Rising featherweight pro mixed martial arts talent Jacob “The Killer” Kilburn (6-1) will get his big show audition when he fights on Dana White’s Contender Series event on Aug. 7 in Las Vegas. With White being the president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, his Contender Series events have served as a platform for fighters who perform well to earn a contract with the world’s longtime leading professional MMA promotion. Kilburn is a native of Woodlawn, Tenn. and teaches at Harris Holt Martial Arts Academy in Clarksville. It’s a potentially life-changing opportunity for the local star who has already won back-to-back fights this year. Pro MMA Now spoke with Jacob about how this all came together, how he feels about his opponent and what this opportunity means to him.
Thanks for talking with us Jacob. You recently dropped the news you would be fighting on Dana White’s Contender Series coming up in just a few short weeks. How did this come together for you?
My manager Abe Kawa at First Round Management as well as some help from Dean Toole and Ian Valencia at Island Fights, but ultimately it came together because I keep taking out whoever they put in front of me!
You’ll be taking on MMA Lab product Bobby Moffett who as a BJJ black belt is mostly known for his submission and grappling abilities, what’s your thoughts on him as an opponent?
He seems to be a solid opponent. He has some good skills, but nothing special. Everyone keeps saying we look alike, and that’s a little annoying.
Moffett’s fought on some pretty big cards with LFA and RFA and with a 12-3 record, do you expect him to be your toughest test to date?
No I don’t think he will be my toughest test. He will however will be my most important fight.
What do you see as Moffet’s biggest weakness and where do you feel you should have a clear advantage?
His biggest weakness is probably his lack of ability to set things up. Strikes, takedowns, etc. He just seems to struggle with disguising his attacks. So I’d say I have a skill edge in every aspect in that regard.
Have you had to change up anything or do anything different in training to prepare for Moffet?
I don’t really do a lot of specific training because opponents change so much, this is my second opponent for the Contender Series in a month, so I just get better everywhere and come ready to break anyone.
You’re coming off a rematch win over Elvin Leon Brito at Island Fights 48 which aired live on UFC Fight Pass. How did that rematch come together, because I think you originally had a different opponent scheduled, and what were your thoughts on how that fight played out?
Yeah! So I was supposed to fight Max Mustaki who just fought on the Contender Series. He pulled out of our fight when he got the call about fighting in Vegas. The only fight that made sense was the Brito fight because that dude sells tickets in Florida, and we had a competitive fight the last time. We took the rematch and all three judges scored it 30-27 unanimous for me, so I’m glad we did it.
You have a Go Fund Me set up where fans can help out with your expenses for traveling to Las Vegas for this huge opportunity. Can you tell us about that and some of the goodies the supporters will receive?
Yes, training camp gets so expensive and the medical requirements get very costly as well. I’ve never put more money into a camp before. If people donate they will receive a personal video from me the week of the fight thanking them. Or if you are a business owner who would be interested in sponsoring me, then I can get you some BIG exposure.
What would a win in front of Dana White at the Contender Series mean to you and your career?
Well, first off it means more money in one fight than I’ve made in my last three put together. But ultimately it means we have made it and can change my life! I am literally one fight away from achieving one of my biggest goals!
Did you ever think you would have an opportunity this big so soon in your career?
I look at this from the other side. I’m over here wondering who else I have to head kick and before I got the phone call. I was actually beginning to get discouraged that my hard work wasn’t being noticed.
Thank you for your time as always Jacob and I know you have a legion of family, friends and fans supporting you on this journey. Any final words or shout outs?
I first have to thank the savior of the world Yeshua HaMashiach the son of God for saving me. Second I need to thank my fiancée Alyna and all my family for putting up with me. And of course a big YUUUGE presidential thank you to my amazing sponsors! Everyone from Rolling Bones Gear, Freedom Building Group, Patterson Building & Design, Tattoos by Thomas, Mark Reed Knives, Harris Holt Martial Arts Academy, Smash Bros Shebaro BJJ, Kevin Watson BJJ, Woffords Nursery, and Bow Before The King.