Real talk real actions would be the perfect way to describe the subject of our next interview here at ArtofMMA.com. In the 48 minutes I talked with Bellator Lightweight Kenny “The Gorilla” Booker I don’t think I ever thought “well he is just saying this to sound good” it was 100% straight talk and that is refreshing! If you don’t know about the man known as “The Gorilla” it might be time to wake up and pay attention to the 2-1 fighter out of Rockford, IL. He is known for bringing it in and out of the cage and when you see him you will know exactly what I am talking about. You can follow him on Twitter @Thegorilla85.
Hey Kenny thanks for taking the time out of your day to sit down with us. How’s it been going.
Booker: Thanks for having me man, its going good just trying to get rich and get that money. Finally relaxing for the day.
Man I hear ya there. Let’s start out with your last fight which was your Bellator debut. You took a decision loss to Robert White. It looked like you had him almost knocked out a couple times in that fight can you you talk to us about that fight.
Booker: I thought I had him about four times but my legs were gone and I was exhausted. Most people don’t know but I took that fight on 28 days notice and I was weighing in at 195 at that point. Everything was miserable that day, I felt like shit and my head just wasn’t in it, I couldn’t eat man it just sucked.
In the fight all my power was coming from my arms after the first round but it was like I was playing Mortal Kombat with my cardio you know, and that damn cage is huge (30ft) and I every time I hit him he would back up. I remembering thinking “damnit stop going back and let me hit you in the face”. But overall the fight was a good time and we took home Fight of the Night.
Yeah they tend to leave out short notice comments and how hard that cut can be on short notice when talking in the pre-fight hype. You had a nasty cut on the left eye brow and took some hard shots to your groin in the 1st and 2nd rounds, did that change your game?
Booker: I actually didn’t notice the cut because my cut man ruled that night, wish I could remember his name. As for the groin shot, damn those suck. On the first one my cup shifted when I put him vs the cage and my ball was outside the cup when he hit me, that shit sucked. After I got over that to be honest it didn’t change my game I was just pissed as hell and said “screw it I am going after him”. I knew I had to try to end it then cause my cardio was falling off but he kept going back and all my power shots were from arms. After the second one I was just like “well I could stop” but nah f**k that and kept going.
I give Wright credit he is a tough ass dude and fought the smart fight which was to take me down and not strike with me.
People tend to forget that you were 2-0 going into the fight and had some really amazing fights with Jay Ellis and Ryan Story. Does it get under your skins that MMA has become a “what have you done for me now” type of business?
Booker: It’s f**cking stupid. People don’t realize Jay Ellis is a badass dude, I don’t give a shit what his record his go look at who he has fought. Dude for Rory Markham at 185 and Pat Curran twice. It was cool beating him in his own town and all but that dude is super intelligent and yeah his record sucks but he fights to support his three kids. Some times people need to close their mouth and take a step back.
Yeah it is a what have you done for me now too I am still waiting for Bellator to give me another fight. I would hear people say they didn’t want to fight me because they were undefeated and I was 2-0 and didn’t want to take their first loss cause they trying to make it to the UFC. That shit is dumb, why not try to beat me wouldn’t that help your chances? Man I just don’t get it, I would fight anyone if I was given the time to prepare.
That brings me to a question I have never really asked a fighter, what do you think of fans when they boo a fight that isn’t a stand and bag type match?
Booker: Funny you ask that cause I have a story that happened not to long ago. I was conering a kid from my gym who I took in at 15 years old he was 18 when it happened. Keep in mind he is a very good wrestler and fighting a dude with solid, not great but better stand up skills than him. So what did he do? He relied on his wrestling because it is all about getting wins. Man this lady starts yelling right behind me and keeps going for like 2 rounds. In the third I had enough and turned around and told her “hey do me a favor and shut your mouth”, yeah it was super unprofessional of me and looking back I probably shouldn’t have done it but it was really pissing me off and I will never censor my emotions. I don’t really care if people buy a ticket, I am not a promoter I am not seeing any of that money, go yell at a baseball game or something just get the hell away from me. To me if you boo your an idiot, if I have an advantage on the ground I am not about to play Rock Em Sock Em robots with a dude. Also people who don’t train or really pay attention to the sport don’t understand how great the ground game really is.
