Las Vegas – The fourth season of the hit show Dana White’s Contender Series continues with Episode 3, featuring a lineup of rising athletes looking to make their dreams come true by impressing UFC President Dana White and earning a spot on the UFC roster.
The third episode of season four takes place on Tuesday, August 18 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, with all five bouts streaming exclusively on ESPN+ in the US. ESPN+ is available through the ESPN.com, ESPNPlus.com or the ESPN App on all major mobile and connected TV devices and platforms, including Amazon Fire, Apple, Android, Chromecast, PS4, Roku, Samsung Smart TVs, X Box One and more. Fans can sign up for $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year, with no contract required.
NAME: Kenneth Cross
NICKNAME: Kenneth “The Boss” Cross
WEIGHT CLASS: Lightweight
AGE: 25 years old – 10/4/94
HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-0, 155
LEG REACH: 40”
BIRTHPLACE: Grand Rapids, MI
FIGHTING OUT OF: Detroit, MI
LANGUAGES SPOKEN: English
TRAINER: Daron Cruickshank
STRENGTHS: Speed, timing, power, overall athleticism
TRAINING: Always going straight from work to the gym. I lay flooring all day then go right into a hard practice with the crew at Michigan Top Team. I usually warm up for a solid 20 minutes doing stretching and movement drills, then I go right into hard training. I do a lot of situational training on the pads. In sparring, I put myself in any and every good and bad spot I can be in and work from there to get better. I always put in a solid two hours every day. And with my biggest opportunity ahead of me, there are no days off.
PROFESSIONAL MMA RECORD: 10-3
Thoughts on opponent, Kevin Syler? He’s got a good top game, an interesting overhand, but he’s really a featherweight. He’s fought most of his career at Featherweight and he should’ve stayed there. To utilize that top game, he’s going to have to get me down and hold me down and that’s not happening. I’m bringing pressure and a pace he’s never dealt with, the type of pace that gets you nine first round finishes and a 100% finish rate.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I wrestled in high school, but I wasn’t going anywhere with it after high school. For a while, my backyard was where everyone after school would come and throw down. It got to a point where my brother and I destroyed everyone, and we ended up just going at it. I knew that wasn’t going to last long at all, so I got set up with a local fight in my town. That was in May of 2015 when I made my amateur debut. I didn’t really train at all really for MMA until more towards the end of my amateur career. As I went pro, that’s when I shifted gears a little and I knew I wanted to do this, but I still wasn’t even close to being in the game the way I should have been.
What ranks and titles have you held? I was the #1 155lb amateur in MI and the KOP 155LB amateur champion, and I am currently the Lights Out Championship 165lb champ, which was my last fight, where I finished Robert Hale in just under 70 seconds via strikes.
Do you have any heroes? People who have insane work ethics. People like The Rock, Kevin Hart, Joe Rogan. I see how much they put in in one day and I feel like a p&*%y. Those are the guys I aspire to be like.
What would it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It’s the biggest opportunity to date for me. It’s huge. But I know this is where I belong. I’m ready to hang with the best. I’m still a young lion who’s just waiting to reach his true potential, and when I do, a true new era begins for the UFC.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? No
What was your job before you started fighting? Right now, I still lay flooring. I work for one of my Jits coaches’ flooring company, full-time 40 hours a week.
If any, list ranks in any martial arts styles: Blue belt in Jiu-Jitsu under black belt Jason Fischer, Detroit Jiu-Jitsu
Favorite grappling technique: The sprawl and brawl.
Favorite Striking technique: Anything explosive, flashy and clean. Fast, high number combinations.
Facebook account: Kenneth “The Boss” Cross
Instagram account: @crossthebossmma
OTHER KEY POINTS:
- Pro since 2016
- Six wins by KO, four by submission (3 RNC, arm triangle)
- Has finished all wins, all in the first round
- On four fight winning streak
- Origin of nickname: “Pretty much it rhymed with Cross, and I’ve just always been a boss.”
Q&A Courtesy of the UFC
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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