Zayne Smith wins his first kickboxing match at XFN 358

XFN 358

Q: When was your fight?

Zayne: May 18th at the Buffalo Run Casino, the day after my 21st birthday. It was an amateur kickboxing match on the XFN 358 undercard. There were a lot of people there, about 700, but they were cheering for my opponent. A lot of people were there for the fighters they knew. But I had quite a few of my supporters in the crowd as well.


Q: Tell us about your opponent?

Zayne: Zach Shambles from Trinity Martial Arts. He was 3 - 0 MMA, 1 - 0 kickboxing. On fb he definitely had a winner’s attitude. He's won a lot of jiu-jitsu competitions. He had a bunch of videos of him sparring hard with his training partner.

Q: Was this your first fight?

Zayne: It was my first kickboxing fight. I've had 1 MMA fight, which I lost. I was pretty nervous before the fight because I got hurt pretty bad - I was pretty close to losing my vision in my left eye. But in this fight, after the first 20 seconds, we exchanged some hard shots and I felt pretty good and I got into my groove.


Q: How did your fight go from there?

Zayne: He was throwing a lot of leg kicks, but he threw most of them right when I got into range. So I was able to step back from them pretty easy. I think what won my fight for me was my stance. Daryl and Thomas really worked on that with me as we were preparing for the fight. We also worked on level changes a lot. He was coming hard a few times, and tried for the clinch. I was able to throw him around and then break it. I used his forward momentum to sling him. He kept coming in hard and sloppy, so I stunned him with a 2-3 combination. Then I threw a 1-2-1 and dropped him for a moment. He got back up. After that he was a little more reserved. 9 times out of 10 I counter punched him really good. But I have to give him credit, he kept coming forward and trading punches with me. The first and second round went pretty similar. Daryl and Thomas really drilled my hands and head position, movement and my stance with me. It really pulled through when I needed it. But the third I came out and I already knew I won the first two rounds. He definitely tried to make up some points in the third round. He was coming at me hard, it was probably a split decision on the 3rd round. The last 30 seconds we were standing toe to toe and trading punches as hard as we could. He tried a Max Holloway where he was like, "right now" with one hand.

The next fight I will do better. I definitely got my confidence up after that first loss

He was definitely a home town favorite, there were probably three times as many people there for him than for me. I could hear them yelling every time he clinched me up.


Q: When is your next fight?

Zayne: I was wanting to get on the next XFN fight at the River Spirit Casino, but I've been working on my transmission. I also have been working a lot in sales at my Dad's company. I want to get an MMA fight when I'm able to put together a good fight camp.


Q: Tell us about your relationship with Daryl and Thomas.

Zayne: They see something in everybody. They know that all it takes is time, hard work, and dedication to see improvement in any skill. They see the good in everybody. They respect everyone just for being there. They know that most of your improvement and sharpening of your iron is going to come from the fighter's hard work personally. Everybody knows the skills they lack. They believe in anybody because everybody can achieve anything if they put in the work, and lay everything out. It's definitely a special relationship you don't get from a lot of people.

Ben Greenwood