Coming up as a fighter in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Kyle Driscoll wanted nothing more than to be a UFC superstar. The daunting first step was to master the regional scene and be as good as the local golden child.
“It was my childhood dream to be in the UFC,” Driscoll said. “As a kid, like 14, 15 years old, I would go to all the local fights and Jimmy Flick was the man. He was winning all these regional belts. When I started developing in the fight game I’ve always respected Jimmy.”
Flick would go from XFN dominance to one of the most memorable performances in LFA history, followed by one of the most memorable performances in Dana White’s Contender Series history to one of the most memorable debuts in UFC history.
Now 12-3, Driscoll is headlining Cage Warriors 133, and although he’ll never get to share a card with the first fighter he was able to watch go from local to nationwide, he might have accomplished something even more rare - making his idol one of his biggest fans.
Flick’s fandom of Driscoll isn’t phony and it isn’t simply to reciprocate admiration. Flick has been familiar with Driscoll long before he knew there was an MMA future in mind. Flick has been rooting for Driscoll since he was an amateur.
“I had a lot of wrestling experience but not like that guy,” Flick said of Driscoll. “Just like Daniel Cormier comes from OSU and he was the light heavyweight and heavyweight champion of the world, guys like Driscoll coming up could be the next guy that can be that.”
In yet another display of Flick being all heart, when “The Brick” found out just how big of a fan Driscoll was, it made his day the same way a similar compliment would have meant to Driscoll all those years ago.
There’s definitely no, “Thanks, kid.” Coming from Flick, Driscoll genuinely made the former flyweight’s day.
“For Driscoll to say something like that, that’s truly awesome,” Flick said. “That means a lot and that’s what I’m trying to do, as well.”
If Flick’s mission was to make an impact on his peers, Driscoll is proof that he succeeded.
Flick sees one heck of a future for him and sees his upcoming main event slot as the perfect proving ground for showing the world he’s as ready as Dana White said he one day would be.
“Driscoll’s on like a six or seven fight win streak right now,” Flick said. “The only thing I would say that he has lacked was just getting finishes, but if you look at Kamaru Usman, it took him until the verge of his career before he started getting finishes and Driscoll’s far off from that. I think he has the work ethic, the training and he’s at an amazing gym, which is AKA, so the door is open for him to jump into the UFC. I think it’s a great matchup for Kyle.”
Flick would also clarify that while Driscoll should aim for more finishes, which look better on paper, the unanimous decisions Driscoll secures are far different than most other people’s.
“If he doesn’t get the finish, he dominates,” Flick said. “He wins the striking, he wins the grappling and he dominates. Sometimes I think that goes farther than a finish. I think a finish does help because that’s what get the fans to jump up, yell and do all that, but to actual fans that support somebody and follow a fighter, it doesn’t matter if they win by a finish.”
Driscoll is possibly one dominant finish away from the UFC and nobody is happier about that than Jimmy Flick, but Flick is here to say, as ready as Driscoll is for main events, finishes and the UFC, there’s one thing he isn’t ready for.
The debut flying triangle.
“As much as I would love to say yes, I think that’s a hard thing to adapt to,” Flick laughed. “I think he’s capable of an armbar or triangle, but I think that Jimmy Flick flying triangle is going to stay there for a while.”
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