The Bolivian Bullet

Jul 11, 2019

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Kevin Syler is nicknamed “El Nino Bala,” which translates to “The Bullet Kid.” This nickname is symbolic of the 25 year old’s rapid rise to mixed martial arts prominence. In just eight fights as a professional, he is on the cusp of achieving his ultimate goal: A contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. All he needs is one more impressive win on Episode 4 of Dana White’s Contenders Series, set to take place inside the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 16.

Although Syler owns dual citizenship in the United States and Bolivia, he spent the first 18 years of his life living in the South American nation, making him one of the country’s greatest MMA exports to date. Initially, he caught the eye of Combate Americas, a promotion geared towards promoting Latin fighters to Latin fans, but that was not the promotion that had caught his eye.

“Yeah, they did contact me once. Maybe about a year and half ago,” Syler told Sherdog. “My dream when I got here to the United States was to be in the UFC, and I was very determined to get there. I definitely got an offer from Combate, but I think in the end my [goal to go to the UFC] held strong, and this opportunity came up.”

Along with further detailing why he chose to hold out for a UFC opportunity rather than sign with Combate Americas, Syler spoke to Sherdog about his journey from Bolivian MMA to American Top Team in the United States and about the coaches and fighters there that have been pivotal in his maturation as a fighter. Conversation points also included his thoughts about upcoming opponent Lance Lawrence, why videotape scouting is an important element of his pre-fight preparation, and his brother Bentley, who reached ATT and the UFC before him.

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