By: Jency Bettendorf
I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Tyler King on air for my podcast “The Fighter The Writer The fans” but this time I decided the pen must meet the paper.
There’s a war going on and some of you haven’t caught wind of it yet. It’s between two heavy weight fighters and beyond that it’s crossed International borders. This will be resolved in Japan, on Rizin Fighting Federations July 30th card. Tyler will be facing off against a 6-1 opponent by the name of Amir Aliakbari, An Iranian wrestler who has seen his fair share of controversy. Most notably being suspended from competition due to testing dirty back in 2011 which lead to Aliakbari missing the Olympic Games. When his suspension was lifted he was back in the scene, qualifying for the World Championship in Greco Roman wrestling. He won a gold medal but Upon further testing he was later stripped of the medal and banned from wrestling for life due to his use of anabolic steroids. He allegedly was “given a pill” by a different countries coach, which was to blame for his dirty test. Yes, my WTF meter is off the charts, but let’s put that aside. Many in our industry have made mistakes and we have welcomed them back, perhaps with some snide remarks, but still welcomed them back, right Jon Jones, Cyborg anyone? Now here is where things get even more interesting, Rizin does not do any drug testing, and according to Tyler King, he will rid the Japanese promotion of this stain tarnishing their roster by any means necessary.
There are many reasons to tune in for this fight. First being everyone loves a heavyweight fight. Heavy hands and the opportunity to see an epic highlight reel knockout. Tyler is vowing to finish his opponent one way or another, be it striking or submission.
“I’ve already said it, I’m going to finish this FUGAZI,” King matter of factly said during our conversation, he continued
“Hopes and dreams of a nation will rise with him and be crushed by me. I’m going to put a beating on him. He is a fraud. Rizin has called me in to get rid of him.”
When I asked King about Amir’s history with illegal drug use and the ability for him to fight in Japan on anything he so chooses he said
“I mean if he needs to use something that’s his weakness. He’s not use to hard work. He is compromised.”
It seems that the web has taken things to another level, as it tends to do, when it comes to Patriotism. There is a line drawn in the proverbial sand between Iranian fans and American fans. Luckily for us, we get to witness most of it. (Although there is more happening between the two fighters that we aren’t seeing, I’ve been privy to a couple moments and it’s heated these men are fired up and Tyler’s not backing down.) I call on all fight fans to follow Tyler on Instagram where it is the most heated. (@tylerking52) or on Facebook @Tyler King. None of this back and forth is new to King as it seems most of his opponents have repeatedly tried to use their mouths to break his will or distract him.
“I don’t know what it is, maybe they don’t like my face, maybe they don’t love my pretty blue eyes or my manly fucking beard. I don’t know what it is.”
Making a Rizin debut has been a goal of his come to fruition.
“It’s the Shit. It’s a land where martial arts is revered. I’m going to show the Japanese fans something they have never seen before. I’m bringing my Bushido. It’s been a goal of mine to fight there and for this kind of promotion.”
When it comes down to the nitty gritty King has a reach and slight height advantage against Aliakbari.
“He’s got his wrestling. That’s it. That’s all he has. He’s going to try to use his wrestling shit but I’m going to use my ninja shit and my ninja shit is going to beat him. With my superior ninja shit I’m going to finish him. Look at my finish record. Out of 12 wins 10 are by finish. I targeted this fight he’s all hype and it’s unfounded hype he’s never faced anyone like me before with my unique skill set.”
While on the topic of finishes which is your favorite finish?
“My CES fight with Eric Bedard when I grabbed a heel hook in 51 seconds. Probably when I put the stamp on Josh (Diekmann). When I beat the shit put of Lorenzo Hood. I’ll have a new finish on July 30th, I’m going to punch a hole in his face.”
When asked if he would ever want to revisit a match up? He’s always game, but it’s not needed.
“Doesn’t matter if I want to run any fight back. But one thing is for sure. They will always want to run it back. Why? Because when you fight me it’s the best paycheck, the most publicity and most eyes you will ever have on you.”
Notoriously outspoken as I first hand have had the honor of being offended by, then turned a fan by, I had to ask him about the recent cards this past weekend (Bellators NYC ppv and UFC fight night in OKC)
“I enjoyed it. I enjoyed seeing a vet getting a win over a young hyped fighter.”
“Oh and I think Primus is a douche bag. He should not have been jumping around celebrating when the champion Michael Chandler had a potentially broken ankle. That’s the fucking champ. He still wanted to fight and he even caught Primus, even on one fucking leg he rocked him!”
I had to ask about the new stool gate aka when Chandler had the stool literally pulled out from under him.
“Oh god, NEW YORK get it together!”
Then continuing on:
“Fedor is at the end of a very long career and I think that’s showing. And CHAEL? Chael is still gangster as fuck!”
Seeing as Tito Ortiz was visibly in the audience I asked his thoughts on Ortiz.
“He’s the dumbest guy to stay famous. Tito is the champion of unnecessary talking. Tito got popular when people loved douche bags and he just stuck around forever and kind of got rich.”
His take On the UFC card and the stoppage in the main event which ended with Kevin Lee getting his hand raised:
“It was a good stoppage. He was already pawing at ghosts. He was going to sleep. He wasn’t getting out of there.”
In response to this I had to ask if they stopped this fight why did they not stop the Herrig fight earlier in which we had a fighter actually “expel her bowels” for lack of a better term.
“It’s the difference between someone holding on tight or someone going out. His eyes were glossy he was reaching at ghosts. I think he may have tapped. Rewatch it.”
Somewhere along the line I asked how he felt about Cyborgs change in opponents. (Megan Anderson out and Tonya Evinger in)
“I appreciate what Evinger is trying to do. She is a vet and she’s tough as fuck. But Cyborg? She’s tough. She’s a wrecking machine. I know she’s clean, she’s not using now, but she has before and it’s scientifically proven that when women use steroids it changes their bone mass their muscle mass. It’s turned her into a savage. I wouldn’t want to fight her. I’m not trying to talk shit, I’m just saying.”
So, the moral of the story is you may want to tune in July 30th to see one of two things: an American win or an American lose. Either way it’s bound to be epic. If you are interested in supporting Kings sponsors they are: Back Bay Watch Co. Mike McCandless, Scivation, Mike Perry @ Skill of Strength, Connors mma, SBV Nutrition, Tom Egan, Mike Melander @Momentum Healthcare. (More to come post publishing)