(JOHNSON CITY) Keith Olson has been taking part in mixed martial arts his entire life and gets to share that passion with others at Olson’s mixed martial arts academy, teaching anyone from ages 4 to 79.
“Kids are my passion and my family’s passion, and adults as well. just being able to teach them and give them some of the values, the respect, the discipline that it takes, it feels great.”
While he has taken part in MMA for as long as he can remember, 8 years ago, Olson decided to try out his skill set in a new way.
“I started fighting for fun as a personal challenge and did not know where that road was going and here we are.”
On Saturday, Olson will make his professional debut, facing Alex Riggs in the co-main event at Valor fights 47 in Knoxville. and though he never imagined this moment would happen, after posting a 7-1 amateur record, his friends convinced him it was time.
“The consensus was yes, so we signed on and did it. I trained just as hard in amateur as I do in pro, didn’t change anything. I still feel great.”
“Keith is certainly confidence heading into his pro debut in Knoxville on Saturday. he doesn’t’ care if they’ll be standing during the match or if it goes to the ground.”
“Been focusing on my jujitsu, which I’ve done well in my fights, as well as improving my striking. I feel good on my feet, if it goes to the ground, that’s good too.”
Now he sets his sights on starting his pro career with a win and he’s thankful his first pro fight will be close to home.
“It’s my own students that are pushing me and training me. It’s amazing the support you get from the friends and the family and the students. they’re behind me 100%.”
Reporting in Johnson City, Kane O’Neill, News Channel 11 sports