Casey Kenney: Stay-At-Home Restrictions a Needed Pause

May 27, 2020

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Stay-at-home restrictions have become a harsh new reality for many professional athletes. However, the situation has allowed Ultimate Fighting Championship bantamweight Casey Kenney to hit the pause button and enjoy some needed personal time. In fact, he did not begin training camp until three weeks ago. Now, his return to the Octagon looms at UFC on ESPN 9, where he will face Louis Smolka this Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

“Well, I just found out about Smolka [a few] days ago, so I’ve had a little bit of time to prepare for him,” Kenney told with a laugh. “Obviously, I had that huge run last year, [but] the first part of quarantine was a good break for me, just to not be in the gym all the time. I’ve been injury-free, not banged up from my fights and on a heck of a run in the last year. Really, the last three or four years of my life I’ve been fighting, getting back in the gym, fighting, getting back in the gym. I’ve been hanging out with my dog [and] enjoying life a little bit. That was the first part of [stay-at-home restrictions], then I started training again, just doing some stuff on my own and getting work in with some small groups of fighters. Then probably about three weeks ago, when the UFC was back with their first events, I knew it was time to start stepping it up.”

In this exclusive interview, Kenney zeroes in on Smolka and looks back at his February defeat to Merab Dvalishvili, touting lessons he learned from only the second setback of his career.



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