SPOTLIGHT: Kuhne VS Dimps

Australia’s leading MMA promotion returns to the Gold Coast on March 7th for Eternal 65. 

Atop of the card stands one of the most highly anticipated matchups in recent memory, with two of  the most popular figures on the local Australian MMA scene set to thrill fans with their high-octane style and larger than life personalities. 

On paper, Josh Kuhne vs Dimps Gillies is a stand-up enthusiasts dream. Familiar fans will be more  than acquainted with both athletes’ penchant for setting a fast and furious pace with their boxing combined with a solid chin – on paper it reads of a paradox in the “unstoppable force meets an  immovable object” realm. 

Kuhne himself has quickly captured the imagination of local MMA fans across the country, especially  on the Gold Coast where he now calls home. 

A relentless knockout artist with devastating power and surgical precision, Kuhne has yet to find an  opponent who can survive his onslaught beyond the first round. With three wins as an amateur and three wins as a professional, Kuhne has won all of six of his bouts by knockout long before the  corner stool is ever needed.

Not a single fight has gone past the 1st Round for Kuhne.

Hot off the news that he will now be represented by management powerhouse – Paradigm Sports,  Kuhne spoke with Eternal MMA ahead of the highly touted matchup. 

“It’s probably the biggest jump that I’ve made in my career yet,” said Kuhne of his new management. 

“Paradigm is top tier management; they take on the biggest stars – the biggest names. So, to have  them on my team now working with someone like myself – who invests a lot into myself, to have a  team also investing themselves into me, I think it’s just going to be big things on the horizon.” 

Prior to an illness sidelining him for a short period, Kuhne was originally slated to compete at Eternal  64 against fellow lightweight – Blake Donnelly. With Donnelly himself now on the sidelines, Kuhne  was more than happy to take on a different challenge once he was cleared to fight. 

“As soon as I got healthy and was able to get back into the gym, I put my name straight back into the  mix for the next available option,” he said. 

“Unfortunately, we couldn’t get Blake who was the original signed opponent due to an injury of his  own, hence why Dimps’ name got thrown into the mix. They’ve (Dimps Gillies’ team) been asking for  this fight for a while, so that was the fight to make. 

“I think it’s an exciting one, I think it’s the one the fans wanted to see. So, we signed it, we got done.” 

The upside of a fight against a fellow fan favourite in Dimps Gillies is far from lost on the man they  call “Kamikaze”. With fans eager to see two hardest hitting athletes go head-to-head inside the  Eternal cage, Kuhne is just as eager to meet an opponent who many believe will be by far his biggest  test to date.

The Kuhne VS Dimps bout is considered must-watch MMA.

“I think for anyone who’s ever seen Dimps fight and anyone who’s ever seen my fights, it’s a no  brainer,” said Kuhne. 

“I think it’s just something that people want to see. They want to see what happens when two trains  collide, they want to see what happens when two bulls lock horns, they want to see what happens  when two savages get locked in a cage. 

“We’ve got aggressive styles, we both move forward, we’re both hella-tough. He’s got a chin on him,  I’ve got a chin on me, and we both throw hell for leather, how’s that not exciting? 

“That’s what fans pay to see. The fans pay to see people like me, they pay to see people like Dimps.  We’re the ones who bring that violence, we’re the ones who bring that crowd and bring that noise,  so to put us up against each other…? Makes sense.” 

Fans are in for a treat this Saturday night.

A scary prospect for future opponents is that for the most part, Kuhne has achieved so much in a  small space of time without the guidance of a dedicated head coach up until now. Former Eternal  MMA lightweight and Australian combat sports legend – Brentin Mumford has taken the reigns of  Kuhne’s career now that he has retired as a competitor, an alignment that Kuhne feels he is  beginning to reap the benefits from. 

“It’s massive,” said Kuhne of his new coaching arrangement. 

“I’ve probably been blessed in a sense that (until now) I’ve got through my career to where I am on  my own account. Obviously there (has been) gym partners and coaches along the way that have  helped me. 

