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Kevin Casey’s violent twist on MMA’s grappling game

Kevin Casey’s violent twist on MMA’s grappling game

July 19, 2015

Kevin Casey has yet to lose in his second stint in the UFC, but his tenure hasn’t been perfect.

Casey (9-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) was victorious on Wednesday, taking a decision over Ildemar Alcantara (21-8 MMA, 4-3 UFC) on the Fight Pass prelims of UFC Fight Night 71. The victory was his first since returning for a suspension for a failed drug test. The failure – for anabolic steroids – erased a knockout of Bubba Bush at UFC 175 and resulted in a year-long suspension.

Casey overcame the “cage rust” that can come with time away from active competition to pick up a victory and expects to build on the performance.

“It felt great to get back out there again,” Casey told MMAjunkie. “I felt like I was very anxious to get back in the ring. That forced me to use a little bit too much gas in the first round trying to put him away. He was a very durable opponent. But it felt great to be back. Look for me to evolve and come back a little bit more relaxed and a little more efficient in my performance.”

Alcantara was put in some very bad positions early in the fight. He was able to escape the situation without being stopped, something Casey attributes to durability and smarts on the part of his opponent.

“He’s a very durable opponent,” Casey said. “He was very aware of what I wanted to do. I got him against the cage and I had him in a turtle position. I gave him some good shots and he was very smart about protecting himself. He knew where I wanted to be so he protected himself from the real violence of the shots.”

Casey’s jiu-jitsu bona fides make him a threat on the ground against any opponent in MMA.

It’s a skill that he feels the need to expand on because of flaws he sees in the ways many other grappling-oriented fighters approach fights.

“Sometimes the guys who are the top-level practitioners in jiu-jitsu, they come in and they’re a little bit hesitant to open up with the strikes,” Casey said. “I’ve seen Demian Maia make excellent jiu-jitsu exhibitions in a fight. And then I feel like there are some times he could be more violent from those dominant positions. When he gets in the mount, if he elbowed the guys he may end the guys in the second round instead of going the distance with the guys. So I try to mix it up and add a little more violence to the game.”

Source: MMAJunkie