Kyler Phillips stoked for UFC 259, grand opening of MMA dojo in Camp Verde

    Kyler “Matrix” Phillips is locked and loaded for UFC 259.

    The 25-year-old will square off against fellow 135-pounder Yadong Song on Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

    The three-round bout will take place on the undercard of Jan Blachowicz’s first defense of the light heavyweight world title against reigning 185-pound titleholder, the undefeated Israel Adesanya.

    Phillips (8-1), who fights out of Phoenix, has won three fights consecutively since dropping a split decision to Victor Henry in October 2018, believes the fight is happening at just the right moment.

    “I’m on the rise,” he told The Prescott Times. “It feels like the timing is exactly right.

    “Once I win this fight, I’m going to break through and make a name for myself. I can’t wait. Saturday is going to be freaking badass.”

    China’s Song (16-4-1), known as the “Kung Fu Monkey,” has not lost in his last nine appearances in the octagon.

    “He’s young and hungry,” Phillips said of his opponent. “He also has 21 fights under his belt, so he’s an experienced guy.

    “But he’s just like any other guy. I’m going to knock him out, whether it’s the first, second, or third round.”

    Phillips, who trains out of 2KnuckleSports MMA & Fitness Academy in Surprise, also has a connection with Yavapai County.

    A 2KnuckleSports franchise will be opened in Camp Verde, with involvement from Phillips and Richard Williams, and Hanshi Nico.

    “I’m a Nikidokai black belt. I’m a sensei (instructor). We’re going to have some fights up in the Verde Valley as well.”

    “It’s going to be cool,” Phillips stated. “I’m really looking forward to working with a lot of talented fighters and a lot of young kids. I’m super stoked.”

    Phillips, who started his Martial Arts training at the age of three, has won a number of national and world titles. In 2012, he won the Gracie National championship and the Jiu-Jitsu IBJJF world championship in the same year.

    Ryan O'Hara
    Ryan O'Hara is a 27-year-old professional boxing journalist based in Denver, Colorado. He currently works for The Ring Magazine and has been featured on ESPN, CBS, FOX, and a plethora of other outlets. O'Hara is also a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, where he earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees, before working as a news anchor for two years at Fox News Radio affiliate KYCA.

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