Interview: Legendary Kimo Leopoldo

By Percy Crawford


Interview: Legendary Kimo Leopoldo

Kimo introduces New Era Fighting!

PC: How has everything been going Kimo?

KL: I’ve been doing good bro! I’ve had a lot of things come up that I had to deal with. I don’t want to call them obstacles. Let’s say resistance. I have had some resistance and a lot of it is physical. I’m 38 now, so I’m dealing with the age question as well. My mind is starting to think a little differently. I’m starting to mature a little bit more. My mind is working a little bit better, but my body is starting to slow down a little.

PC: You’ve fought for many different organizations. What’s different about New Era Fighting?

KL: New Era Fighting is non-political. We’re not going to pick our favorite guy and protect him. We’re going to get a crew and sign them to a deal where they’re going to be secure. They’re not going to have to worry about if they lose a fight they’re done. All of my fights have been a 1 fight deal, so you want to play it safe. This will free up fighters to be free in there. They don’t have to worry about if they mess up. If you watch other organizations fights, most of them play it safe. Everyone is fighting to survive and win by points. We’re not locking fighters down. We’re going to be looking out for them. Pride’s got a good crew and UFC has 1 or 2. There is still a lot of untapped potential out there. I’ve seen some film on guys already that I couldn’t believe. They were not only action packed fighters, but they’re characters. No one is capitalizing on peoples personalities. People don’t identify with the fighters as much now. You know a lot of the old school homey’s because they’ve been around, but they don’t identify with these new guys.

PC: Like you said, you are 38 years old. What does Kimo still bring to the table in MMA?

KL: My heart. I still have my heart. It is still pumping blood through my veins. I’m still alive out here. As far as fighting, I’m looking at 1 maybe 2 more fights. I’ve learned a lot in the octagon over the past 10 years. I didn’t come in with any experience. I learned in the ring. I evolved with the sport. In the beginning it was 1 style, now its mixed martial arts. They didn’t even have that name before. I don’t second-guess myself. I know what I see. I still have heart. I don’t do things for money or fame. I do things my heart is into. I watch other organizations use fighters and take advantage of them. Another thing New Era is going to do is keep their fighters active. You’re not just going to fight once a year. This is another opportunity to stay competitive for the fans and the fighters.

PC: You were part of UFC 3. Did you ever think MMA would have evolved to where it is today when you were doing it then?

KL: In the back of my mind I thought it was stronger than wrestling and things like that, but I didn’t think it would be this quick. It’s come up pretty quick.

PC: Will these New Era fights take place in a ring or a cage?

KL: We’re leaning towards a ring. It’s easier to see in a ring and it gives a little more.

PC: When and where will these tryouts take place and what type of fighters are you guys looking for?

Ron Kort: (President of New Era Fighting) Percy I could help you with that one. Tryouts will be at The South Coast Martial Arts Center in Cosa Mesa, California. The address is 2990 Grace Lane 92626. If people need to get a hold of me directly, I’m facilitating that whole event. My number is (714) 449-9999. As far as the fighters go, we’re just looking for a 1 to 2 minute fight. Kind of like a sparring event. These guys don’t have to be in the best of shape. We’re just trying to see what they look like behind the camera; one for character and two for fight ability. They don’t need ring experience or even martial arts experience. Tryouts will be held December 16 at 9:00 am.

Kimo: We don’t want guys discouraged to try out because they haven’t had 3 months to prepare. You could tell a guy’s athletic ability in 1 to 2 minutes.

PC: I will definitely get this out there. Is there anything you want to say in closing Kimo?

KL: You don’t want to be one of those people that would’ve, should’ve or could’ve. You know if your heart is pulling you somewhere. You will get nothing in life worth anything if you don’t take a chance. If you remotely feel sparked by this invitation, take that chance. It’s better to have fought and lost to never have fought at all. I was given a chance against Royce Gracie. I’m a prime example of what happens when you take chances. This may sound very cliché, but if I could do it, you could do it. Any other organization is going to ask you for a record. We’re not looking at prior nothing. We’re really looking at these tryouts. This is a chance to step up big, quick and fast.

Ron Kort: Percy, keep a close watch on us. We have some stuff that we haven’t put out yet, but around February there are going to be some big things that are going to be put out.

Kimo: Much respect to you bro!

You can get all the information you need on the tryouts at:


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