Looking back on his unanimous decision victory over Kendrick Latchman at LFA 31 in January, bantamweight Casey Kenney feels like there’s not much more he could have done to win the fight.
Whether it was the stand-up game or on the ground, Kenney believes he controlled the action, leading to him picking a win in his first bout of 2018.
“I felt like I won the striking exchanges, shut down the grappling and nullified his weapons, took him down and beat him up a little bit,” Kenney told MMAWeekly.com. “I would have liked to have opened up my ground ‘n’ pound a little more, but I definitely displayed a lot of mixed martial arts in that fight, and I’m happy about that.”
Having lost a split-decision to Adam Atolin, and going to split-decision draw against Bruno Silva, both in 2017, Kenney admits that going to the judges isn’t something he looks forward to.
“I knew I won that (Latchman) fight, but all the other ones I thought I had won pretty easily,” said Kenney.
“I’ve never been taken down, I’ve barely been touched up on the feet, and I’ve never had a submission attempt locked up on me as a professional, so having those two losses of my record definitely burns deep inside.”
Kenney (8-1-1) will look to build a winning streak when he faces Roman Salazar (12-6) in a 135-pound co-main event of LFA 44 on Friday in Phoenix.
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“Any time I can beat up a former UFC vet it’s always good,” Kenney said of Salazar. “He’s kind of a boxer/wrestler who l likes to grind on top of you.
“My takedown defense is pretty solid. I’m pretty confident there. I think he’ll have a hard time being a bully and taking me down and beating me up type thing. I think it’s going to be a long night for him.”
Should Kenney pick up his second straight LFA win, he feels like he could put himself in a position to challenge for a belt, and possibly even work his way to the next level with a strong second half of 2018.
“I just take it one at a time right now, but I’m always up to collect more belts,” said Kenney. “After this one I’m going to go to the drawing board, try to get better, and then get ready for the next one.
“Personally I think I should have been (at the next level) a while ago, but things happen, and it is what it is. I think if I go make a good statement and finish Roman, I should be right there in the talks for the next level.”