UFC fighter from Charlotte gets back into ring after 1st defeat

CHARLOTTE — Charlotte-born and UFC fighter Impa Kasanganay has a focused vision on a future back in The Octagon after his first professional loss.

“My goal is to be the best to ever do it,” Kasanganay told Channel 9. “I love what I get to do, and the only way to do that is to keep moving forward, keep fighting.”

Kasanganay got knocked out by a spinning back kick to the jaw last year in a match that went viral online.

“It was a great knockout. Great shot, great kick,” Kasanganay said. “And I was getting tagged in it all the time.”

He said he was OK after that and got back into training.

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The former Providence High and Lenoir-Rhyne University football player felt a personal responsibility to get back to fighting. He wanted to show people that no matter what negativity comes their way that they should always keep going.

“If you notice through history, people watch fighters, and they look back on that for inspiration,” the mixed martial arts fighter said. “That drives me. Did you give up when things got hard? Did you quit when you had a bad day at work? That’s all it was, was a bad day at work, but I get to go do my job again.”

Six months after his first loss, Kasanganay returns to The Octagon on April 10 in Las Vegas.

“I know that I’m prepared and ready to go -- ready to go dominate this fight and claim this victory,” he said.