There’s only one way for a fighter to get some respect in MMA. They simply need to pulverize the competition that stands in the way of their ambitions.

Lurking in the Midwest, “The Hard-Hitting Hillbilly”Kevin Croom has been taking names in the cage and earning his share of recognition. Croom is currently on a nine-fight winning streak and his rise in the ranks leaves fight fans with the burning question of where his talents will take him.

Croom (Keith Mills/Sherdog)

Croom (Keith Mills/Sherdog)

Beginning his impressive run in November 2012, Croom, who hails from Columbia, Mo., has competed in various organizations in his region. Croom has been through it all in his career thus far. He’s seen various levels of competition, venue size and spectator attendance. Most of his recent opponents haven’t even seen the light of day of the entire bout, thanks in part to Croom’s superior of striking and submission expertise. He has finished all but two of the victims in his current streak within the first round.

“I have fought in various promotions throughout the United States,” Croom explained in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “No matter what new venue, crowd or opponent I find myself up against, I feel you are going to get experience regardless, which has helped me to build as a fighter.”

Of course, he couldn’t have captured this success without some form of assistance. Croom’s rise has been facilitated by a great fight team from various factions throughout Albuquerque, N.M., including striking instruction from three-time world boxing champion Danny Romero. It seems like everything is starting to come together for this rising Midwestern prospect.

“I train with many people, which includes my main gym, Luttrell’s MMA, down here in New Mexico. I have a great team behind me helping me perfect every area of my game,” Croom said. “In addition, my mental condition has improved, also making me more confident. Just seems like all of the stars are finally starting to align after seven years of hard work.”

Croom’s physical and mental training couldn’t be any better right now. Continuing his fight campaign, his next challenge will pit him up against Bryan Goldsby at Titan Fighting Championship 27 at the Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Mo., on Feb. 28. An eight-year veteran training out of Team Jorge Gurgel, Goldsby has also had been on a winning streak since February of 2012.

Croom (L) (Keith Mills/Sherdog)

Croom (L) (Keith Mills/Sherdog)

“I think Bryan is an incredibly tough and gifted fighter,” Croom said. “I plan on just being tougher. I am not approaching this fight any different, as I look to go in with the same game plan to win this fight.”

Looking to add another win to his resume, Croom sees a bright future for himself in MMA. The “Hillbilly” has made his voice heard in past post-fight interviews with promotional messages aimed at UFC President Dana White and UFC matchmaker Joe Silva. Croom is not timid and doesn’t hide his belief that he is a talented contender who deserves to fight at the elite level in the UFC.

However, until the phone rings, Croom has but one mission. Through this upcoming fight and future wars, he will seek to excel and continue to reveal to the fight world what this “Hard-Hitting Hillbilly” is all about.

About The Author

Monta Wiley
Staff Writer

Monta Wiley is an aspiring sports journalist that has covered the world of MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He has been a regular contributor to US Combat Sports. Monta has a Bachelor's degree in Aviation Administration from California State University-Los Angeles. Outside of his writing, you can find Monta at the gym honing his BJJ technique.