The last 10 months have been something of a whirlwind that heavyweight JW Kiser could not have foreseen.
In just his third bout Kiser was moved onto the national stage to face a former WWE wrestler resulting in a losing record that he has since fought hard to turn around in the months following his third fight.
“It has been a very interesting year for me in a lot of ways,” Kiser told MMAWeekly.com. “I won a fight in December of 2018 and literally 24 hours after winning that fight I signed a contract to fight on Bellator versus Jack Swagger, a WWE guy, at the LA Forum (in January).
“It was a huge opportunity for me. I did go on to lose that fight, but since then I’ve won two in a row.”
One thing that has helped Kiser get himself on track was a move to train fulltime with a UFC veteran.
“When I beat Michael Edwards (in December), Zak Cummings who runs Glory MMA Northland had approached me, and after the Swagger fight I made a commitment to him and now he’s my coach and manager and we’re undefeated so far as a team,” said Kiser.
“It’s night and day (the fighter I am now compared to last year). I train four to five times a week now. I feel like my ground game has completely improved. In my last fight I took a guy down and ground ‘n’ pounded him out, and that was a first for me.”
On October 5 in Kansas City, Missouri, Kiser (3-2) will look to pick up his third win in a row when he faces Jesse Beck (3-5) in the heavyweight co-main event of Shamrock FC 323.
“This next match-up is with a guy who is known for his ground game, and my coach felt comfortable matching me up with a guy who is a decent grappler,” Kiser said of Beck.
“We feel good with our stand-up. If he tries to stand he’s going to get knocked out quick. Then again if he does take me down, we’re feeling pretty good there. We know he’s a decent grappler, but at the same time I’m feeling comfortable, I’m not panicking, it’s not something I am terrified of.”
While Kiser wants focus on each opportunity that comes his way, he knows he is working on a tighter time frame due to his age, so there are things he would like to accomplish sooner than later.
“We’re going fight by fight, but we do have an agenda,” said Kiser. “I am getting older. We know my time is limited. We have a list of goals for ourselves and one is getting back to Bellator and getting a Bellator win. That’s a long term goal, but the short term goal is to win every fight.
“If we get this one done, that will be three in a row, if we string a few more together we’ll have a good record for ourselves, and that will give us some good opportunities for success and to show what we’ve got now.”