Brian Olsen (6-1) was scheduled to face Bryan Vetell (0-1) tomorrow night at Combat In The Cage "Evolutions" in Asbury Park, NJ. Though he planned on returning to the ring after a seven month recovery period caused by the illegal attack from Mike Kyle, as of 2:00PM Wednesday afternoon, the fight was called off.
Apparently, Olsen's doctor saw an interview that he had done earlier this week in which the damage to his face had been detailed. Upon reading the interview, Olsen's Doctor immediately contacted him and took the necessary steps to make sure Olsen was not cleared by the N.J. Athletic Commission. Olsen spoke with me about this disappointing setback.
(*Originally, this interview was to included a discussion of his injuries, but due to the decision that has since been made by the N.J. Athletic Commission, I have respected Olsen's request and will not print the information he gave me about the damage he suffered at the hands of Kyle.)
Q. Let me set the scene Bryan. Mike Kyle kicked you in the head when you were down, and continued to hit you while you were unconscious. It actually took two referees to pull him off you. What type of damage did you sustain from the undefended strikes?
A. Actually, I am not at liberty to discuss the damage from Mike Kyle at this time. I have been preparing for 6 weeks for this upcoming fight, and yesterday, after seeing an interview I had done earlier this week, my Doctor has now declared that I am not physically able to fight. It's very disappointing.
Q. How has the healing process gone?
A. It's gone well. I feel like I am 100% ready to go.
Q. Originally it was announced that you might be retiring from fighting because of the damage, what caused the change in prognosis?
A. Well, I wasn't just going to let it end like that. I want to fight and up until yesterday, I had been cleared to do so.
Q. What is the outlook of your career now?
A. It's tough. You know in the old days I could just show up and fight. But now with the commissions involved, and the MMA industry getting bigger, the rules and regulations are getting tighter. I won't be able to fight this weekend, but hopefully, I will get everything together and be able to continue my career.
Q. Kyle claimed he actually “Blacked Out” and didn’t hear the referee’s commands to stop hitting you. Do you think that’s true or just a cop-out?
A. Who knows? He has done this type of thing before. He has poked guys in the eye, bit one guy on the chest, that kind of thing. I just think he's crazy!
Q. Do you harbor any ill feelings towards Mike Kyle?
A. Well, yeah I do. He caused me to have a major setback and could have easily ended my career. Though it looks bad on the video, it wasn't the kick to the face that did the damage. I would have recovered quickly from that. It was the overhand right that he hit me with after the kick, that was devastating. He hit me when I was unconscious and the Ref had already stopped the fight.
Q. Lots of MMA fans believe that Mike Kyle should never be allowed to fight again. What did you think of his one year suspension from competition?
A. It was good. The California Athletic Commission didn't have to do that but they did. They also said that any Promoter who lets him fight within the year would face penalties.
Q. What do you think the actions against Kyle should have been?
A. Let's just say I will go along with whatever the Commission says.
Q. If it were possible, would you want a re-match?
A. No way. He is crazy and there is no telling what he might do.
Q. Who has been helping you get ready for this fight?
A. All the guys at Strike Zone have helped me a lot. Also, Kirik Jenness and Kipp Kollar of MMA.TV have worked with me, especially for my ground game. L.A. Boxing has helped with my conditioning.
Q. Got a shout out to folks back home?
A. Thanks for all the support. It's sad that the Doctor saw that article and freaked out. I hope that the fans will come back out to support me when I can finally fight again.
Photo Credit: Daisy Rosas