Kenny Licea entered the sport of bare knuckle with an unforgettable performance. It took all of 63-seconds for professional combat sports athlete to put Harris Stephenson out cold in their BKFC 9 fight in Biloxi, Mississipi last November.
Now, just a few short months later, the 32-year-old "Hella" LIcea has the opportunity to compete on an even bigger stage, fighting a fellow Kansan, in their home state, at BKFC 11 this Saturday night.
Licea will face toe the line against former UFC competitor Jake Lindsey at INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita.
"I'm super excited," Licea said. "This will be one of a handful of times that I've got to fight in Kansas. This will be the first time that a bunch of my friends and family are able to attend because of the location in Wichita. It's a good center point. I've got friends and family in Wichita. I live in Emporia, and train in Topeka. It's finally close enough that a lot of people I know will be able to go."
While his last outing may have been short, Licea still walked away from the win with a few lessons learned.
"I learned that you don't want to get hit," he jokingly said as he laughed. "Harris touched me one good time and swelled my eye shut before the fight was even over. I'm in there fighting. I've done this before, I've been fighting for a few years, I have a few fights. Whether it is bare knuckle, kickboxing, or boxing, every time you step into the cage or the ring, you're fighting for your life. That's how I feel, that's how I look at it. So, it's all the same."
When asked about his opponent, "The Librarian" Jake Lindsey, Licea did not seemed to be overly impressed with his resumé.
"He's a tough guy," Licea said. "I've seen him fight. I've seen him fight one of my teammates. I know he's got good cardio. He hasn't fought anybody great. He's just another opponent in my eyes."
Licea admits that he changed his training patterns in preparation for bare knuckle. After going 4-5 in nine pro MMA bouts, Licea is now focusing more on head movement than ever before
"Just working on more boxing technique, hiding behind the shoulder, just strictly boxing technique," he said "I've always done MMA and Muay Thai so the boxing stance is a little different. Technique is a little different so just working on that, pure boxing technique."
With the fight just a few short days away, Licea had a bold prediction for how the fight will go down.
"It might last a little longer just because I'm sure Jake has been watching my fight with Harris," Licea said. "He's seen how I'm gonna come off the line, or what he thinks I'm going to do off the line. I think I'll get it done in the second round."
"BKFC 11" will be broadcast across the United States and Canada, exclusively on pay-per-view through MultiVision Media, Inc., on all major television distribution outlets for $29.99. It will also be available to BKFC's international broadcast partners worldwide and via stream to all in-home and out-of-home connected devices through FITE.
Tickets for the live event are on sale this Thursday, January 30 at 10 a.m. CT and can be purchased online at www.selectaseat.com, by phone at 855-733-SEAT (7328) and in-person at the Select-A-Seat Box Office at INTRUST Bank Arena.