By: King Eddie
The road to the UFC has been a quiet one for Dustin Kimura. Though one of the top fighters in Hawaii for many years, he has gone relatively under the radar. Maybe it's because the only noise he really makes is inside the cage. His name has always been among those mentioned as the best in the state, but there hasn't ever really been a lot of fanfare.
In the end, I think it suits his personality more. He is a quiet guy with little to say, but plenty to demonstrate. After working for years with Jesus Salud, Kimura is now collaborating with Rylan Lizares and the Gracie Technics/MMAD team. As it would appear, he has developed into quite the well rounded fighter, and many have noticed. The UFC in particular.
After Dustin's last two performances, he made it kind of hard for the UFC to ignore him. His battle with the Brazilian, Damaso Pereira here in Honolulu, and his KO victory over Guy Delumeau in the Philippines. Each fight was among the toughest of his career. But he feels it was just the challenge he needed to prove to himself, and the UFC brass that he was ready for whatever they could throw at him.
"Everybody is tough in the UFC. I'm just glad to finally be here to compete on this level. Right now I'm still trying to believe it myself" Said Dustin.
As I spoke with Kimura the night of his arrival to Vegas, it was clear that there was a calmness in his voice that many don't have on their first venture to the big show. Though seeing the process from the inside, as he accompanied teammate, Max Holloway, on several occasions, may have prepared him a little more than most. And as per usual, his traveling buddy is once again Holloway. A now 4 time veteran of the UFC. They started their trip with crazy antics to lighten the mood.
"Yeah, Max always steals my wallet. So at the airport he stole my wallet and my boarding pass. Then he tried to make me look bad on Twitter."
But the two landed and got straight to business.
" I basically filled out a ton of paperwork when I got here. Then I had to sign about a thousand posters. But then I was working out in the same room as Frankie Edgar, Rashad Evans, Overeem and some other guys. It felt crazy to be in the room warming up with all of those guys."
His opponent for this weekend is Chico Camus, a product of Roufusport. Though a well rounded fighter, Camus leans a lot towards his striking and wrestling. But most recently, Camus has been going the distance, as he did in his UFC debut against Dustin Pague.
"I know he is a tough guy. But I am prepared for anywhere this fight can go. I am definitely going out there to get the win this weekend" said Kimura.
So as yet another of our Hawaii fighters makes his debut on the biggest stage, all of us here in Hawaii look on with pride. We have seen Dustin Kimura become quite the fighter. His journey has been an interesting one, but it is far from over. In fact, the greatest chapters have just begun. So everyone tune in this Saturday and watch our own Dustin Kimura fight for the first time in the UFC.
Hawaii is proud of you Dustin.