Tecumseh, Okla. Mixed Martial Artist Fights for a New Life
By: Kimber Shafer, R.I.T.C. News Director/Reporter
It got him into trouble when he was young but now Kendrick Sloboh of Tecumseh, Okla. is using his fighting skills as his key to a better life. “Growing up I had to fight a lot because the crowd I hung around attracted a lot of trouble,” said Sloboh. It was one of those fights that led him to Mike Crawford, owner of Rage in the Cage OKC. “I was at Paradise City, a nightclub Mike owned, and I was about to fight four of his security guards,” said Sloboh. “Mike told me he would kick me out if we fought, and we ended up talking about MMA several times after that when I saw Mike.”
Sloboh’s first fight in the cage was January 29, 2011. “I won my very first fight,” said Sloboh. “I took the guy through some wrestling moves, elbowed him and then kneed him. The commentators said what a good thinker I was and they liked that I waited for my opponent’s reaction before planning my next move. I like to relive that moment all of the time.”
His second time in the cage was against Edmond, Okla. fighter Julian Learned. “Four days before the fight I found out I needed to drop 20 pounds so I ran until I was purple in the face and spent so much time in the sauna that I began to lose consciousness and then four hours before the fight I had to go back into the sauna because I still had a few pounds to drop.”
Sloboh performed well in the first round, but his body didn’t hold up for the second round. “Dropping that much weight so quickly caused a lot of shock on my body, I didn’t think my body would ever let me down, but it did and it was devastating,” said Sloboh. In the second round, Learned put a triangle leg lock on Sloboh and won the fight by submission.
One of Sloboh’s shining moments in his MMA career comes from his third cage fight at a Rage in the Cage OKC event at Remington Park. “I fought a guy and I jumped in the air and did a 360 kick in his face, I lost the fight but will always remember that moment,” said Sloboh. He came off those two losses for a win in October of 2013 and said win or lose, he uses each fight as a learning tool to get better at the sport he loves so much.
“The losses made me work harder, I never want to fail,” said Slohob. “I have a speed bag and a heavy bag at home and I am always watching YouTube videos to learn new things and I research nutrition to make myself better.”
Improving his life now includes spending time in church. “I’ve been going to Lifechurch for five months and it’s helped me have a better outlook on things and they have different Life groups and people to talk to if I need prayer,” said Sloboh.
He is working to better his life, but doesn’t want to forget his past as it includes many happy moments. “I wrestled in High School at Tulsa East Central and at U.S. Grant High School in Oklahoma City where I went undefeated until a disagreement with my coach my senior year and I dropped off the team.” Since High School Sloboh has spent the past seven years studying boxing and Brazillian Jiu Jitsu and currently trains with Awnaw Fight Crew in Shawnee, Okla..
Fighter Profile/Bio: Kendrick Sloboh
MMA Record (amateur): 2-3-0
Height: 5’ 8’
Hometown: Tecumseh, Okla., trains with Awnaw Fight Crew in Shawnee, Okla.
Gym: USA Stars