For part nine of our ongoing interview series with amateur MMA fighters, coaches, trainers and soldiers we spoke with ammy fighter, Kacey Sanders.
We asked him about the challenges he’s overcome in life as well as the octagon and talked about his future in MMA.
BS: Thanks for chatting with us, Kacey.What is your current record? Any fights coming up soon?
KS: My amateur record is 20-4-2. I’m looking to go pro this spring after I cut some weight. I’m also doing a grappling tourney in Sacramento, CA on December 10th then another one on January 27th in Reno.
BS: Wow! 20-4-2 is pretty impressive. You must be extremely dedicated to have achieved that kind of record. Where do you train? Care to make a shout out to any of your instructors or training partners?
KS: I have my own gym called A-1 in Chico, California. But I’ve trained at Chosen Few Gym in Madison, Wi. and Safe House MMA in Live Oak, Cali. I’ve also done camps in Alpha Male Gym and Cesar Gracie’s in Lodi, Ca.
BS: Has your fighting style evolved since you began training or have you stuck with a specific style throughout?
KS: I’ve definitely evolved to become a much more complete fighter. You have to be well rounded if you want to succeed in mixed martial arts. My BJJ and my kicks are my secret weapons.
BS: Have there been any challenges in your life that you’ve had to overcome in order to get where you are today? If so, how did you overcome them?
KS: I’ve had more than my share of challenges to overcome. First, I’m from a low-income family so that was never easy. I never was in a school for more than three years. And I would get into a lot of fights just as my way of dealing with things. I also was born with an acute heart murmur and I’m a Type 2 diabetic, so losing weight has been an uphill battle. I’ve always known I was going to fight someday. Now I’m doing it, which I’m very proud of. I went to college, traveled the world and I know I have a great family, which helps me see things positively and remain strong so I can become the man I want to be.
BS: Sounds like you’ve overcome quite a bit. That’s great you’ve been able to put all that behind you though. Is there anyone you would like to thank for helping you get to where you are?
KC: Absolutely! My daughter Maddison Grace. She is always on my mind, making me a better fighter. Also, my late Grandpa. He told me if you find something you love as a job, you will never work again and I’ve found it. Thanks Grandpa Tom! (RIP!)
BS: That’s great advice. Grandfather’s have a way of dropping unbelievable wisdom on their grandkids. What advice would you give to other people looking to get into MMA, or any competitive sport, for that matter?
KC: Being a fighter is not for everybody. But you don’t have to be a fighter to be involved with the sport. You can be a writer, training partner, announcer, manager, sponsor, etc. It’s much more than just fighting now-a-days. Above all, always remember who helped you along the way. If they were there when you started, you should be there when they need you also.
BS: Thanks for your time, Kacey.
KC: Thank you very much for the interview!