MMAF All Access
No_Mercy: Sup Kin 'Kong' Moy
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This month MMAFORUM.com interviews our very own pro fighter who recently signed to Bellator. So lets kick this off!
First off how'd you get a nickname like that?
Kin: The nickname "Kong" was given to me ironically. When I first started training, it was at this tiny hole in the wall gym near my house. There were only a few fighters; two were 120 lbs female kickboxers, and the rest ranged from 185-205. Suffice it to say, at bantamweight, I was not the hulking gorilla of the gym by any stretch of the imagination. That being said, it's pretty catch, so its stuck!
No_Mercy: How'd you get into the fight game?
Were you one of those kats who watched the original UFCs or did you just like to scrap and get into fights in school for fun?
Kin: As for how I got into the fight game, it's a pretty funny story...
I'll start by saying that, perhaps, I was destined for it. My father was a full-contact karateka and boxed in college. On top of countless competitions, he's also been in more than his fair share of unsanctioned scraps. I always grew up hearing about how badass he was from other people, and naturally I wanted to be like him when I grew up.
I trained Tae Kwon Do like once a week when I was younger. I began my career as a weekend warrior at the age of 9, practicing TKD once a week. From then until the age of 17, I dabbled in all sorts of stuff -- Kung Fu, Aikido, Judo, Ninjutsu, Kenjutsu, German Longsword, and Kali! Suffice it to say, none of that was very useful to me since I trained far too little (and without realistic sparring) to get remotely good. Though, I did learn boxing from my dad once a week, which gave me a decent foundation for when I really started training at 17.
Now, while I hadn't watched the original UFC events, I'd always been interested in style vs style matches. I participated in sooo much goofy backyard sparring in high school... During which, I noticed that the kids with even a little bit of grappling always prevailed. This made me want to learn some ground fighting, if only to be able to defend against it.
Despite this realization, coming from a traditional background (if you could even call it that) I found the common claims of BJJ's inherent superiority to be very offensive and I wanted to learn how to fight on the ground...without doing BJJ. This led me to an MMA gym down the street that offered Sanda/San Shou and Kung Fu-based submission grappling.
It was perfect! I'd be able to defend myself against JiuJitsu without learning JiuJitsu and admitting its alleged superiority! Well uh, as it turned out, no gi grappling is pretty much all the same shit and even though what we were doing wasn't called BJJ, it greeeaaaaatly resembled it. (Flash forward a few years, I got over my anti-BJJ bias and now I'm a purple belt.)
In any case, I expressed interest in competing. My coaches were like "lolno you're too fat. Lose some weight first." So I started training more and more, rather than partaking in my usual xbox + potato chip fest and I lost 35 lbs and tried a grappling tournament. Then a kickboxing match. Then an MMA fight. And another, and another.
No_Mercy: Have you got into real fights outside of the cage?
Kin: I like these questions! So much better than the cookie cutter stuff I usually get! As for real fights outside of the cage, I used to get into some street fights in middle/high school. I was always one of the only Asian kids, so people always tried to pick on me and the best way to get them off my back was to fight.
But honestly, I couldn't fight for shit back then. The little martial arts skills I had carried me through but, looking back, I was lucky I didn't get whooped on more.
Since training seriously, I've only been in one street altercation. There was this guy who was probably on something and he was super aggro, cussing out his girlfriend, screaming at everyone near him. He kept trying to pick fights with people near him -- most of whom were much smaller and/or older.
The guy was over 6 feet tall, maybe 180 something. He sees me and my friend, and we're both 5'5 so I guess we seem like easy targets. I repeatedly tried to deescalate and tell him I didn't want to fight, but it came to a point where I sensed something was going to go down.
Now keep in mind, I train with a lot of tough pros and amateurs who I can wail on and they don't even wince. That's my only frame of reference for fighting, so I'm expecting this to be quite an ordeal.
In my head, the plan was to throw a right, a lead hook, then angle off to the side and blitz him with a series of straight punches. It seemed pretty legit in my head, but pretty much none of that happened.
The first punch KO'd the guy and the second one hit the top of his head as he was falling. Me and my friend just looked at each other and then got the heck out of there.
But yeah, I do my best to avoid physical confrontations, so that's pretty much it for me.
No_Mercy: Talk about fights. Did you watch the LHW title holder's press conference with Daniel Cormier? Thoughts?
Kin: As for the Cormier-Jones ordeal... I have mixed feelings about that. Obviously I was entertained by it, but I'm also disappointed that it happened. Pugilists get a bad enough rep as it is and high-profile athletes getting into stupid tussles really doesn't help the image.
No_Mercy: Now that you're in Bellator are you getting a lot more hits on Facebook, Twitter, and Tinder from random female fans?
Hahah, well while I'm signed for 3 fights with Bellator, I haven't actually FOUGHT for them yet. So maybe I'll get some more female fans in the future. Presently, though, not much going for me in that department.
