I’m a pretty big asshole, but even I’m finding it hard to deal with this morning’s stream of wholehearted / sincere / sad comments coming from MMA fighters. Here’s Mark Kerr reminding us that he’s human and he has feelings too. Sure, some of those feelings near the end are a little unrealistic. But once a guy realizes he’s dug himself a pretty horrible hole, I have a hard time kicking more dirt in his face.
“I know everyone has written me off,” Kerr told HDNet exclusively. “I know people think I am a joke. I don’t blame them. It has been hard for me to sit and look at myself in the mirror. I mean I wouldn’t be a fan of me the way I have fought in recent times. I would never expect a fan to want my autograph any more. But the truth is that I have shifted my mentality to be healthily obsessed with the sport, not overly obsessed as I once was.”
It is an honest Kerr who openly admits that his last few fights have been nothing short of horrific.
“Disgusting,” he says, shaking his head when I ask him about his performances of late. “I was disgusting and I’m embarrassed with how bad I was.”
Offered a chance to fight on M-1’s nationally broadcast Breakthrough main event, Kerr is adamant that he wants to redeem himself for the fans and the MMA community in general.
“I’m serious about this. I wouldn’t have taken the fight if I wasn’t. I was training for a fight in late September anyway and this M-1 fight meant I just had to ramp up the training. Ideally if I’d had another few weeks to prepare I could have gotten down to 250 but I feel good. There is no pressure on me. If I get knocked out, well, that’s what is supposed to happen, right? If I win then I shock everyone. I want to show that I am not done yet and I am not a joke. I am not just a subject of laughing matter. I mean I’m not stupid, I know what people think of me lately and they have every right to think of me as a laughing matter because I have been just that. But no more.”
The 40-year-old Kerr may be a long way removed from “the Specimen” who was so feared during his prime, but he is determined to get back on track and show the MMA community that he still has a lot to offer.
“I’m looking long term. I’m looking to redeem myself. Within a year I feel I can get my physical self back and can be competitive enough to have a least a couple of fights in the big leagues. I mean eventually they are going to run out of opponents for Brock Lesnar, right? I want to be in a position where in a year or so they consider me for a fight like that.”
I don’t think this fight with King Mo is gonna be the start of that comeback. But I don’t see why a little bit of TLC, some realistic expectations (aka NOT Brock next year), and a few fights against equally soft heavyweight competition wouldn’t allow Mark Kerr to end his career on something of a high note rather than a farting sound.