing on?
Brandon “BK” Kesler: Like I said before I really work on everything. I have been training at Gym Bangarang but I also cross train at Team Quest Thailand and Bangkok Fight Lab. I really feel cross training is very important, the more training partners and more looks you get the better. All three of these gym are great and have a ton to offer, I would be a fool not sample it all. I mean, do you only like to eat one kind of ice cream? Not me, I want it all!
Asia MMA: Who are your coaches? Training partners?
Brandon “BK” Kesler: Where to start? Well, back in the States, I love traveling to train with Dennis Hallman, Pete Grey, Benji Radach, Cory Devila and all the studs up at Victory Atheltics. At my home, we have a room full of tough guys, Nic Kunning, Dwain Olver, Big Ben and Old Man Wayn, Mike Fisher, Rob the Throb Gibs, Wess Morgan is always there for me should I continue. But yes we have a ton of big beasts back home, I am often one of the small guys!
Here in Thailand, I always train with my good friend Chris Smith the owner of Bangarang but he has had some injuries and other important matters to deal with, one of the harsh realities of owning your own gym. So, I have been spending a lot of time at Team Quest training with the studs over there. I just landed in Bangkok and plan on finishing my camp at Bangkok Fight Lab and look forward to some good work. This is another excellent gym with great coaches and staff. If you’re ever in Bangkok I would suggest checking it out!
Asia MMA: What are some hobbies outside of MMA that you have?
Brandon “BK” Kesler:
I eat, sleep and shit MMA! Next question!
Asia MMA: Is there anything in Korea that you would like to try or experience?
Brandon “BK” Kesler: You know I’m not here for sight-seeing, I have a job to do “kick some ass, put on a show, and get paid”. Will save the sight-seeing for another day.
Asia MMA: You have been building a fan base in Asia. Is there any words you have for them and any people you would like to thank?
Brandon “BK” Kesler: Yes, thank you to everyone who believes in BK, I have so many people backing me it’s not even funny, I really have the best friends and family in the world. My dad always told me I had a knack for finding really good friends and he was right.! And speaking of my dad he is one of my biggest supporters, he doesn’t really like me fighting but he supports me to follow my dreams. My dad along with my brother, Trenton Kesler and a number of my friends really take a lot for me back in the States so I can be here focusing on this.
Let me give you a quick example. A few months back when we had a little storm will really like a small twister and the roof on one of my rental houses was damaged. Without even saying a word to me one of my great friends, Warren Anderson, went to my house and got out the tools and fixed it all up. He did this not for money not for gratitude just because he is my friend, and I have tons of friends and family like this. I am truly blessed.
Of course, I need to thank all my sponsors for this fight. Please take some time and check them out, they support BK and MMA without these guys, training and life would be much harder – Texas Holdem.com, Ruffstuff.com, The Ultimate Diet E-book, Cleanmachinelongview.com, Mmashorts.com, GorillaTee.com, please take some time and check them out!
Asia MMA: How do you see this fight going down? What is your prediction?
Brandon “BK” Kesler: There is only one way this fight is going down and that’s BK with his hand raised getting the W!