From drinking urine to creating a special Wasabi sauce, former Arizona State college football player Kyle Kingsbury has garnered a lot of attention during the current season of The Ultimate Fighter.
While Kingsbury’s run during the show’s light heavyweight tournament came to an end following a loss to Krzysztof Soszynski, he was still willing to sit down with FiveOuncesOfPain.com for an exclusive interview in which he discussed the creation of the special sauce; his feelings about Frank Mir; just what kind of person Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is; whether he will he involved with the live season finale on Spike TV; and more.
Sam Caplan: First off, I wanted to ask, did you take a lot of heat after last week’s episode after you were depicted as creating a special Wasabi sauce?
Kyle Kingsbury: (Laughs) You know, I would say that I got mixed reviews. A lot of my friends that are fans of the sport, you know, guy’s guys, they were laughing their butts off. My uncle? Same kind of thing. My aunts, my mother, and my girlfriend’s parents I’m sure didn’t take it quite as well. It’s going to be an interesting Thanksgiving dinner at my girlfriend’s parents’ place. But as I like to say, and no pun intended, the guy had it coming.
Dave is the guy, who in the first place, explained to us that you didn’t take anyone else’s food. “You can’t be mad at Tom for peeing in his own food when you’re stealing his food and eating it.” Well, you can’t be mad at us for doing what we did to the sushi when you’re stealing it from Phillipe and eating it.
He explained how the rules were played, so no regrets there. Obviously you want certain people seeing episodes like that, so what can you do?
Sam Caplan: Last week I interviewed Dave Kaplan and he denied eating the tainted sushi. He claimed it was Tom Lawlor that ate it and that he stepped up to defend his friend. What’s your take?
Kyle Kingsbury: (Laughs) I think with Dave Kaplan, and if you watch last night, you saw him deny being knocked out as well. Denial appears to be a new trend here with some of his comments. He also said after his loss that he gave the fight away and that he’d beat Phillipe on any other day and that it was his gameplan to take those punches.
I’ve got to say that I like Kaplan a lot as a person but that some of the stuff that comes out of his mouth is just pure comedy. I can’t take him seriously half the time. I know for a fact that he ate the sushi so there’s definitely no argument there. It’s as clear as the fact that he was knocked out.
Sam Caplan: In the same interview, Kaplan mentioned that one of the reasons why he ate the sushi was that he wanted an excuse to get back at you because you annoyed him. He then added that he later grew to like you. Was the feeling mutual? And if so, how’d you get to be on good terms?
Kyle Kingsbury: He respected my “gamesmanship,” as he put it for doing that and not get mad but get even in the same regard. I think once he calmed down — because on the show when it showed him eating the sushi and me telling, that was after he had already lost. He was drinking and he was drunk and he was pretty pissed off and very emotional about it.
They had actually only showed a very small clip of what had actually gone on. He sat there and just whined and bitched and moaned and pretty much threatened everyone there that knew about it. I think once the smoke had cleared and he was sober, I think he just realized and said, “Hey, it wasn’t that bad. Whatever, these guys got me good.” Kind of the same way I had dealt with Tom, except it really didn’t upset me that bad to begin with.
Sam Caplan: Phillipe does a blog for us here at FiveOuncesOfPain.com and last night he wrote that Lawlor and Kaplan drank each other’s urine?
Kyle Kingsbury: (Laughs) Yeah, I thought they would have showed it last night but I guess that’s not going to be on TV. Well, Dave kind of went off the deep end after his fight. They were drinking each other’s urine. They had filled up these cups with urine. And Dana White, after the season, gives us a 1,000 Rhino dollars to spend at the Spearmint Rhino. So the whole time we were in the house we were kind of using them like cigarettes in a jailhouse. We were betting them and doing stuff like “I’ll give you such and such number of Rhino dollars if you do this or do that.”
So someone asked how many Rhino chips would it take for them to drink the cup of urine. And Tom is asking this the whole time. Finally, we negotiate $300 Rhino chips and Kaplan, without hesitation, grabs the cup from Lawlor and downs the cup of urine. And everyone is screaming and hitting each other because they couldn’t believe it.
Then we were like, “The agreement wasn’t that we were going to pay you Kaplan!” And everyone is laughing hard. Tom was like, “That’s no fair, I don’t get 300 Rhino dollars? So he filled another cup and Tom ends up drinking that and the whole thing just spun out of control. If you saw the clip from one of the first episodes I said, “Who will eat my s—?” And that came from that night and things kind of escalated and we wanted to see if these guys are drinking urine whether they’d be interested in eating some human feces for what I will just say would have been substantially more Rhino dollars.
I don’t know anybody that would (eat feces) but at this point these guys were doing anything and we wanted to test it out and see how far they would go. I don’t know, I guess they would have showed that already if they were going to put that on.
Sam Caplan: So Dana hooks all you guys up with $1,000 Rhino dollars prior to the season?
Kyle Kingsbury: Not before the season starts. We actually get it all at the end there, right after we get out of the house. He takes us out for a nice dinner and typically he’s done that in the past, which is how we came to expect it.
Ryan Bader’s roommate, C.B. Dollaway, was on season seven and kind of filled in Ryan on what to expect. He basically confirmed it and let us know that we were all going to get to go out and that we were going to get $1,000 Rhino dollars and how we spent it was up to us. We made homemade playing cards and used the Rhino dollars to play poker and using that to bet with and stuff.
Sam Caplan: Wait a minute, you guys couldn’t even have a deck of cards?
Kyle Kingsbury: We had to make our own deck (and) we had to make our own checker and chess board until they finally gave us an actual chess board with actual chess pieces. We even made our own “Jeopardy” game, in which Tom, Dave, and Jules all came up with answers. And Tom played Alex Trebeck and we all got to play “Double Jeopardy” for the last few weeks, which was pretty fun too.