That might be the realest answer I have ever received haha. You recently posted on your Facebook “4 years ago today. I stepped foot in my first mma gym…Who’d know I’d be sick of it in such a short time?:)” are you really sick of the MMA game or was that out of frustration?
Booker: Yes and no man. To be honest it is hard to train your ass off every day when there is nothing to fight for (not having a fight on the schedule). I last fought in December and haven’t heard a word about my next opponent, my agent Brain is working his ass off but we can’t seem to find anyone. I even tweeted last night to the head of Bellator to put me in with some of those guys from last night (April 4th card), I would crush them. But I guess we will see.
Man don’t go retiring we need honest people like you in the game. Lets change it up and going with the old Fight Club question. If you could pick anyone to fight in the world who would it be and why?
Booker: You know I have never really thought about that hahah. Umm damn this is hard, I guess I would fight Joe Stephenson. No real reason why, I don’t have anything against him. I just think it would be a cool fight.
You mentioned your agent Brain and you are also a part of Sucker Punch Entertainment which has some huge names on it like Pat Barry, Felice Herrig, Jeff Curran and others. Can you tell us about to be part of such a group and your agent?
Booker: Brian works his ass off for me and he keeps me on point. Somehow he gets a bad rap which I think is bullshit cause that guy is the man. People always ask me when my next fight is and I direct them to him and he always says “I am working on it” and he aint lying, dude is the man.
Felice is my girl and she is a badass! I don’t know why people bash her she is good people. Again casual fans get all pissy at her for not commenting to their every post, but she has like 1000 followers and she is always trying to please them. Then she gets Clarke (her last opponent) talking about she f**ked her way to the top and she is trashy and a whore, it was awesome to see her kick her ass. Man screw fighting Joe I want “fight” Felice and by “fight” I mean take her down and lay on top hahaha. (KENNY DOES NOT CONDONE MEN FIGHTING WOMEN OR HITTING THEM).
Pat Barry is the man, that simple!
Again perhaps the realest answer and I am not going to say anything because she could probably kick my ass and by probably I mean she could. Another interesting thing on your Facebook was Knockout Womens Caner program you did before your Bellator fight.
Booker: Cancer sucks, especially breast cancer because everyone loves boobs. I have a friend Heather who was in her 2nd bout with cancer and right before the Bellator fight I put a pink ribbon on my banner for her and we made a donation to some Cancer foundations. I try to help out with that. You remember those pink yogurt tops and how you could send them in yeah I sent in a ton.
Man that’s really cool of you. Many people don’t get to see that side of MMA fighters in that they are just normal people at their core. Why do you think that is?
Booker: Man I don’t know cause people are stupid. I don’t go out to bars anymore cause when I am out someone is always with their girl trying to be tough and its just dumb. I can’t count the amount of times people come up and talk shit sayin’ they could take me down or why I lost my last fight, man shut up and leave me alone. So now if I go out I sit in the back or just chill at home and play some PS3.
Man, I really appreciate you taking the time to talk with us and it is amazing just how out spoken and real you are..it’s refreshing to see someone tell the uncensored truth. Are there any sponsors or people you would like to mention? I would like to thank the man known has “Hardcore” to some and “monster” to others for setting this interview up it was amazing!
Booker: It is too easy to be a hypocrite these days. I was brought up loyal and ain’t nobody gonna change me. Hardcore that’s my man! Thanks for having me man this was fun. I would like to thank Suckerpuch Ent and AlienWareMMA. Have a good one.
There you have it fans, the realest interview I have done to date. If there is one thing Kenny “The Gorilla” Booker is, it is real. We will keep you updated on to who his next opponent (someone please fight him!) and when!