“But to just have that one voice of reason, just that one voice in my corner and just to have someone  game planning and guiding me through my whole camp start to finish, that’s been a game changer. 

“I’ve (gained) huge levels in my game from every aspect – setting traps, baiting people, working  different angles, the whole lot.  

“It’s all coming together. Having one voice, one coach – having Brentin who’s so experienced in the  lightweight division – who’s done it all, seen it all, been everywhere and just passing on that wealth  of knowledge to me, it’s humbling.” 

Kuhne feels right at home with the team at CMBT.

Time will tell exactly what level Kuhne has reached now that he has a mind like Brentin Mumford in his corner full time, but the benefit of a full training camp with a former title challenger at the helm  can surely not be overstated. Now with most of the hard work behind him, Kuhne had a message for  ahead of the blockbuster clash for new and old fans alike. 

“Expect fireworks. Expect to see two of the toughest dudes in Australia just go in there and beat the  shit out of each other (until) one of us comes out with their hand raised. 

“At the end of the day, this is a mixed martial arts match and it’s going to be the person with the  most well-rounded skill set (who wins).” 

“I’ve got Brentin Mumford in my corner, he’s my coach, I’m going to be listening to his voice of  guidance. Wherever the fight plays, wherever the fight takes me – it takes me.”

“If it means something else causes the finish and it’s not a knockout? So be it. Maybe it is a sub, maybe it’s not, maybe it goes the distance. 

“Let’s just see how it plays out, but I’m not going in there with any intentions to do anything but give  it my all.” 

Meeting him across the cage in the other half this highly combustible equation will be Eternal MMA  mainstay and wildly popular crowd favourite – Dimps Gillies. 

A well-travelled veteran of the game with a wealth of experience in combat sports, Gillies will be  looking to put his own stamp on what will be his second main event as a professional. 

Dimps’ last Main Event saw him score a Knockout in under a minute.

A multiple time “fight of the night” award winner, the NTG Fight and Fitness product never finds  himself in a boring fight. Armed with ferocious power, quick hands and slick head movement, Gillies has long held a reputation of being one of the most exhilarating fighters to watch on the Australian  MMA regional scene. 

Speaking with Eternal MMA, Gillies was as humble as ever as he looked ahead to the match. “A main event is always big,” said Gillies. 

“I’m grateful for the platform and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to perform in a main  event and share the ring with Josh Kuhne. I’ve admired from the sidelines, from cage-side – I was  there for most of his fights. 

“I didn’t really think I was going to fight him in my career because I was more just a fan of his work.  But my team – they see an opportunity here to get my name (back) at the top again and get the right  exposure. All the right eyes should be watching on May 7th

“It was an opportunity I had to jump at, and it was one that I couldn’t miss.” 

Anybody who is familiar with Dimps Gillies will know that it is the stand-up game that he truly lives  for. Recent ventures into the world of professional boxing while still have all played a part in honing  his craft as an elite striker, with classic boxing traits often on display as he competes as a mixed  martial artist. 

Asked of the prospect of fighting a fellow stand-up specialist, Gillies was resolute in his enthusiasm  for another potential fight of the night contender. 

“For sure, I know what to expect. When I say that, I can’t predict anything, but I know it’s going to be  a vibe and half for everyone that’s watching and tuning in.” 

“Usually, I’m the guy that comes forward and I don’t take a step back. In his perception that’s what  he does and in my perception that’s what I do, so it’s going to be hard to say what happens. But I  know there’s going to be violence and I know there’s going to be explosive action. 

“I’m ready for it and I can’t wait. It does get me out of bed in the morning and it does get my arse to  the gym. I’m excited and I’m ready for this matchup.” 

Dimps is driven to perform for his gym.

A fiercely loyal character by nature, the opportunity to represent his team at NTG Fight and Fitness  at any time is something that Gillies doesn’t take for granted. Given the opportunity on the main stage, Gillies is aware of the exposure it creates for his team, and he plans on showing out for his  gym regardless of the outcome. 

