Welterweight Kyle Stewart’s 2018 has followed the same pattern as his previous three years in MMA.
In two bouts this year, Steward has managed to pick up two wins, and raise his undefeated streak to start off his career into double digits.
“I was coming off of shoulder surgery (prior to my February LFA bout with Jaleel Willis) and I wanted to show people that I wasn’t going anywhere and I was one of the top prospects,” Stewart told MMAWeekly.com. “Unfortunately it wasn’t the best showing. It was a hard-fought (unanimous decision) win.
“After that fight I needed to stay active and keep fighting, and we worked out another fight with Iron Boy MMA. Chauncey had a good record against decent opponents. I was able to get the (first round submission) win in that.”
Having come into MMA after a stint in the Marines, Stewart will get an opportunity to fight in front of service men in his next fight. Suffice it to say, getting a chance to give back to the armed forces is a big thing for Stewart.
“It’s going to be at Fort Eustis, so I have a lot of buddies that I was in the Marine Corps that I served with on combat deployments that are going to be able to make it up to the fight, which is awesome,” said Stewart. “I also have plenty of guys coming up from Camp Lejeune.
“Not only was I in the Marine Corps, but I was in the Army National Guard, and I’ve got a handful of guys connected with the Army that will be there as well. It’s going to be great to fight in front of all the service members. I know the crowd is going to be loud and pumped. I’m going to go in there with my Marine Corps flag and make it exciting.”
At LFA 46 this Friday in Newport News, Virginia, Stewart (10-0) will challenge for his first major MMA championship when he takes on titleholder James Nakashima (8-0) in the evening’s 170-pound main event.
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“James comes forward and brings a lot of pressure,” Stewart said. “He’s very disciplined in what he does. He puts pressure on you with his wrestling and he tries to grind you out. He’s got eight decisions for a reason. I don’t think he really has that killer instinct.
“I think that he just sets the pace and tries to drown people under his pace and pressure. He bullies people. I’ve knocked too many people out to let someone that’s never knocked anybody out bully me. I’m not going to let him push me back, get me against the cage and grind me out.”
With both fighters being undefeated and competing for a title, it’s very possible the winner of Friday’s bout could move up to the next level, which is exactly what Stewart feels will happen for him.
“I believe this will be the last fight I will have to take outside the UFC,” said Stewart. “If I go in there and finish the fight that will be eight finishes in 11 fights, with an LFA title and a win on the Contender Series, so there’s really not much more I can do.
“I know if I go in there and I’m in my proper position and I’m technical as I can be, I knock James out. I don’t think they can continue to turn me down if I go in there and knock James out.”