Chris Kwiatkowski will be returning to action after some time off to recover form surgery. He will be fighting Daniel Rodriguez at the upcoming Friday Night Fights Muay Thai All-Stars event. Chris took some time to answer a few questions about his upcoming fight with Daniel as well as his recent surgery and future plans.
MTA: You are fighting Daniel Rodriguez, how familiar are you with him?
Chris: I’m not too familiar with Daniel Rodriguez.
I did a quick Google search on him & it showed he had a bunch of MMA fights, that’s about it. I believe he has an orthodox stance & he’s 5’-9” from what his bio says as well. I don’t tend to overly research my opponents & come up with game plans for them, as they often change at the last minute. I’ve just been working a lot on my strengths for this fight. I anticipate him being tough & heavy handed as a lot of MMA guys are. I’m just excited to get back in the ring after my surgery layoff.
MTA: Your last fight was a TKO victory in Thailand, how was the experience over there?
Chris: My experience in Thailand was great. I fought a tough Thai opponent with about 100 fights on the under card of an M-150 WBC World Boxing Title Match Card. So it was a big event. My hands were better than his, & his kicks were better than mine, it just so happened that I landed some good shots & dropped him with a left hook. I prepared for the fight up in Buriram at Camp Lookchaomaesaithong with Namkabuan. He has a great camp & is a great trainer on the inside game. I trained with him for about 5 weeks & learned a lot of new tricks. So his style has really complemented my style I think. Training with him has made me more of a complete fighter.
MTA: You were out of action for a few months because of shoulder surgery, you back to 100 percent?
Chris: I am back to 100%. Actually prior to my surgery my left shoulder was giving me a lot of problems. For my prep for the last 3 fights, I was barely able to practice my left hook & jab, do to the pain. (I was able to throw the left hook in Thailand do to the adrenaline.) It got to a point where I could no longer do push-ups. My shoulder specialist thought it was a torn rotator cuff, because it had all the same symptoms of one & it showed a slight tear on the MRI. When he got into the shoulder during the surgery, he found that the rotator cuff was in fact intact. There was a lot of scar tissue from the shoulder bone rubbing on my arm socket. It got to a point where the mobility was severely compromised. So he cleaned up all the scar tissue & was actually able to undo an impingement that I had in my shoulder that led to having a wider range of motion. My arm is now better than what I was born with. So I am extremely happy with this.
MTA: You’re known for slinging leather, knowing you are coming off a shoulder surgery, does that make you think about taking a more cautious approach in the upcoming fight fight?
Chris: Do to the success of my shoulder surgery; I don’t think the surgery will have any affect on my style. I’ve been working a lot on my boxing & my left hand with Jason Strout at Church Street to utilize my hook a bit more. He is a great boxing coach, & like I said earlier, I like to focus on my strengths. I will still be slinging leather for sure. I think my training with Namkabuan & my experience in Thailand may alter my approach a bit, but not the surgery.
MTA: What can fans expect in the fight with Daniel?
Chris: My fight with Daniel will be a very exciting one. I’m gonna bring it like I always do. Like in all my fights, I look to finish. Early in my career as an amateur I had a fight where I won the first 2 rounds & could’ve knocked my opponent out in the 3rd. I took the safe road, & out pointed him & stayed out of harm’s way. I ended up winning the fight, but in boring fashion. Since then, I’ve refused to be that fighter. I always come in looking to finish.
MTA: Obviously not looking past Daniel, but is there anyone you would like to fight in the near future?
Chris: When Muay Thai Authority put out the top welterweights in North America piece back in December I was very honored to be amongst the top North American fighters in my weight division. All of them, except myself were from the west coast. In my attempt to always get better as a fighter, and to continue to challenge myself, I want to fight the guys on that list. Lions Fight has already reached out to me to fight Leffler, & I’d love for that fight to happen.
MTA: Any words for your fans and supporters?
Chris: I’d like to thank everyone for coming out to the fights & supporting me & the sport of Muay Thai. It has always been my objective to increase the exposure of a sport that has been such a huge part of my life & has added such great memories. Without the support, we as fighters would not be doing what we are doing. With the increased quality of Muay Thai, the United States is finally able to compete on a world level. I’d love to see Muay Thai as an Olympic Sport one day.