I know this is a fairly quick turnaround, but I just wanted to take the time to respond to an interview that my good friend, Kendall Grove gave recently. First and foremost, Kendall is way too humble, especially since he’s helped me by being one of my most trusted training partners.
He was coming out and going through my training camps with me, so I thank him for helping me out, as well. It’s easy to take praise, but honestly, it was very much a two-way street. I wasn’t giving Kendall charity, not that he would take charity anyway, he’s too proud of a man for that.
He comes and stays at my place, and it’s an awesome time. We train together…we go through the journey together. It’s so much easier when you have someone you trust to soldier through those rough training days when you’re beat up to hell. Now, you’ve got a brother in arms to complain to, who’s going through the same trials and tribulations you are, who’s experiencing the same emotions you are.
I love Kendall to death, I really do. He’s such a good human being, and all he cares about is his wife and his kids. I really respect him so much. He’s a great guy, and when it comes to fighters, he’s got the biggest heart of them all.
He always impressed me, especially on The Ultimate Fighter, where we first became friends. Kalib Starnes was the guy that everybody was trying to avoid. I remember when Kendall told me, ‘I want to fight Kalib Starnes.’ I was like, ‘Dude, avoid him and just get to the final. You can fight him in the final,’ but he was like, ‘No, f*ck that. I want to know if I belong. If I can’t beat him, then f*ck it, I don’t belong here.’
I told him I admired that attitude, but it wasn’t really the best route to take at the time. I wanted him to get to the final, but he was adamant about it, and he wound up calling him out right there. He fought him in the semi-final, and he beat him. After that day, I thought it was so impressive that he did that. It might not have been the best play, the safest or smartest play, but for Kendall, it was the only play. That’s why I say he’s got more heart than anyone.
I just wish the UFC would re-sign him, because that guy has got legions of fans, he’s a massively popular fighter—not just in Hawaii, but everywhere—he’s always exciting and he’s an awesome person. I just feel that the MMA gods haven’t shined on him as brightly as they should have. I know he wouldn’t want me to say this, because he’s a proud man and has a promising career in Bellator—he could be fighting for a title soon—but I’m going to anyway: To the new matchmaker(s) of the UFC, if you are reading this, do the world a favor and sign Kendall Grove, for f*ck’s sake.