“I believe that loyalty is key, and I am going to keep playing my part and doing my best to perform  for my gym. If I don’t win, it doesn’t matter. As long as I lose and it was a fight where I didn’t leave  anything in there, I didn’t leave with regrets, I didn’t question myself after.” 

“If I can perform even when I lose and put on a show, then I still give that exposure to my team. It’s  something that I strive for. To me, it’s more important than winning, but others don’t think like me.” 

Fans can rest assured that Dimps Gillies is always coming into the building to put on a show. His  humble and sunny disposition is something of a stark contrast to the violence he brings whenever he  steps foot inside the confines of the Eternal MMA cage. While Gillies needs no help in turning up for  a scrap, it’s the fans in attendance the get him going the most. 

“The fans give their energy and that rowdiness, especially in the MMA scene as opposed to the  boxing,” he said. 

Dimps is fueled by the roar of the crowd.

“I love it. When you hear those chants and you hear those cheers and you hear those roars, you’re  doing something right. In my head, those people pay good money to come watch us. In my head, if  they weren’t paying that money, we wouldn’t have this platform. In my head, they are another  prime example of who we are there performing for.” 

“I just want to say a big thanks to everyone and anyone who follows the local combat sports scene in  Australia and even worldwide – but the local shows mostly because we’re not that big, we’re not that recognised.  

“The more people that do tune in, the better it is for everyone involved in the business – the  fighters, the promoters, the trainers, the gyms, the coaches and everyone. We all play our part and  it’s a part we should play to make we get the best out of combat sports in Australia.” 

Kuhne vs Gillies main card will be streamed live and exclusive March 7th on UFC Fight Pass.

Kamikaze Rising: The Josh Kuhne Story So Far

Three hundred and seventy-nine seconds can either be a long or short period of time depending on  the context. Long, if you are waiting for the light to change green on the commute to work. Long, if  you are waiting for your leftovers to reheat in the microwave. 

It is short however, if you are counting the total amount of time a combat sports athlete has spent  inside the confines of a mixed martial arts cage, no matter how many fights they have competed in. 

For Josh Kuhne, three hundred and seventy-nine seconds is the precise amount of time he has  clocked in for across all six of his MMA bouts to date. In other words, barely longer than a single five minute round. A career that has been equally divided thus far between three amateur and three  professional fights have all largely finished the same way; all via knockout or technical knockout, all  ending inside the first round, all but one never made it longer than the two-minute mark. 

The most recent of these highlight reel wins came at Eternal 63 on his home turf of the Gold Coast. A vicious onslaught of striking from the opening bell against a game opponent in Taela Kelly, would see  Kuhne earn himself his third professional win in just forty-nine seconds via TKO. 

Kuhne capped off his 2021 with another first round KO victory.

Speaking with Eternal MMA, the man they call “Kamikaze” gave some insight into his pre-fight  mindset as well as the play book that contributed to another quick night at the office. 

“The plan’s always the same and I think it’s the same with not just me, but any fighter,” said Khune. 

“I think everyone’s trying to get that early night, everyone’s trying to close it in the first round, I’m  just the only one going out and doing it. That’s the difference.” 

Of course, the game plan is only a part of the picture when it comes to finding success in any combat  sport. If there is one aspect of Kuhne’s DNA that he is so well known for outside of his fast-finishing style in the cage – it’s his mentality and preparation. A fighter who is already well versed in dealing  with the emotions and adrenaline that accompany any high-risk task, Kuhne brings a fearless  approach with him every time he makes the walk to the Eternal MMA confines. 

“Obviously on fight night, you’ve got to find something that switches within you. It’s not (necessarily) anything that I switch in to, it’s not a persona as such that I play.” 

“When you’re about to step into the cage or you’re about to step into fight or you’re about to do  anything like that, I think you’ve just got to find a place in your head where you’re totally focused  and totally dialled in. 

“Sometimes I’ll just scream, and I’ll just hype myself up and do crazy things and just punch shit – just  do whatever it is that I’m feeling in the moment.” 

