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Who is Kevin Ross? Everyone is curious to know, but when given the opportunity, nobody seems to get to it. What does he do in his spare time, What foods does he like to eat, and what are his thoughts on style? I could have asked him the same questions that pass by his Instagram Q&A’s every few weeks. I would have asked for fight tips, how he trains, his favorite fight moments, or how to recover from an injury. He would have given me the same answers he has to repeat on the regular with a smile. But if I really wanted to know Kevin Ross, I had to think outside the box and have some fun. That’s just what I did.

Someone the world refers to as “The Soul Assassin” might seem ominous or hard to approach. I closed my eyes when I hit send on the message, wondering if he’d even respond to a cold DM. A few minutes later, he said yes without hesitation. For such an all-around badass, Kevin is immediately friendly, responsive, and more than willing to engage. The aforementioned assassin identifies his spirit animal as a Panda and would choose the ability to heal people as a superpower. Kevin’s translation of fighting is like communicating, and his favorite fights involve feeling like he’s had a great back and forth communication. The battle he most enjoyed that communication with was Michael Thompson.

The interview was rapid fire style questioning, him answering the first thing that came to his mind. We dug into some deeper thoughts that I will transcribe before we move onto more of the quick responses.

Kelli: What is a common misconception of you?

Kevin: That I enjoy pain

Kelli: In the same line as the misconceptions or rumors you’ve heard about yourself. If you could set the record straight once and for all, what would you say?

Kevin: I do not enjoy pain. Yes, there is a part of pain that is therapeutic, in the sense that pain lets me know that I am alive. For me, when it comes to fighting, it’s something I view as a test that is seeing if it can make me quit. So that smile on my face is a response to that. But I would prefer not to have any.

Kelli: What are you the proudest of in your life?

Kevin: I am proud of not letting the world and the situations I have faced, break me. There have been accomplishments and goals I am proud of but anything I have ever achieved has been a result of that.

Kelli: What is the worst fighting advice you have ever been given?

Kevin: I am sure that I have been given plenty of bad advice over the years, but that would be more from random people or something that I overheard. I can’t recall what they were as I erased them from my memory as soon as possible. More so, the things I see online these days are horrendous. The amount of whack jobs putting bad information out there is daunting, but the amount of people who buy into it is even worse.

Kelli: If you could say one thing to your 17-year-old self now about how to navigate this life, what would you say?

Kevin: That you can allow every setback and unfair situation in life to break you, or you can use it to propel you to even greater heights. Those circumstances can turn into positive advantages when used correctly. Keep going and never give up, regardless of what the situation may appear to be.

Kelli: If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future, or anything else, what would you want to know?

Kevin: Not sure if I would want to know anything. The mystery of life is simultaneously the most beautiful and difficult part.

Kelli: If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality of ability, what would it be?

Kevin: The ability to heal people

Kelli: If you were given a million dollars to be donated to charity, what organizations would you choose?

Kevin: I have always had a soft spot for children, particularly ones who are sick, in need, or in bad situations. There are so many organizations out there doing such amazing work that I would have to find a few to divide it between. 

Kelli: If you woke up with an affliction of the senses and had to experience the world deaf or blind, which would you rather choose?

Kevin: My first thought was to say that I would rather be blind; so much can be experienced and felt through sound. However, now that I think more about it, I would rather say deaf. Vision is such a key piece of a multitude of things that I do and love, I would be lost without it.

While most fighters feel most comfortable in sweats and t-shirts, his style is generally impeccable for a night out. He prefers the earlier 20th-century style, “where everyone wore suits and took pride in their appearance.” His favorite items of clothing in his closet are two Corneliani suits that his lady, Gina had custom made for him while they were in Italy. They are “the only things in my closet that I actually care about.” Having said that, he prefers sneakers to loafers because “they are so uncomfortable,” hoodies to jackets, and sweats to jeans. The clothing designer he feels best represents his personal style best is “whoever created the footie pajamas.” His favorite Satrawoot product is our Thai Warrior long sleeve shirt!

The meal he would miss the most if he could no longer eat, he already has to long for. Thai Thom Ka Gai soup was “always one of my favorites, but a few years back, I developed a coconut allergy.” He prefers In and Out to Shake Shack, something we will have to discuss in further detail the next time I see him. While I know In and Out is a California entity, Shake Shack has really been courting me these days, and I politely disagree with Kevin’s loyalty. He only wins because if he could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, he would choose Bill Murray. And I want to get in on that meal, even if we don’t go to Shake Shack!

Written by: Kelli Dunavant Photograph by: Jeff Dojillo

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