Photo via Casey Kenney's Instagram

Casey Kenney setting out to prove he’s UFC-caliber at LFA 53

Friday night is Casey Kenney’s shot at LFA gold. It’s also his shot at redemption.

The 27-year-old had the chance to potentially punch his ticket in his lasting outing. Despite walking away victorious, the performance was self-described as lackluster.

A heavy favorite at LFA 44, the University of Indianapolis product squared off against UFC veteran Roman Salazar. The fight was competitive, with Salazar surprisingly controlling Kenney for much of the fight.

When the fight hit the judges’ scorecards, many in the arena believed Salazar had done enough to pull out the victory – including Kenney. The judges saw it differently, naming Kenney the victor.

“When the judges’ decision came, I wasn’t feeling too confident,” Kenney said in an interview with FloCombat. “In that fight, it was a weird one for me. My head wasn’t really there mentally.”

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Doesn’t matter who it is 👊☠️☠️

A post shared by Casey Kenney (@ckmma125) on

After a second viewing, Kenney’s opinion of his performance changed.

“I went back and watched the video, and thought I won the fight,” Kenney said. “He definitely took me down, but he didn’t do anything with his takedowns.”

“It wasn’t my best performance, but I made a few changes and got some of my personal life settled where my head is fully focused on fighting.”

This Friday at LFA 53, Kenney has the chance to win the LFA Interim Flyweight Championship as he takes on surging Coloradoan Brandon Royval.

In order to have a better outing than his last, Keneny made some adjustments in his training.

“The last couple of [camps] I’ve trained at my home base at Rise Combat Sports with taking a few days a week at the MMA Lab,” Kenney said. “This time, I did a full eight, nine weeks at the MMA Lab.”

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NEW Monday SAME goal

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In addition, Kenney put his side job, on hold to focus solely on his own abilities.

“One thing I really did different this time is that I always teach the kids program at Rise and private training type of stuff,” Kenney said. “I always do that pretty much right up until the fight. A week or two before, I’ll quit. This time I took a full eight or nine weeks off from teaching as well. I’m a 110% focused on this fight.”

With a win, the Contender Series veteran predicts a UFC phone call will come his way.

“I feel like I’ve been sitting in a pretty good spot to get picked up by the UFC for a while,” Kenney said. “If I bring the pressure, even if he survives the early rounds, he’s going to break in the later rounds and I can put him away. We’re going to test his cardio a little bit and test his will.”


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Nolan King is a MMA Today senior columnist, writer and renowned MMA insider. Nolan's other freelance work can also be found on FloCombat, Tapology, and MMA Brasil.