Two of Australasia’s top welterweights collide this Friday night in a champion versus champion match up that has the potential for the winner to pick up a UFC contract.
The reigning Hex welterweight champion Kitt Campbell (8-2) will defend his title at the Melbourne Pavilion against the reigning XFC welterweight champion Matt Vaile (9-1).
In the lead up to the fight, Fight News Australia spoke to both fighters. Here is the first part with Hex welterweight champion Kitt ‘The Killer’ Campbell.
My background is in Judo. I started Judo when I was a teenager and from there I transitioned into MMA where I picked up my striking by about age 17 or 18 and fell in love with it. So, I decided to mix it all together and jumped straight in professional, since then I haven’t looked back.
I was always a fan of it (MMA) while I was doing Judo, I always liked the grappling aspect of it. I used to watch the guys like George St Pierre, BJ Penn, those boys. Randy couture, the kind of pioneers of the sport. They are the guys who got me into it and got me keen on it.
Fight fans are in for a treat as Hex Fight Series 13 is set to deliver a tantalising Welterweight clash, Kitt Campbell vs Matt Vaile. Hex Fight Series Welterweight King Kitt "The Killer" Campbell has looked nothing short of sensational during his rise to the top of Australian MMA. Having achieved 8 wins as a professional, including 6 via stoppage, this talented young warrior is now firmly on the UFC's radar. Hex 13 will mark Campbell's first title defence since he captured the gold in a thrilling bout at Hex 10. "The Killer" will look to cement his place as the number one Welterweight in the region when he steps into the cage against the extremely dangerous, Matt Vaile. Reigning XFC Welterweight King Matt "The Viper" Vaile boasts an impressive MMA record of his own, with 9 wins as a professional, 8 of those have come via stoppage. The talented New Zealander has looked outstanding during his XFC championship reign, having successfully defended the gold 4 consecutive times. Now, "The Viper" will look to capture the Hex Title, and earn a UFC contract, when he makes his Hex Fight Series debut on March 23rd. Fight fans should keep their eyes on the cage for this pivotal Welterweight Title clash at Hex Fight Series 13. Tickets will be on sale from Wednesday 24th of Jan via www.hexfightseries.com
It’s been a massive struggle. I started training full time about two years ago, since then it’s been a massive struggle financially and physically.
But that’s what makes victory even more sweeter, all the struggles you have to go through to get there. I have that dream in my head so hopefully one day it will all pay off.
I’m dedicating my life to it now, I’m at the stage that I got to. I’m fighting guys that are doing the same thing and I can’t let them have that upper edge on me. So, I have to dedicate my life to it as well.
When I was working, you would work your 8 or 10 hour shift a day and then go training four hours in the night. By the end of it you would be exhausted and not enjoying yourself. But at least now I am able to dedicate my life to it and really focus on training and getting the job done.
I got a lot of respect for John he took a lot of shots. I was trying to smash him across those 5 rounds and he was eating a lot of punches the whole time.
I learned a lot from the fight too, I went to the body a few times and I saw him wince looking back at the replays. So, I reckon if I had of kept going to the body more often I would have finished the fight a lot earlier. But I was happy to go the full five rounds and get that under my belt and know that I am capable of doing that. So, I got a lot of respect for John, he took a beating for all five rounds. I was trying to take his head off.
My cardio was still up, I could have gone an extra four or five rounds after that too. I always make sure that I am training like it’s a title fight even if it’s not a title fight. I train like it’s a title fight, I’m always doing my 5 minute rounds so once I get in there its easier.
I’ve done a fair bit of study on Matt, watching how he flinches and stuff, his next moves and everything. I got respect for Matt, he’s pretty well-rounded, but he’s just not as explosive as me.
I think I have fought tougher guys in my career. I’m more explosive than he is and he has never fought anyone like me, so he is going to get a shock once he gets in there.He’s fought good guys on his record, but a lot of them drop their balls once they go in there to fight him. So, I’m defending my belt, I’m going to be revved up.
Hex being the biggest promotion in Australia at the moment. If I beat the XFC champ, it proves that the quality of fighters are better on Hex
We’ve been in contact and now I am hoping that this is enough to get that call up. I’ve fought the best in Australia, I’ll continue to fight the best in Australia. If I don’t get the call up, I am just happy to fight so I’ll fight anyone, anywhere until I get that call up.
A lot of the guys used to travel overseas to get their training camps done. Now we don’t have to do that anymore because the pedigree of MMA in Australia. Half the time it’s better than in the States, it’s better than Thailand.
We have enough training partners here and its cool to see an Aussie up there on the big stage with the belt around him. It just shows that it is possible for an Aussie to do it.
Everyone in Australia is killing it at the moment. Where just proving to the world that we are tough from down here and we are not to be taken lightly.
My earliest combat sports memory is watching David Tua knock people out with his left hook. I am extremely passionate about combat sports in Australia and my home country of New Zealand and I endeavour to grow the profile of martial arts and its athletes in both countries. Persistent Brazilian jiu-jitsu battler.