Sam Caplan: I have another question about Rhino dollars. You mentioned that you could use them at a wrap party and I believe that was the same party in which Jesse Taylor got into trouble at last season. Was there any crazy stuff that happened during this year’s wrap party?
Kyle Kingsbury: Everybody was obviously letting loose after being crept up in that house for so long but nobody took it to the extreme that Jesse Taylor did. Really, when you find out exactly what was going on with Jesse Taylor, it was easy to see how he would flip his lid and go off on the deep end.
But in terms of what was going with our house, everyone knew. And believe me, we got a speech from Dana at dinner about “Have fun tonight, but don’t do what Taylor did!” We all took it to heart. He told us that there was a lot of time between the end of the show and when we’d fight again and that we could stay in Vegas for a week but he told us not to make an ass out of ourselves and not to make an ass out of the UFC.
Sam Caplan: You’re based out of San Jose, which is a hot bed for MMA and you train at AKA. There are so many good fighters training out of that gym. Who are the primary guys you work with?
Kyle Kingsbury: For heavyweights, we have Mike Kyle, Paul Buentello, Cain Velasquez, Bobby Southworth, and Christian Wellisch. And all of those guys are either currently in the UFC or have been in the past.
You also have guys alternating in and out depending on when they are holding a camp. I know Paul lives in Texas so he comes into town for the last couple of months before his fight. But you still have some guys who are pretty much there all the time. Bobby is there all the time and Cain is there all the time. Cain wrestled with Bader, and C.B. as well and I knew him before.
But the guys that I train with the most are Bobby Southworth and Cain Velasquez, just basically because they are pretty much there all the time. Both those guys push me quite a bit and I learn a lot from them.
Sam Caplan: After your fight, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira invited you to come down to Miami and train with him. Is that something you plan to take him up on?
Kyle Kingsbury: Definitely. We had spoken about that quite a bit and I actually just got back from Miami. I went there over the weekend with Ryan Bader and Efrain Escudero and the three of us went down there. Unfortunately, Nogueira had to leave for Brazil to train one of his guys and had to leave on short notice. We had already booked our flights so we had decided to go down anyway and we got a chance to check out his gym in Miami. We stayed at his penthouse downtown and his sister took care of us the whole time. We got to train with Daniel Valverde, who was one of our assistant coaches.
It was a lot of fun. It was my first time in Miami and I can’t wait to go back. But it’s amazing knowing that if nothing else – take away the exposure and that whole side of it – the training I got while was there and now the fact that I can train with Anderson Silva and Rodrigo Nogueira? That’s priceless. I feel fortunate in that regard. I have a great camp here at AKA but I know that I’ll always be able to go and mix it up and get some good training whether it be in Brazil or Miami.
Sam Caplan: Nogueira was cool enough to let you crash at his place while he was away?
Kyle Kingsbury: Oh yeah. He took care of us, no question. He felt pretty bad about not being able to be there but he took care of us. We had a lot of comp meals from people he knew and stuff like that and it was just a good experience all-around. It could have been even better had he been there but I certainly had no complaints other than I didn’t get to train with him. But we got some great training in, got to see South Beach, and West Palm Beach. And even though we weren’t drinking we got to see some of the clubs and stuff like that. It was just an incredible experience and I’m looking forward to getting back there.
Sam Caplan: Nogueira is an incredible fighter, but can you talk about what he’s like as a person?
Kyle Kingsbury: As a person, he’s got a big heart and it shows on camera. No question about it, you knew that he cared. The thing about it is that none of the guys on Team Mir really could understand that because on Mir’s team they had a coach who would show up there, towards the end, I guess he was coming only to like every other practice. You live in Las Vegas. I had heard from some guys on their team that he’d show up at the practice and talk for the first 15 minutes and then leave and let his assistants coach and he’d take off and do whatever he wanted. It was the complete opposite with Nogueira.
He was there busting his hump and there was one point where he was sick and we had to tell the other coaches to let him know it was okay for him not to be there. He was so run down but he wanted to be there for us. But he had great assistants there and we just wanted him to get better. But it was only for a couple of days. It’s very easy to see that Nogueira care about us. The man is a class act. All of the guys on our team would agree that we were very fortunate to be selected by him.
Sam Caplan: According to your bio on Spike TV’s website, you’re girlfriend, Kristen Kovesdy, is an accomplished athlete herself. Can you talk a little more about that?
Kyle Kingsbury: She’s definitely the better athlete of the two of us. She still holds many records in Arizona in both high school and college athletics. Going on to ASU, as a senior, she was amazing. She led the whole NCAA in scoring percentage; top five in rebounds; top five in blocks. She was an incredible player. She started every game from freshman year through senior year. Very talented. 6’2′.” Just very well-rounded. I would have loved to have had her genetics and her ability but I’ll just have to do the best with what I have.
Sam Caplan: Has the UFC given you any indication about potential involvement with the TUF 8 live season finale?
Kyle Kingsbury: Yes they have. I don’t know if I am allowed to say who I am fighting so I’ll just leave that blank. But I am going to be on the card and it’s going to be a good one. I’m very excited about that and I’ve been training hard. The last six weeks I’ve been training like I am going to have the fight so I am fortunate I had that mentality because now that I’ve confirmed it, there’s only six weeks left. I am happy to know I am already in fight shape and now I can just fine tune and continue to get better.
Sam Caplan: Can you divulge whether your opponent is a part of this year’s cast or is it someone that wasn’t on the show?
Kyle Kingsbury: I’m pretty sure that everybody who is fighting is fighting someone from the show.