Welterweight fighter Derrick Kennington (4-1 Pro; 2-1 Amateur) just recently returned home from a tour in Afghanistan and impressed fight fans in Charlotte on Saturday night with a 1st round submission victory. Here is what he had to say after the fight:
Rich Wyatt: You won by an armbar in the first round tonight. Tell our readers a little bit about the team that you train with and how you thought things went tonight?
Derrick Kennington: First of all, I've kind of got my own place right now for myself and my team. I'm active duty military and I moved to Sumter after having trained for awhile in Alaska with a guy that was a pretty talented black belt there. When I got to Sumter I was glad to finally be back in the lower 48 but even though I had some guys to train with there was nowhere really for me to train except for an hour away and those guys were charging $150 a month and they didn't even have anybody that actively fought there. So what I did was open up my own place. I got a couple of other guys that were willing to help with the bills: mats, rent and getting everything set up. I hired a really good boxing coach who had placed second in the nation.
Rich Wyatt: I noticed that you landed a few nice shots. You were angled away from where I was sitting but it looked like you landed an uppercut as he was going for a takedown.
Derrick Kennington: Yeah, that's what it was. I've been working a lot with my new boxing coach and had really hoped to make this more of a standup fight tonight. I'd heard that Brian was very good on the ground but I'm comfortable there as well. My last 4 wins were by submission. But I had plans to make it more of a boxing match and work behind a double jab. I saw him lean down just a bit so I threw the uppercut and it caught him pretty square. I went for the guillotine then and couldn't finish.
Rich Wyatt: That guillotine looked like it might end the fight but Brian Keller showed a lot of skill to get out of it.
Derrick Kennington: I thought that guillotine would catch him too, man. I've been working on that as well. I had it no arm in but he did an awesome job. He's really skilled at jiu-jitsu and did a great job of defending. I finally saw the arm there, spun off the cage and got it.
Rich Wyatt: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us and most of all thanks for your service to our country. Congratulations on the win.
Derrick Kennington: No problem.