After taking care of business and consistently winning in his professional MMA career, Kamuela “The Jawaiian” Kirk is ready for the sport’s biggest stage.
Following his victory over Daniel Swain at LFA 107 on May 14, Kirk is stepping in to take a bout against Makwan Amirkhani at UFC Fight Night 189 on June 5. Despite the quick turnaround, Kirk has no issue agreeing to an opportunity of a lifetime.
“I have mixed emotions about it. A part of it feels surreal because it’s just so cool. The UFC for the longest time sounded like some far off, magical, mythical place, like Narnia or something,” Kirk told KHON2 sports director Rob DeMello. “Now, to finally be able to consider myself and call myself a UFC fighter, to be making my debut next weekend is incredible. But at the same time, the way my career’s been going, with my last couple of performances, I’m not surprised and I’ve been expecting the call so it’s been crazy but amazing.
“I was having a conversation with one of my teammates and he was like, ‘Dude, how do you feel?’ It’s starting to just feel like another fight. At the end of the day, it’s gonna be me and another dude in there fighting, just like how it was two weeks ago when I fought for the main event of LFA, just like how it was three months before that during my last fight. It’s like, when this is all said and done, it’s two people in there scrapping it out. That’s it. I’m trying not to hype it up and make it something bigger than it is, it’s just a fist fight and so we’re gonna go in there and we’re gonna throw hands next weekend and I can’t wait.”
The featherweight bout between Kirk (11-3) and Amirkhani (16-5) will take place during the preliminary card of UFC Fight Night 189, which takes place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas and features the heavyweight bout between Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Augusto Sakai as the main event. Both cards will be shown on ESPN+.
Kirk was born in Hawaii but currently resides in Arizona. Kirk, whose nickname derives from his diverse background, is proud of his heritage and wears it proudly every time he takes the cage.
“It means a whole lot and I take a lot of pride. Kamuela is my middle name, it means ‘Samuel’ in Hawaiian. Samuel is my father’s name. My dad’s a Jr. so it’s actually his dad’s name, so my grandfather’s name,” Kirk says. “It’s been passed down for generations now and so I take a whole lot of pride in representing Hawaii, being born in Hawaii, having family in Hawaii and having family in Jamaica. I take pride in my roots, I take pride in everybody: My family, my friends, my teammates, everyone that’s been a part of me, everyone here in Arizona as well. I just want to make sure that when I go out there and I’m fighting…I’m representing myself, I’m representing my family, my last name, where I’m from positively.”