Keaneo Moyer locks horns with Gustavo Villamil at Titan FC 66. It goes down on December 17th and broadcasts on UFC Fight Pass.
The flyweight fight takes place this Thursday at 7 PM EST and Keaneo Moyer looks to go 2-0 as a pro. Below are several excerpts from my recent conversation with Young Gunz.
The debut pro fight for Keaneo Moyer
“I feel like I’ve had a year and a half long fight camp right now, since my pro debut I’ve just been getting ready. But for my pro debut that was a long fight camp, as well. Because I had gotten suspended as an amateur for four months and decided to go pro. When I decided to go pro, I had a fight cancellation. And then I was finally able to fight in May… it was like you said it was a huge relief, huge weight off my shoulders.”
“I put in a lot of work for that camp and I feel like that was the best shape that I could be in for that fight possible. Did great, I put on a dominant performance all three rounds. I’ve never, ever since my amateur debut been to decision. So I wanted to prove to myself once again you know that I have the cardio to go to three rounds. That I could stay in there and put on a good performance all three rounds. Keep the same pace and that’s exactly what I did.”
“It felt like my second home, seriously. When I step into that cage, I don’t feel more comfortable anywhere else in the whole entire world.”
The modern training dynamic for Keaneo Moyer post-crosstraining w/ Team Quest + Duane Ludwig
“I have my main MMA coach Ishamel White. I remember the last time we did an interview, I believe he was just starting to try to open up his own gym. And then he just now got his gym opened up at the beginning of this year. And I’ve been working with him every single day, and I also work with my boxing coach George.”
“Then I have a good friend of mine that’s a purple belt under Pedro Sauer…I do as many Grappling rounds as I can with him whenever I can. He just helps me out as much as he can on my grappling knowledge.”
Thoughts on Gustavo Villamil’s skillset overall
“Honestly, whenever I get an opponent, it doesn’t matter. It could literally be on one day’s notice, I study the opponent for the next 24 hours straight. All I need to do is to see them fight at least five to 10 times, and I get everything I need out of that video. Ever since I got the fight, I watched him fight every single day now. And every single day I get more and more confident. Because I fought a lot of people exactly like Gustavo in my amateur career.”
“That’s what will help me win this fight is because he lacks experience. He’s only three and two as an amateur…and 2-0 as a pro. And all of those fights as an amateur were in shin guards and six-ounce gloves. So his pro fights are to me, basically amateur fights.”
“He’s a really good grappler. But I am a complete mixed martial artist. No matter where the fight goes, I’m gonna win. No matter if it’s standing, no matter if he tries to take me down, no matter if it goes to the ground. I have him beat no matter where the fight goes.”
Titan FC 66
His wealth of experience from being an amateur champion
“I’m really glad that I took the losses that I did as an amateur because now I know what it feels like to lose and I know what to do to make sure that I never lose again. Honestly, I see myself retiring undefeated kind of like Khabib, man. I do not in my weight class, don’t see anybody at 125 pounds in the whole entire world that has the finishing capabilities that I have.”
“Not being cocky or confident but I don’t see anybody that’s as big of a draw as me or as a star as me. Because the way that I’ll be finishing my opponents. I can’t wait to prove that Thursday because it’s been a long time. I just wanted to make sure in my pro debut that I got the octagon experience. All my fights from here on, I’m coming to finish these people.”
I was actually listening to our initial interview …You’d said, since you were a little kid it was your dream to become a pro fighter. Is there any kind of moment where you can step outside the day to day grind…like, ‘hey you know I’m living my dream?’
“Honestly, during the pandemic I’ve had to pick up a job. I’ve had to start working and start because when I had just went pro, I had a lot of sponsorships sponsoring me and helping me get ready. So I really didn’t have to work at all. I was able to focus on my career full time and I was gonna start going back to school.”
“But you know, the way that everything has happened it’s just been like one roadblock after the other. But with the pandemic happening, I didn’t have any source of income. So I had to get a job. Getting a job really made me realize, you know, I have a job but I have a career though.”
Keaneo Moyer vs Gustavo Villamil
“So I’m working right now as a sales associate at a convenience store right around the corner from my house. But I know every single day that I go to work, it’s awesome because at the end of the day you know I’m doing a job, but I know that I have a career. So every day that I’ve been going to work, I still do all my workouts. I still hit the gym. Still make sure I remind myself that you know, at the end of the day, I could get a call, any time to fight.”
“Just stay ready and I’ll be able to make my dreams into a reality. That’s the thing. When you’re at work, you’re sitting there and dreaming about ‘When’s my next fight, where am I gonna fight?’ you know. You have so many things going on.”
‘And that’s where I was able to step away and be like, ‘Oh, you know, I am truly living my dreams by doing what I want to do by fighting. I’m truly living my dreams’. And it’s awesome. This pandemic has really helped me because it made me realize a lot. Anything that you have, you had better make sure that you cherish it. Because you never know when anything will be gone.”
Appreciating family and lifestyle changes amid the pandemic
“So like you got to cherish your career. You got to cherish your family, got to cherish your job… You got to make sure that you cherish them because you never know when they’re gonna be gone. That’s why I’m really glad that I’m able to fight. Because I was able to make my dreams into reality. No longer a dream, it’s not like dreaming about,’oh I’m gonna fight’. It’s actually happening and it’s a really awesome feeling.”
You’ve done some prior pad work with your dad. Your mom was your manager at one point like when we last spoke to one another. They must think it’s really cool too. It must be a commensurate thrill for them to see you doing what you’re doing.
“Yeah. My mom is my, my biggest role model for me. She always has taught me like no matter what if I want something in life. I just got to go chase it and go get it. It can be anything in life. You just got to make sure that you go and chase it and get it. Can’t just expect it to come to you. You got to make it a reality. And you go get it.”
“Ever since I’ve been 14, I told everybody I was gonna be a pro fighter. A lot of people doubted me, a lot of people didn’t think I’d make it happen. But I just made sure that no matter what, I stayed consistent. Made sure that I was going to make it happen and that’s what I’m doing now with this pro fight Thursday. I am doing everything in my ability to make sure that I finish this guy in the first round.”
I’ve been enamored with combat sports for as long as I can remember. I’ve hosted MMA talk shows Lights Out and Pure Fight Radio with featured guests like Jens Pulver, Roy Nelson, Miesha Tate, Mark Coleman, and more. I’ve been an MMA broadcaster for XFFC as well as BTC and have done play by play commentary on live pay per view on GFL as well as FITE TV. I’ve provided written, audio, and video content covering some of the biggest MMA promotions like Rumble in the Cage, Unified MMA, and King of the Cage. I’ve worked as a sports entertainment personality for over five years and given play-by-play or featured promotions of KSW, ONE Championship, TKO, and Invicta FC. My work can be found in the USA Today Sports affiliate MMA Torch, Cageside Press, MMA Sucka, and Liberty Multimedia.