Kevin Fryer out to silence doubters at Bellator 200

It’s known in the world of sport that time lost is time that can never truly be recovered. With a small window of time to impress and evolve, skill set, talent and luck have to be favouring on your part.

In MMA, a one year hiatus can seem a lifetime and in that year, whatever skills you had at hand can quickly become decrepit. In the case of Kevin Fryer’s (6-2) year of absence, the aforementioned factors would happen to be on his side. Having experienced similar circumstances earlier in his career, Fyer knew how to tackle the obstacles that can hang in front of an awaited return to action.

“With the year off, I’d previously had two years away between amateur and professional, so I’d been in this situation before,” Kevin explained. “The inactivity was due to an operation I needed to get back in the Army.

“I was meant to fight earlier against Mike Shipman, but it was too soon after the operation and after about the first week, I realised I wasn’t ready to start that intensity of training. I would have injured myself if I’d have carried on.”

In the lead up to his return versus Alex Minogue at FCC 20, the SBG representative had been vocal in his views of Fyer and his capabilities. For some, the brash chatter of an active combatant can be enough to rumble a returning fighter.

However, given the experiences Kevin has endured with life in the army, mentality was sure to be rock solid, paying very little attention to the talk of Minogue as he scored a TKO finish in the opening round.

“It didn’t affect me or the outcome,” Fryer revealed. “I read the program about an hour before the fight. It just made me think why didn’t I get an interview for the programme. I felt leading up to it a lot of people had it closely matched or gave him the advantage in skill. I knew that in certain positions I could finish it and that’s what happened.”

With the recent regaining of momentum in February, Kevin finds himself approaching the latest challenge of his career on the biggest stage thus far at Bellator 200. His challenge comes in the form of Costello Van Steenis (9-1). Despite the milestone, Kevin feels nothing about the approach changes.

“Nothing changes,” Fryer expressed. “I prepare like I have been doing previously, making slight changes here and there based on my opponent. Obviously it’s a bigger stage, but I won’t feel any sort of pressure.”

Even with his next bout coming on a Bellator’s landmark 200th event – an event stacked with any and all names available to the promotion’s helm – Fryer feels many have been and will continue to underestimate his abilities. That’s okay by Kevin, though. He feels that his record speaks for itself and as time marches forward, doubters will be silenced.

“I feel underestimated,” the middleweight confessed. “But it doesn’t bother me. Look at my last fight with Alex. I feel he definitely underestimated me. I think they look at my losses and it fills them with confidence. But I was 6’2, walking around between 95 to 98kg and fighting at welterweight whilst training out of Kabul.

“I was beaten before I got in there. The third and final fight at welterweight, my name was being announced and I was stood there thinking I’m going to lose this and I’m not even bothered. Getting to that weight nearly killed me, but I couldn’t get a middleweight fight and was only being offered welterweights. If you look at my middleweight fights in both amateur and pro, I’ve only lost once and that was back in 2011.

“I’m going to be as active as I can be,” Fryer continued. “I’m 32, so I don’t have long left really. As soon as age starts to slow me down I’ll stop. Aside from that, only my job can stop me. MMA doesn’t define me. I’ll always be a Paratrooper first.”

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