Although most casual fight fans watch some of the major UFC pay per view and FOX shows and the occasional Bellator event on SPIKE, there is a whole other world of fighters out there. These are young scrappers fighting their way towards the big time, ‘chasing the dream’.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Fighting out of the blue corner, weighing in at two hundred and five pounds and fighting out of Gaffney, South Carolina he is…… Karl “No Worries”Reed.
Karl is an up and coming star. He is a light heavyweight fighter representing Upstate Karate/Pitchblack MMA. The 27 year old won all of his amateur fights and won first pro fight in September. He is motivated to fight his way to the top. So Karl lets start with how you got involved in the sport of MMA?
“I was a college wrestler at Newberry College and I was asked to get into fighting afterwards, but to be honest I didn’t think it was for me. A year later I was coaching at a Jr college in south Georgia, Darton State College. It was my first full time coaching position. I was the head assistant and was excited about getting my coaching career started. During my teams 2nd workout of the pre-season, I had an athlete (Ben Richards), go to the hospital due to a heat stroke. Two weeks later, September 13, 2013 Ben passed away. Afterwards a lot of stress was going on in my life. To make a long story short, to help me relieve stress, I walked into a karate school and asked to join a kids class. After looking at me like I was crazy, the owner told me to come back on Thursday and talk to the jiu jitsu team. At the time I didn’t know what jiu jitsu was but I started to train, and a few days a week they had me kicking and punching bags. A sport that started as an outlet from my day to day problems at the time, turned into love. So I decided to schedule my first armature fight.”
That is an incredible story. Everything happens for a reason Karl, and it sounds like walking into the karate school was fate. At this point what are your career goals?
“My goal for my career is to be the best light heavyweight in the world. I am with a good camp and have great training partners that believe in myself and my abilities.”
That is quite an ambitious goal, but with your skill set and training camp it is one that is attainable. For those that do not know, tell us who you train with regularly?
“I train at Upstate Karate/Pitchblack MMA in Simpsonville SC under Ray Thompson. My training partner is Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. I started training at Upstate Karate in 2014, a year into my career. So I went into their gym really raw and under developed. To be with my team from the beginning of my development has been a blessing. Having a Kempo Karate striking style and a wrestling base has proven to be a great combination for me and is unseen in the 205 lbs. division. Working with Stephen day in and day out has benefited us both, it’s a great trade off. He helps me with striking and makes these 205ers seem extremely slow and I help him with the wrestling. he tells me all the time the 170’s feel weak compared to me. It has been a great partnership so far.”
I don’t believe you could ask for a better training camp and training partner. What do you have planned next after winning your pro debut last month by KO in 1 minute?
“Right now I am helping my training partner get ready for the biggest fight of his career, as he takes on Tyron Woodley for the UFC welterweight title. Also I am a wrestling coach at Limestone College in South Carolina and our season is getting underway. My goal is to get another fight in before the new year, but either way I will be training nonstop getting better for my next fight.”
I’m sure after your impressive debut promoters will be looking to book you. So tell me, who is your dream fight?
“I would love to fight Jon Jones. Mainly because he is arguably the best pound 4 pound fighter in the world and I want to be that guy. Also I like to challenge myself. I also think I have the style that can beat him. People may think I am crazy for saying so, but there is no Light Heavyweight in the world that fights like me. My coach tells me I am the future of this division and I believe him, now I just have to show everyone.”
That would be incredible. Most of the young fighters I ask that question to always say they want to fight “who ever is the champion”. I like that you put a face on it. That shows me that you have clear cut goals, maturity and ambition. These are important qualities for a pro athletes to have. Which MMA fighters did you enjoy watching as a kid?
“To be honest I didn’t watch MMA until I started training. I think that gives me an advantage mentally because I never put any of these guys on a pedestal, but when I first starting watching I was instantly an Anderson Silva fan.”
In my opinion Anderson is the Greatest MMA Fighter in it’s young history. He is definitely someone great to look up to. It’s interesting that a pure wrestler like you would enjoy watching a pure striker like “the Spider”. Speaking of wrestling I know you are very knowledgeable in the weight cutting department. What are your weigh in days like? Do you have a favourite meal?
“After weigh-ins I love to go to Olive Garden and other than that, I focus on re-hydrating after my weight cut.”
The wrestling background really gives you an advantage over most other fight bases in the weight cutting department. Do you have any shout outs?
“The biggest shout out I would like to give is to my wife, Quiana Anderson Reed. She has been with me from the beginning. When I was in South Georgia with no coaching and I took my first ammy fight with barely any training, Until now, with me training with Stephen Thompson. She has always been in my corner and supports me chasing this dream knowing that it’s a once and a life time opportunity. She is my rock and keeps me going everyday through 2-3 workouts.”
She sounds like a great woman. For anyone perusing their goals that is married, a supportive spouse is so important. Back when you decided to fight what did your family and friends think? Did they think you were crazy getting involved with the fight game as a career?
“My family and friends are very supportive of my goals, but yes (Laughs) they think I am very crazy. I am the only one in my family to wrestle and then fight. A lot of my friends cant’t believe I got into fighting, a lot of them say they couldn’t see me doing it because of how laid back I was in college and in high school.”
Before we finished up, Karl had a few more things to say:
“I would like to thank Infinite Health Chiropractic for always taking care of my body during training camps. Content Mobile Restoration is a huge supporter of mine out of Rock Hill, SC. They do so many good things for the community. They are a company that comes in and restores houses and businesses when they have fire, water, or smoke damage. Also I would like to thank Matt Pirkle at Broadway Technologies and Safeceiver. Pirkle has been in my corner since day 1. He was the guy that suggested I get into fighting right out of college and the one that introduced me to Ray Thompson when I moved to SC. I owe a lot to him and will pay it forward when I make it to the show.”
Be on the look out for Karl “No Worries” Reed. He is on a mission and has the tools to become a household name in the immediate future. For more info on this up and coming MMA star, check him out at on Twitter @NoWorriesReed and on Instagram @noworries_reed. Below you can check out one of Karl’s impressive amateur victories.
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