Kenny Robertson has been around the world of MMA for five-plus years now.
So, when he steps inside the Octagon later this month to take on Thiago Perpetuo at UFC Fight Night 38 in Brazil, Robertson will do so with one objective on his mind.
“I’m just trying to have more fun with this fight,” he said, during a recent interview with FightLine. “I’m done worrying about winning or losing. I’m just going to go fight the only way I know how.”
Robertson (12-3) made his debut with the UFC in 2011, but went back to the regional circuit after a loss to Mike Pierce. He returned in 2012, losing to Aaron Simpson before rebounding with a first round submission victory over Brock Jardine.
Now, coming off a decision loss to Sean Pierson last June, Robertson knows he has to focus on competing – the one thing he enjoys the most about MMA.
“It’s a combat sport. I love it,” he said. “I’ve been in combat sports my whole life. MMA was just a way for me to keep competing.”
A standout on the wrestling mat at Eastern Illinois University, Robertson went down in the history books as the final EIU wrestler to reach the NCAA meet. The program was disbanded in 2007 and includes Matt Hughes among those who attended and competed as a Panther.
When word of the Olympics excluding wrestling was first brought up, it hit close to home to Robertson. Since that initial decision, the sport has been re-included for future games.
“You can get over 50 wrestling matches in a year, so just having that experience of competing helps. It’s a grueling sport that produces work-hardened people that know what it takes to work.”
Robertson has been preparing for his bout with Perpetuo by traveling “all over central Illinois to different gyms.”
“My main workout partner is Jimmy Kim,” he added. “I’ve also been working out with Dan Hornbuckle and Corey Anderson.”
While training has been “going good,” Robertson stated that he is “at the point now where I’m tired of training and just want to go fight.”
The bout will mark his first trip to compete in Brazil, as Robertson has previously taken fights in Canada, Finland and Puerto Rico.
“I’m actually staying a couple extra days to enjoy the country,” he said. “My flight will zap me at first, but after napping a day, I will be ready to go.”
Robertson-Perpetuo goes down March 23 from Natal, Brazil and the Nelio Dias Gymnasium. It is the first fight scheduled for the FOX Sports 1 prelims.
You can follow Robertson on Twitter.