“I’ve always been a thrill seeker; I’ve always put myself into those crazy situations where crazy s–t pops off. I’m so aware of the adrenaline dump. I’m in there, I’m super composed. I don’t feel  nervous, I don’t feel scared, I don’t feel anything like that. There’s nothing in that cage that’s going  to happen to me that I haven’t seen before.” 

Josh Kuhne surrounded by his teammates before his walkout.

Possibly the most fascinating aspect about Kuhne’s meteoric rise so early in his mixed martial arts  journey is the fact that he only started hitting pads little more than four years ago. With no previous 

experience and no desire to pursue a career in combat sports, the story up until this point for Josh  Kuhne is nothing short of remarkable. 

The son of a builder, whose humble beginnings started in eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria, Kuhne’s father would eventually seek greener pastures within the building industry after experiencing frustration with his career at home. A move to Brisbane was implemented to broaden  the family’s horizons, and with that, the foundations of success would eventually be laid down for  Josh in his professional career both inside and outside the combat sports world. 

The deadly hands of Kuhne would first find a love for the tattoo gun long before they would grace  the Eternal MMA cage. Already armed with a creative flair and artistic mind from his early childhood,  Kuhne credits the move north as what spawned a lifestyle as a successful business owner with his tattoo studio – ‘Phresh Ink,’ as well as a competitive mixed martial artist. 

“My old man was in the builder’s industry, and he was just getting buggerized in Victoria with it, so  he just made the decision to pack up and move to the Gold Coast. And then shortly after a lot of our  family actually did the same thing, a couple of uncles have all moved up here now. 

“My parents naturally gravitated here for my dad’s work, and it’s just built up and we’ve stayed here  since. And I’m glad that they did. I’ve been lucky enough with tattooing and everything that I do, I’ve  travelled most of the world, I’ve seen a lot of the parts of the world – I’ve seen everything. 

“The Gold Coast is one of the best places that I’ve ever been. I love to call this place home and I’ll  always come back here, so I’m super thankful (for the move).” 

School was a mixed bag for Kuhne growing up. While he excelled at a sufficient level, the academic  side of education was not particularly where he focused his attention. 

“In school I was always three pages of bookwork from the front and then from the back page it’d just  be doodles and drawings that’d meet those three pages of schoolwork. I really paid attention in art  and sports and athletics and stuff like that, everything else I wasn’t too phased in.” 

Kuhne’s time at school was cut short a little unceremoniously, the irony of which is clearly not lost  on him. But it was from that moment on that he was able to focus his efforts on a passion that  would see him become the high achieving figure that he is today. 

“I got kicked out of school for fighting believe it or not, in grade eleven.” Kuhne conceded with a wry  laugh. 

“I got into tattooing pretty much straight away from then I was hooked on it.” 

While the artistic side to Kuhne’s makeup as a person served as a creative outlet to his obvious  talents, sport was also a large part of his DNA from an early age. Growing up as the younger brother  of a competitive – and highly successful motorcycle rider, the seeds were planted from the get-go that would eventually see Kuhne evolve into something of a renaissance man later in life. 

“My family – we’ve grown up around motorcycles our whole life. 

“My older brother was a professional motorcycle rider. From a very young age he was pulled out of  school to travel the world through Europe, through Japan and through everything (while) racing  professional motorcycles.

“I think he is still the youngest Australian to ever ride in the world GP. So, to see my brother be a  professional athlete from a young age, that was really our drive (to succeed as athletes).” 

It was within the same competitive motorcycle world that tragedy would strike the Kuhne family when Josh was only sixteen years of age, with his brother Matthew suffering a career ending injury that left him as a quadriplegic – just nineteen years old himself. 

“That was a big hit to the family,” Kuhne confesses. 

“But I think growing up around motorcycles and seeing what dedication it took to put into yourself  as an athlete to perform that well in a sport – I got a bit of an early insight on that. 

“My brother was my hero growing up. I was never ‘Josh Kuhne,’ I was ‘Matt Kuhne’s brother.’ I was  the little brother of someone who was already achieving great things. And I was proud of that, I was  never upset with that at all. 

“I think seeing how much dedication he put into being the best that he could, I took a lot from that  when I decided to do sports myself.” 

