Former Phillip Island local Kitt Campbell is declared the winner of his bout with opponent Chris Birch at the Melbourne Pavilion last Saturday. Photo courtesy of Terry Vorg-www.kickboxing.com.au
KITT Campbell, formerly from Phillip Island, is fighting his way up the ranks of the Australian Fighting Championships (AFC) as a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter.
The 20 year old fought his third AFC fight on Saturday, November 22 in front of a big crowd at the Melbourne Pavilion in Flemington.
Facing off against 30 year old Chris Birch from Queensland, Kitt shocked the crowd when he won the fight in 46 seconds over his much more experienced opponent.
Many of Kitt’s friends from Phillip Island and surrounding areas showed support from the stands on the night.
The apprentice electrician said the win was a moment to remember.
“It was indescribable having everyone there including my dad,” he said.
“It was really electric and after I finished I hopped out of the ring and they were all jumping on me.
“It’s weird – a couple of days later I felt a bit flat coming down from the high.
“I’ve actually gone back to training now to focus on the next fight and I want to keep winning and take it to the top.”
The determined fighter started his fighting career five and a half years ago when he took up the sport of judo whilst living with his parents on Phillip Island.
He trained with Michael Shields at Sang Rok Judo in Wonthaggi and also started kickboxing at the Cowes YMCA.
Seeking greater opportunities, Kitt moved to Melbourne and now works as an apprentice electrician with David Weston, who is also one of his coaches.
He trains twice a day, six days a week at Invictus Gym in Tullamarine and Evolve Gym in Thomastown with his other coach Ivo Dos Santos.
His training involves cardio and weights for a couple of hours in the morning before work, then four hours fight training after work.
Ivo, a previous Judo Olympian, saw potential in Kitt and suggested he take up MMA fighting.
He has been fighting professionally in MMA for the past year and has had three AFC fights, winning his first fight in 53 seconds, before losing his second fight and winning his latest fight last Saturday.
Kitt said he enjoys the discipline that’s involved with MMA fighting.
“You learn a lot of life lessons out of it and meet a lot of good people,” he said.
“I’ve felt a family vibe out of it and everyone has a lot of respect.
“I love the atmosphere of the fighting; it’s pretty unreal with all the cameras, the crowd and everything.”
And as for the brutality of a sport like MMA fighting, Kitt said the sport has been unfairly targeted by the media lately.
“It is what it is – it’s a violent sport but I think it’s a lot safer than football,” he said,
“There isn’t people hitting you from your blind spot, there are doctors on the side of ring and the referees control the fight.
“You see a lot more injuries happen in football than this sport.”
Kitt is not resting on his laurels and is eager for more success.
He has signed a four-fight contract with the AFC, with his next fight in February 2015.
The AFC is a stepping stone to the Ultimate Fighting Championship – the largest mixed martial arts events in the world.
“After the win, I felt like I needed to accomplish more,” Kitt said.
“A lot of the guys from AFC have gone to UFC, so that’s definitely my goal.
“Hopefully I’ll be there by 2016.”