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Mike Kimbel lost his last fight at Bellator 215 but rather than wallow in his loss he took a trip to the UK and trained with Michael "Venom" Page to learn some new techniques and focus on growing as a martial artist. The 22-year-old, who is known as "The Savage," is only that way in the cage and he opened up about the type of fighter he is shaping himself to be during Bellator MMA's media day for Bellator 222.
Kimbel said his time with Page was enlightening and now views him as a "role model, big brother, inspiration all in one." He plans to go back there after his next bout. He was impressed by what he saw of the fighters in London and said that when they start crossing over, "it's over for a lot of people."
Kimbel added, "Being across the pond, different culture, different way of life, different mindsets outside of my comfort zone. … It was amazing." He said he learned a lot and he could not be more grateful for the time he spent there.
While Kimbel has earned being called a "savage" in the cage, he shows he is mature in the fight game for his age since it is something he knew he wanted to do at a very young age. Some fighters prefer not to see too much about their opponents and you would think Kimbel is the same because of his youth, but you would be wrong. Kimbel does a lot of homework for all his opponents and Sebastian Ruiz (2-2) is no different.
"You got to know what you're getting into when you go in there," Kimbel said, "Nobody goes into war blind, and if they did they weren't talked about in the history books." He knows Ruiz is tough, has good muay Thai, and called him "squirmy." Regardless of the last fight, or what anyone thinks since Kimbel says when he gets in the cage, Kimbel knows its a one-on-one contest and nothing else matters.
Edward Carbajal serves as the lead MMA analyst for Frontproof Media and holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a brown belt in Ishin Ryu karate. He has covered combat sports since 2014 and has been a fan of MMA since the first UFC. You can follow him on Twitter @Carbazel or at his website TheBlogBoardJungle.com.