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THE OTHER SIDE OF MMA

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Creeping in the background, unseen but knowable, it waits. For some, it comes quickly because of a devastating injury. For others, it comes because they just can’t compete at the highest levels. And for many more, real life simply chokes out their dreams. But it comes. It’s the unbeatable opponent. It’s the end.

Local fighter Kevin English has reached that point. The veteran of the IFL, Duneland Classic and TFC told Chicago’s MMA that he is now retired. English said that in the fight between responsibility and MMA, MMA has been defeated.

“Work and family has always been top priority”, English said. “With a wife and 3 kids to support, its hard to find time to train. I am a correctional officer at the State Prison and work 12-hour shifts, so that takes a bulk of my time. I’m also a reserve police officer for Schneider PD. And of course I have to make time for the family. My daughter is in soccer and my 3-year old son is about to start his first year in wrestling. My oldest son is in band and student council.”

While English is committed to being a good father and husband, his body is committed to preserving itself. His pro career lasted almost a decade, and injuries have taken their toll on the 30-year old.

“I have had 4 knee surgeries in the same knee, 3 broken noses, a broken foot, a broken wrist and broken fingers and toes. I just recently found out I have fused vertebrae in my neck and 2 bulging discs in my back”, English said.

English had plenty of success in the sport. At 5’9″, 155-pounds, the submission specialist fought at lightweight and was 13-7-1-1 as a pro. He fought on cards with Roy Nelson, Vernon “Tiger” White, Miguel Torres and Dan Hornbuckle, as well as many other popular fighters. Still, he wishes he could have reached a higher level and achieved more.

“I wish I could have done more in the sport”, said English. “I wish I could have made one of the 3 shows the UFC flew me to Vegas for but that never panned out. In the IFL, I fought a ‘Super Fight’, then the next year went to the open tryouts made the draft. Then the IFL folded.”

Kevin "The Bad Boy" English after one of his 11 pro victories.

Now, watching MMA will be much different for English. He won’t be scouting future opponents anymore. He’ll be watching as a fan and a retired fighter.

“This year is going to be the hard, watching Kyle Watson on the TUF show, who I fought in TFC, and my buddy Amir from Michigan who is also on the show. I hope they do well”, English said.

Retiring from MMA is not without benefits. His body will heal. He’ll be around his family. And he’ll eat. Maybe a lot.

“The one thing I do enjoy is having the time for my wife and kids…and getting fat!”

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1 Comment

  1. K.English

    Sep 20, 2010 at 9:55 am

    13-7-1-1 LOL, But thank you for the kind article, I also want to give a shout to all the fans, friends, and family that helped along the way. My father who was their through it all and helped me the most. And say that I’m truly happy the way the sport has grown. My first fight I remember I received a beer mug wich I still have! Thank You all!!

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