Before Steven Stevens tries to improve to 3-0 against Aaron Phillips at APEX Fights 12 on Saturday night in Knoxville, Tenn., the Knoxville product sat down with

How did you find MMA to begin with?

I’m a hairdresser. One of my clients came in. If you know MMA in Tennessee, you know Scott “Hot Sauce” Holtzman. One of my clients asked me to go to one of his fights. I was hooked. From there, I began training and haven’t stopped.

How many MMA fighters are also hairdressers?

Honestly, I’ve only ever heard of one other one. She was based out of Florida, and I met her in a hair convention. We had a lot to talk about (laughs).

What do your clients generally say about your other pursuit — MMA?

Most of them are really cool about it. I’ll probably have 10 or 15 of them there to support me on Fight Night, actually. Sometimes I don’t tell people, so they’re a little surprised when I walk in with a black eye and I’ll have to explain it (laughs).

What are your goals in MMA?

I would love to be a professional with Valor Fights. I have a career that I’m very happy with, and this is just something that I do on the side that’s fantastic. I can’t devote as much time to it as I’d like. I’m just taking it one step at a time, and seeing where it goes from there.

How do you see this fight playing out?

My opponent is a really tough dude. I expect one of us is going to be put to sleep early, or it’s going to be Fight of the Night.

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