Kyacey Uscola vs Gegard Mousas
Photo: Alanah McGinley, MMA on Tap
Towards the end of August at the Bodog Fight taping in North Vancouver, I had a chance to catch up with Kyacey “Ice Cold” Uscola.
Originally from Rupert, Idaho, Uscola has moved up quickly in the MMA world and has a following that seems to extend all over the place. He’s made a bit of a splash in the last couple seasons of Bodog Fight, stopping Joseph Baize and winning a unanimous decision over Izuru Takeuchi. His future seems bright, and with that in mind I threw a few questions at Kyacey just a couple hours before he was scheduled to fight Gegard Mousasi.
MMA on Tap: How long have you been doing the MMA thing?
Kyacey Uscola: About two and a half years.
MMA on Tap: Which particular discipline did you start in?
Kyacey Uscola: I started in wrestling when I was seven. Then I wrestled in high school and went on to be a college All American. From there I learned my boxing, kick boxing and Jiu Jitsu.
MMA on Tap: So you saw MMA as something you were aiming your career towards?
Kyacey Uscola: Yeah. I had seen MMA when I was about 17 or 18 years old and I thought I could do that. But I never really got an opportunity till I was about 23 and I just jumped on the opportunity. I got into some amateur shows, did real good, and started training.
MMA on Tap: I understand you’ve had a couple pretty good fights with Bodog the last couple times you’ve been on the card.
Kyacey Uscola: Yeah, with Bodog I’ve done pretty well lately. I’m 2-and-1 with them. I lost to Trevor Prangley. I fought him on seven days notice as a replacement and that’s really where I got my start with Bodog, impressing people with the little time I was given. So yeah, I’ve smashed my last two guys with Bodog and I plan on smashing this guy.
MMA on Tap: Tell me about your fight tonight against Gegard Mousasi. What’s your plan?
Kyacey Uscola: The plan is take him down, get him tied on the ground. He’s more of a kickboxer and I don’t want to let him get comfortable on his feet. So get him down and get some stank off his kicks so I’m not too worried about him in the later rounds. Pretty much want to stay in his face, just beat him up the whole time.
MMA on Tap: If you weren’t doing this for a living, what sort of work would you be up to these days?
Kyacey Uscola: I went to [college] for five years and I’m two credits away from a business degree. I’ve got my associate’s [degree] so I’d probably be doing something with marketing, with business for sure. But I’m not the corporate guy; I’m not guy that wants to go nine-to-five every day, you know. I want to be my own boss and do my own thing. So this is a great opportunity for me here right now.
MMA on Tap: So how long a career do you think you can have in this MMA business?
Kyacey Uscola: Until I’m rich. I want to make enough money in this sport to take care of myself and the ones around me. So, until I’m wealthy. My plan is to own a gym one day, sit back, maybe manage some fighters. Stay in the sport any way possible.
MMA on Tap: I understand you’ve been moving around a bit between different training facilities – Idaho and now in Reno, I think someone said earlier today.
Kyacey Uscola: Well, I’m originally from Idaho, went to school in Oregon, moved out to Salt Lake City to start training MMA, and I’ve been out in Reno the last month before this, training. So I travel a lot. I go to Vegas, Reno, Sacramento… Just depends on who my opponent is and what their strengths are and what camp can offer me the best chance to win.
MMA on Tap: So do you still hang with the same crew for the most part, or does it change up a lot these days?
Kyacey Uscola: It just depends on the opponent. I’m still good friends with everybody that I’ve trained with and I keep in close contact with everybody.
MMA on Tap: I understand you’re getting recruited into doing some motivational speaking at a high school back in Reno.
Kyacey Uscola: Yeah. My friend Kevin – he’s a principal there and a pretty influential person in the Reno area – wants me to come in and talk to his students. I remember when I was in high school and they’d have influential people come in and talk to us, and I was always inspired by it.
So yeah, it’s cool that people are asking me to do that now. Times have changed and I’m going to take advantage of it. It’s definitely flattering.
*My thanks to MMA on Tap writers John Chandler and Scott White, for helping me prepare for this interview