Kenny Cockerill, Maverick 17

Kenny Cockerill (right) - Photo by William McKee for Maverick MMA

Kenny Cockerill willing to “die trying” – Talks aspirations of making it big in fight game

After landing a massive knockout victory in his amateur mixed martial arts debut in 2021, Kenny Cockerill (1-0) will return to the Maverick MMA heptagon this Saturday at Maverick 18.

The March 26 fight card pairs Cockerill up against Mike Basile (3-4) at the event center at Split Rock Resort in Lake Harmony, Pennsylvania.

Just moments into the second round of his Maverick 17 fight in October, Cockerill put Justin Rogers to sleep with a right and left combo. Watch below.

“I knew that I had really good jiu jitsu going into the fight,” Cockerill told  “I wanted to see what I was capable of.  I got right back into the gym after that fight to continue improving on my skills.  I didn’t miss a step and will continue to get better but there couldn’t have been a better start for amateur MMA career.”

Cockerill trains regularly with former UFC fighter Tim Williams, more commonly known to MMA fans as “The South Jersey Strangler.”

“That guy (Williams) has really made me who I am today,” Cockerill said. “He continues to push me to places I didn’t think I was capable of going.”

Cockerill also frequently trains under John Hassett at Hassett Jiu Jitsu, making sure he is well-rounded in his approach to combat sports competition.

Cockerill, 21, is currently working his way through college.  As a senior attending Rowan University and majoring in Business Management, Cockerill hopes to obtain his bachelor’s degree by the end of the year, but eyes being able to one day pay his bills through earnings from becoming a professional mixed martial artist.

“I’m going to put every ounce of energy in my body towards doing that,” Cockerill said.  “And if I don’t get there, I’m going to die trying.”

Maverick 18 starts at 7:30 on Saturday night.  Cockerill’s fight takes place mid-card.

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