MMA can be complicated, judges can pick the wrong winner, promotions pass on winning fighters because they don’t draw enough are only win by decision. However, Kenny “The Boss” Cross has figured out a way to simplify the sport, he just participates in finishes. At 10-3, Cross hasn’t been involved in a decision during his professional career and is currently on a four-fight win streak.
His last fight might’ve been his most impressive yet. Kenny Cross faced Robert Hale, a PFL and LFA veteran in the main event of Lights Out Championship 7, for the super lightweight title in February. Ahead of the fight, Hale said he had wanted to fight Cross for some time because he wanted to see if Cross could knock him out. For Cross, that just made the fight more fun for him.
“I saw a few of his interviews…what really does motivate me is a guy that really wants to fight me cause you really have to find the answers to why. When it comes to me, a lot of guys see my YouTube videos that are on there from five years ago and think they have my number. It baffles me every time why everyone thinks they can knock me out so easily. So, I’m intrigued and it definitely got me hard for the fight, it woke me up at night and made me train harder. I knew there was no chance in what he was saying was going to come to light. I listened to a lot of his interviews and just his confidence was fun for me to stand under and let him go off.”
Hale found out quite quickly that Cross could indeed knock him, Cross hit Hale with a hard left hook that dropped the tough veteran and it was quickly over, only one minute and nine seconds into round one. It was a clear cut win that Cross had predicted and needed to help advance him to the upper echelon of lightweight prospects in the world and he believes there isn’t a prospect that comes close to him.
“I feel like no one in the top ten in the nation of these prospects can even lay a finger on me. I don’t give a shit who they are. I’ll fight anybody. I’m waiting for Dana White to give me a call to the UFC cause everyone needs to see what I have coming.”
“I don’t see any of these regional fighters touching me.”
However, there was controversy after the fight when Hale’s camp claimed on social media that there was a headbutt involved and that Cross admitted it after the fight. Cross vehemently denies that there was a headbutt and that he admitted it to Hale.
I’m still failing to see this headbutt they’re talking about that won kenny the fight 🤷♂️. A win is a win. Let’s move on. Let the man have his hard EARNED win.
Posted by Liam DeMond on Wednesday, February 12, 2020
“Right after the fight, I took pictures and then when I can get away from the fans, I walked back to my locker room and one thing I always do is go check on my opponent. Whether I (win) or lose, me and Korey Kuppe, Korey beat me and on the way out we had a big hug, and we were not friends before the fight. I look up to him now and think he’s an amazing fighter. Win or lose you reach out to the other fighter, whether it’s a chin up speech and a big hug or you sulking and letting yourself down, it’s a big moment. I took the time to go to his locker room, with all the enemy and he kicked everybody out. Me and him had a nice five-minute talk and it was all good. I told him what I had to saw and we talked like men and we hugged it out and we walked out. His coaches when I left they were taking pictures with me, they wanted photos with me, which I thought was disrespectful but I took pictures with them. The next day I hear their coaches saying that I headbutted him and then one of their coaches said that Robert came up to him, the coach and told him that I told Robert that I head butted him and I knew it. And that wasn’t the case at all, I told Robert that no one can take this left hand, its not you, its me. That’s what I said. I’m getting all this feedback from these guys and I don’t know where its coming from because I thought I just established a good relationship with a newfound fighting brother that I’ll have to talk to no matter what where ever we go. But all of a sudden all of this talk and Robert doesn’t even stand up for me, he doesn’t even stand up for himself. And they hide in this shadow of bullshit and it doesn’t look good for their whole team, it looks terrible, its just excuses to find failure.”
But it wasn’t over after that, on social media, fans kept arguing with Cross and even Cross’ grandmother. But Cross feels vindicated after the video of the fight came out, especially the slomo version.
“I just let it slide off but, there’s a bunch of people all over my Instagram, talking crap a little bit to my grandmother and stuff like that, all these people saying I headbutted him out cold. At the end of the day, I realized I’m making it, if you have haters commenting on your post, you’re doing something right. So I just kinda sat back and smiled and waited for the truth to come out. As soon as that slomo came out, you see my hand graze that chin and my head slide to the right and almost hit his shoulder.”
With this fight behind him, Cross is looking towards the future. Now at 10-3 and no decisions to his name, Cross sees the bright lights shining on him sooner than later. He’s been mentioned in prospect articles on which prospects should be signed for the Contender Series and he strongly agrees with them. In fact, he has received emails from top promotions with interest. Now he is waiting to sit with his Michigan Top Team coach, Daron Cruickshank, what is in store for his future.
Most importantly in his quest for MMA glory, Cross is looking to prove that he won’t let himself down. In high school, Cross went to the state wrestling championships in Michigan three times but fell short of his championship goal. His final campaign saw him come in fourth place, losing two matches by one point each including to someone he had defeated previously. Cross also struggled with his education and dropped out of college (though he vows to go back). Lastly, Cross feels he let himself down by losing his first title opportunity to Korey Kuppe at Lights Out Championship 2.
“I’ve always been good enough but I’ve never been great.”
However, he knows he has greatness within him.
“I’ve been blessed with enough to be great at something.”