And omg Tinder, I posted a pic of me fighting, but I seriously get no internet dating love. Most of the girls I've been with were people I knew or strangers I just started a conversation with on the street/subway/park/grocery store. Online dating, though very appealing because I'm lazy, hasn't worked out for me at all. Sometimes, you just gotta do things the old fashioned way.
But yeah, ask me again after the Bellator fight and maybe that will have changed.
No_Mercy: Those are some wildly entertaining stories and we only got into a few questions. I see where you got your martial arts pedigree. Big ups to being a fellow Aikido practitioner. Do you feel a sense of pride about having a gangster, ass kicking father and perhaps living up to those standards? Is this your single driving motivation?
Kin: I really am proud of my father, and not only for being a good fighter. His badass-ness transcends even the physical realm. He immigrated here from Hong Kong at a young age and definitely didn't have money growing up. Though he wasn't a gangster, he definitely did grow up in the streets – which is where most of his fighting experience comes from. That being said, he graduated from college and spent the entirety of his adult life working in non-profit organizations dedicated to giving back to the community.
Unlike a lot of people that he'd grown up with, my father has moved far past his humble beginnings. And yet, he's dedicated his life to creating opportunity and aid to those who are starting in the same place.
I can't say that I'm living up to the same standards because I haven't lived through any of the insane scenarios that he's persevered through, though I'd say that I'm doing his legacy justice on the sport side of things. And I'd be lying if I didn't say that I find a degree of satisfaction in that.
Even so, I wouldn't say that this is the driving factor in my martial arts career. While my yearning to follow in my father's footsteps certainly drew me toward the martial arts initially, I do this entirely for myself at this point. A lot of people my age – in their early twenties – are struggling to find their niche. It's hard to find that one thing that's worth getting out of bed in the morning for. I feel very fortunate to have found such a meaningful pursuit in the martial arts, and it is that desire to take my journey (not just as a fighter, but as a student) as far as I possibly can that drives me to do what I do.
No_Mercy: That's a really articulate answer. Do you have any fighters or icons that inspire you?
Kin: Aside from my father, I don't draw tons of inspiration externally. Though I certainly do have great admiration for fighters like Pedro Gonzalez (my teammate who's not only a great MMA fighter, but who's got 2 upset wins in a row at Lion Fights), Rob Font (possibly the hardest worker in MMA), and Nick Newell (cool guy and total badass).
No_Mercy: Awesome to hear you're giving some of the spotlights to your team mates. Would you want your own son to follow in your footsteps down the line?
Kin: Hmm, that certainly does sound appealing. But ultimately, I would want my son to follow whatever path he wanted. That being said, he's definitely going to have to learn martial arts even if he doesn't want to compete or pursue it as a career path.
Something that I've found sort of funny about my own experience with this dynamic is that of my parents, my father was/is most against me competing in combat sports. My mother was used to seeing my dad take his lumps, as he'd been competing up into his late 30's. Probably because he'd taken so many lumps, my dad was insistent that I just get a day job rather than pursue fighting.
No_Mercy: In our dojo one of the rules is to never engage in combat outside unless of course it's self defense so you're in the clear. Scraps that involves MMA pro fighters fascinate the public.
Having said that I think one of my favorite stories was when Roger Huerta defended that woman's honour and wrecked the foot ball player in a matter of seconds. I think your story is pretty similar. What did your father think? Did he give you props...hah!
Kin: Not to be too doom and gloom, but my father has had too many of his childhood friends and acquaintances get hospitalized, arrested, or killed because of street fights that he's less than enthusiastic when I get into them. He seemed slightly amused, but then reminded me that getting caught up in that stuff would ultimately end up with me stabbed or in jail.
No_Mercy: Word. You must be the go to guy when it comes to being a wing man in clubs though. I mean what an icebreaker..."meet Kin he's a pro MMA fighter in Bellator" and if for any reason shit hits the fan they know you can probably take on at least five guys at once!
Kin: Hahah, to be honest, I really don't go clubbing that much. And I usually try not to bring up the pro fighter thing too early when I meet people. I just don't want to seem like one of those douchebags. Plus, a lot of people I know around here who are real quick to play the “I'm an MMA fighter” card really suck, so I get embarrassed by association and don't want to be that guy. It's funny because most of the time that I meet a girl, she doesn't find out that I'm an MMA fighter until we're already on a date. Again, I'm reaaaally opposed to being “that guy.”
But I'm definitely not opposed to showing her my highlight reel, which has never hurt. ;]
As for taking five guys at once... that'd be a no. When I was younger, I beat up two guys at once before but multiple opponents are always a shit-show – no matter how trained you are! A really badass welterweight fighter from my gym helped this guy getting jumped once. He kicked the shit out of 3-4 guys, but then another 5 ran in from across the street and stabbed him. He's alright now, but I think the moral of the story is that no one is invincible.
No_Mercy: I hear ya on that front. Most wouldn't want to fight a pro fighter without having some back up...lolz! Is there any time for clubbing or extracurricular activities anymore now that you're training full time?
