FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Portland, Maine (November 7, 2019)
Kam Arnold’s (5-1) 2019 fight season has been full of highs and lows. After starting out the year with a stunning 21-second knockout against Henry Clark (5-5) at “NEF 38: Stormborn” in front of a sold-out audience at AURA, the reigning New England Fights (NEF) Bantamweight Champion most recently traveled south to challenge Jeff Joy (4-0) for another title out-of-state and suffered the first loss of his amateur career. This Saturday, “Killa” Kam is back at “NEF 41: Collision Course” on a mission to defend his title and to remind everyone why he is the one true “King in the North.”
Arnold recently joined Ryan Jarrell on Between Rounds Radio to review the ups and downs of the last year and to discuss his renewed focus heading into his title fight against Walt Shea (3-1) this weekend.
“We know that we needed to get back to my basics,” Arnold explained to Jarrell in reference to the fallout from his loss to Joy last August. “I needed to get back to being a wrestler. And with me being at Recon, working with the best wrestlers that the state has to offer—that New England has to offer—I’m back to where I am: I’m a wrestler that knows how to strike. And I’m really looking forward to showcasing that if it needs to come to that this weekend.”
Arnold made his mixed martial arts (MMA) debut in June 2017 at “NEF 29: Stars & Stripes” when he dispatched Glenn Kasabian (2-3) in less than two-minutes. The former wrestler’s head-turning MMA debut quickly established Arnold as a force to be reckoned with at 135-pounds.
Eight months later, Arnold added another impressive knockout to his resume when he took out newcomer Kyle Kenney (0-1) at just the 2:00 mark of the first round. An 11-second knockout of David Thompson (1-3) on the very next NEF card defined Arnold as one of the most feared strikers in the region at 135-pounds and set him up for a title shot against Killian Murphy (1-2) just a year after he had made his debut. Arnold won the title by knocking Murphy out in the fourth round of their scheduled five-round title fight.
After successfully defending his NEF Bantamweight Championship against Clark last April, Arnold made the decision to get out of his comfort zone and emphatically establish himself as the Northeast’s top 135-pounder when he ventured into enemy territory to face undefeated Joy on his home turf. After being dropped with a spinning backfist in the second round, Arnold ultimately succumbed to a rear naked choke, ending an impressive five-fight win streak and notching his first loss since he started competing in MMA.
“What happened to me against Jeff Joy is not going to happen again and we’re going to make sure of that,” Arnold explained. “That’s what this whole camp is. We broke it down right into percentages and 90% of this camp has been wrestling, grappling, jiu jitsu, all of that. We know what I’m really good at. We know I can wrestle but we know I love to strike. We know I can strike and we know anybody really in the 135-pound division is not going to be able to take a right hand from me or even a left hand from me when I connect. So, with that being said, we’ve just been grinding down on the wrestling and getting really good at it. I feel like I’m swimming again—since I first competed, it literally feels like I’m swimming again and I couldn’t be more grateful to my coaches for them.”
Historically active online, Arnold has been uncharacteristically quiet on Facebook and Instagram in the lead-up to his title defense with Shea this Saturday. As Arnold told Jarrell, his absence on social media hasn’t been by accident.
“It’s time to really show everybody what I’m made of and now that I’ve shown where I needed to work on, it was just time to put the nose to the grindstone and just work,” Arnold explained. “That’s who I am—I’m a worker and I like to show instead of talk and finally when somebody shuts me up like the way they did, not to portray that I was cocky or overconfident in any way, but when you suffer your first defeat like that it’s time to just kind of let social media slide and really focus in on what you need to work on. I’m not here to be some sideshow on social media, I’m here to be the best bantamweight in the world and I’m marking that one step at a time here in the amateur ranks.”
Arnold also recognized that he faces a formidable challenge in Shea this Saturday. Shea previously competed once before for the NEF 135-pound Championship, a contest that resides as the sole blemish on his resume when he lost to Fred Lear in August 2017.
“I expect Walt to be a really tough fight, man,” Arnold admitted. “I don’t expect anybody to just lay over and just die in there. I expect every fight to be the toughest fight of my career. I expect Walt to be as deadly as ever… I’m expecting to see the best version of Walt. He’s beaten some really tough guys I’m not going to be looking past him at all. He’s a really tough kid. He’s an inspiration to many people and I’m looking forward to this fight.”
It’s no secret that Arnold has been eyeing the professional ranks for the past year and has aspirations to eventually provide full-time for his young family through his pursuits in fight sports.
“I have been in camp since Walt and I were supposed to fight last year,” Arnold explained. “You know what I mean? I don’t leave the gym, man. I’m always in the gym. It’s an addiction for me. If I’m not in the gym, I’m not doing good things outside the gym, you know what I mean? So I really need the gym. I need to be there at all times. It’s good for me. It’s healthy for me but life is all about balance too. So after this fight, I’m going to take some time off. I’m going to get my priorities straight at home. We’re going to see what’s next on the table, see what my coaches think. But as for right now, we’re looking at Walt Shea, we’re going to defend this title and we’re going to celebrate after that.”
“I am going to finish this kid,” Arnold continued. “I don’t know who the judges are. I don’t intend on meeting them guys ever. I don’t care to meet them guys. So I like to get in there. I like to hurt people. I like to finish people and live by the sword, die by the sword and that’s what I aim to do. So I plan to put on a show, I want to bust him up.”
To listen to the entire interview visit: https://youtu.be/7TpOLOuIB7o
For tickets to “NEF 41: Collision Course,” call (207) 772-8274 or go to www.auramaine.com.
About New England Fights
New England Fights (“NEF”) is a fight events promotions company. NEF’s mission is to create the highest quality events for fighters and fans alike. NEF’s executive team has extensive experience in combat sports management, events production, media relations, marketing, legal and advertising.