Ten Pow will be taking a step down in weight and a huge step up in competition for his next fight. According to his Titan FC 74 opponent, Ryan Kuse, that’s a bad move.
One of the biggest stars in GLORY history made his transition to MMA in September 2021 at Titan FC 72. Whether opponents have pulled out or don’t accept the fight, it’s been a slow start for Ten Pow, who made his debut against Earnest Walls and watched his second fight end in a no contest after his opponent couldn’t return to his feet after an illegal knee until the fight was waved off.
It hasn’t been the best start from a progression standpoint, but Ten Pow is ready to test himself.
“The cool part of his next matchup is he asked for tougher competition,” said Titan FC President Lex McMahon. “He wants to test himself and prove he can shine. He’s fighting 5-0 Ryan Kuse at 135. Asa is dropping down and fighting a stud. I’ve noticed a shift in his focus.”
Ten Pow has made his demands and they’ve been met, but Kuse, a Titan FC staple, is chomping at the bit to show the world that Ten Pow isn’t ready for the jump he asked to take.
“He’s fought two bums,” Kuse said. “That’s ok to fight two bums to work your way into the rankings, but you can’t go from fighting two people with negative records to go and fight, realistically, Titan’s and potentially the UFC’s next star, which is me.”
On a global scale, Ten Pow is the far bigger name at this point in time. Even Kuse will openly admit it. Kuse couldn’t put a card on the map in Europe or Asia the way Ten Pow could just by being on it. In fact, Kuse might even admit that Ten Pow is the star of the show in 49 out of 50 states, but south Florida is a whole different animal.
“I think that going into this fight it’s going to be the first time he’s been a B-side,” Kuse said. “Whether he knows or not, anybody who watches Titan knows he’s a B-side. Right now, I’m on a 5-0 win streak, I’ve got four amateur titles, I’ve got one professional title, my second fight I fought in the DR. I’m 5-0 with four TKOs, and grappling’s my specialty and this kid’s a standup fighter, and you already know how that goes.”
Kuse closed out 2021 in disappointing fashion when he was forced to pull out of his bantamweight title fight with an injury. With an undefeated record and an 80% finish rate, Kuse feels that he might be in a better position with this fight than a fight with gold on the line. A bout with Ten Pow may not come with hardware, but he’s adamant that this fight will be less work for a bigger payoff.
“I’ve been tearing through the division but nobody I’ve ever fought has any name, so it doesn’t give me any recognition,” Kuse said. “I’ve fought tough guys and I honestly never got any recognition, so once I smash this guy - I’m calling first-round finish - people are going to know what I’m really working with and why the UFC should be watching me.”
There’s nothing but props for Ten Pow on Kuse’s end. By this point, Ten Pow must know the opponent Kuse is, and yet he was the one that asked for the fight.
Kuse loves a challenge, loves fighting and loves pressure, so a big name calling him out is what he lives for. But if he was on Ten Pow’s team, this is one of the last fights he would have recommended. The jump from his previous two opponents to the masked madman is just too steep.
“Realistically, with his style, I don’t think he’d ever be ready for me,” Kuse said. “I would think that he would try to fight somebody that I already beat before fighting me. This isn’t kickboxing here. We’ve got a whole bunch more stuff going on than just punches and kicks and knees and elbows.”
Kuse and Ten Pow both come into this matchup with a full head of steam. Which one will use that February night to make a name for themselves? Find out February 18!
Catch Kuse vs Ten Pow LIVE at Titan FC 74, Friday, February 18, ONLY on UFC FIGHT PASS!