Kin: I'm currently working as an optician during the day, selling glasses and whatnot, and training at night. Opticianry pays my bills and MMA is a nice supplementary income, so I guess I've made a pretty decent compromise.
No clubbing for me while I'm training. I rarely drink at all, but if I'm between fights I don't mind getting trashed at a house party or going out with some friends. This probably only happens a handful of times a year, though.
I still try to hang out with friends and do social stuff once or twice a week, but I certainly am more conscientious about how things will affect my training and performance.
No_Mercy: Walk us through an abbreviated outline of your work out regimen. Don't have to be too specific in case your competitors' are reading this.
Kin: Monday – Kickboxing drills 7-8, Ground and Pound 8-9, Boxing 9-10
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – Wrestling 7-8, Standup sparring 8-8:45, MMA/GnP 8:45 – 9:30
Thursday – Muay Thai 6-7, Sanda sparring 7-8, BJJ 8:30-9:30
Friday – Padwork 6-7, Kickboxing 7-8, MMA sparring 8 – 8:30 or 9
Saturday – BJJ/no gi open mat 3-5
Sunday – Wrestling 2-3, Leglocks 3-4 (Or cross training elsewhere)
That's what my camp has looked like lately. For different camps I've had different schedules which sometimes will include extracurricular strength training or sprints for certain periods. But it all depends on my opponent and/or where I'm at in my camp.
No_Mercy: That sounds pretty intense! How's your dieting and weight cut? I never understood how fighters cut in excess of 20lbs the day before.
Kin: Currently, I'm being sponsored by Avocare and I'm using their 24-day weight loss program, which has been helping a ton. I'm losing weight really easily and not even adhering to that strict a diet. I usually diet down from 155+ to 145, then cut 10 pounds of water there. The way things are going with Avocare, it looks like I might make it down to 141 or 142 before even doing my water cut, making for the easiest drop I've had in my life.
As for the water, it's all about over-hydrating yourself first so that your body gets used to expelling tons of water, then cutting back your intake at the last minute and working up a sweat. It comes right off!
No_Mercy: So that's the secret to weight cutting. Your facing Steven Garcia a fellow talented and undefeated fighter on a pretty stacked Bellator card on Sept. 5th! Are you ready to go to war?
Kin: To be honest, it's tough because I'm coming off of a 3-month layoff because of injuries. I had to back out of a title fight I had scheduled for that time, and I was initially planning to have a warm up fight before jumping back into deep waters. However, once a league like Bellator comes knocking, you've gotta cowboy up and get to work.
The first few weeks were really tough, but I've been feeling very sharp lately. Each day, I'm feeling better than the last. By the time Sept. 5th rolls around, I'm going to be ready to participate in what is sure to be an ultra violent spectacle. Tune in to Spike TV; you won't wanna miss this one!
No_Mercy: We're all pretty hyped to see you make your debut in the big leagues! Do you feel different preparing for this fight vs your previous ones?
Kin: Aside from the initial rust, this doesn't feel too different from any of my other fights. My coaches know what they're doing and they haven't let me down so far. While I'm certainly taking this to the next level, and that can be daunting, it's still two guys getting into a cage and beating the crap out of each other. The stage is bigger, but we'll be doing the same damn thing as always – and that's what I'm preparing myself for.
Though, I guess it's a bit different that I'm preparing for a 6'0 southpaw. I've beaten a guy that tall before and I've beaten a 5'10 southpaw, but the combination of height and stance makes for a unique challenge. I've certainly been bringing in guys with similar builds to mimic Garcia as much as possible.
No_Mercy: Did you actually deal with Bjorn Rebney or Scott Coker? There seems to be a lot of positive feedback with Scott taking reigns.
Kin: Everything goes through my manager, Eric Grossman, so I've had no personal interaction with anyone from Bellator. Glad to hear things are going well in their transition, however.
No_Mercy: Gotcha! Looks like Sept is gonna be a great month for the MMA community because we all get to watch the epic showdown between the UFC LHW title holder and Daniel Cormier along with rising star Connor McGregor and Dustin Poirior. Who's your pick?
Kin: I'm rooting for Dan Cormier and Connor McGregor but I am infamously bad at picking fights so I wouldn't be surprised if the opposite happened.
No_Mercy: Nice picks! Going with DC and Notorious as well, both by knockouts!
No_Mercy: But before that we have MMAFORUM's own Kin "Kong" Moy making his debut on Bellator! Be sure to check em out on Spike TV! Any shouts outs to you sponsors, friends or fans alike before we wrap this up!
Kin: Shout out to Avocare, fighterconnection.com, Kill Their Will Fightgear, the Chicken and Rice Guys food truck, and Ginsberg Martial Arts Academy where I've been cross-training!
No_Mercy: Awesome man! Thanks for doing this. This interview has been a blast, on behalf of MMAFORUM.com we'll all be rooting for ya! My last advice, sweep the leg...show him no mercy!
*Note* This interview was conducted prior to the Sept. 27th LHW title fight being postponed.