The big brother influence of Matt has evidently been a major contributing factor towards the high  standard in which Josh holds himself to. The tattoo industry is one that requires undivided attention  and dedication, and Kuhne was throwing himself in headfirst to achieve his dreams with the highest  level of success. 

Hours spent honing the craft would often mean a sacrifice in leading a healthy lifestyle, which lead  to an increase in unhealthy eating and unwanted weight gain – something Kuhne knew he had to  change. It was this notion that would unknowingly be the spark of a new passion outside of the  tattoo studio. 

“I got a point where I was twenty-six or something, and I said ‘I’m going to start doing some boxing  or some training, just for my fitness’. 

“I think about six months to a year into my training I started finding a real passion for it. I started  sparring at the amateur classes, and I told my coach that I wanted to get a matchup. We tried to do  that for ages in the boxing industry and it just never eventuated for one reason or another. Whether  it was injuries or opponents pulling out or opponents just not stepping up for whatever reason. 

“I got the first crack at competitive sports on Eternal with MMA. I got the feel for that, I got the first round knockout there and I was just hooked.

Kuhne kicked off his MMA career back at Eternal 49.

“It wasn’t something that I had planned on doing from the very start when I set out training, but  after I had that first fight, I knew that I had to continue to pursue this. 

“I’d already sort of made my way in my tattoo career so I was pretty happy to sideline that for a little  bit and have a new direction where I’m starting at the bottom and I’m rebuilding myself. I’m drawn to that sort of struggle as well. I like anything where it’s hard and you’re not the best person in the  room, and you’ve got to close your mouth and open your ears and be that person to be learning. I  got past that point for a little bit in tattooing and when I found that again in combat sports, I was  hooked.”

Of course, every combat sports athlete needs a team around them in order to get the very best out  of themselves they possibly can. While Chris Carden from Platinum Boxing Club was and still is the  man sharpening the fast hands of Kuhne, it will be none other than former Eternal MMA legend and  title challenger – Brentin Mumford, who will assume the role as head coach going forward. 

While Kuhne has had the support of his team and coaches at CMBT Training Centre throughout his  fight camps, this will be the first time in his career that he will have a dedicated man at the helm of  his training to solely focus on every aspect of his progression. With the knowledge that the  challenges from here on out will only get greater, Kuhne certainly sees the value in having an  experienced veteran of the fight game taking the reins full time as he looks to make bigger waves  with Eternal. 

Kuhne has found his home with CMBT Training Centre.

“He’s (Mumford) been a massive ticket to the growth in my game. 

“Now that he’s stepping away from fighting himself, he’s going to be my coach. I haven’t had a coach  since I started training. I haven’t had a head coach; I haven’t had anybody guiding me in terms of  (identifying weak points) and giving me that honest feedback. 

“Sure enough, we’ve got coaches at CMBT, but those coaches are usually fighters as well. It’s hard to  train a fighter when you’re a fighter yourself. So having a head coach now, I think that’s going to be  (another way) to cement myself and really start getting those levels up.” 

Outside of the of his mixed martial arts training, Kuhne has a support network that is arguably just as  vital to his success as his team and coaches are. Balancing a full-time job six days a week is no easy  task, especially as a business owner – but especially as a full-time business owner who is  simultaneously training as a professional athlete. 

Not one to consider his plate ever too full, Kuhne is also a father to twin boys – a full-time job within  itself. It is within this chaotic but no doubt rewarding schedule that Kuhne considers himself lucky to  have some of the best people imaginable in his corner to help shoulder the load. With a team at the  tattoo studio holding down the fort whilst in fight camp, Kuhne also has the unconditional support of his wife Amy who forms one half of the dream team both professionally as well as privately. 

“We’re definitely a team, and a f—–g good one at that,” said Kuhne on the relationship with his  wife. 

“That didn’t come easy. Like with any relationship, with any partnership, it takes time. 

“We’ve worked together in the studio for years. The first year that we did that, I fired her. I just said, ‘you go back to doing what you do, and I don’t want you to come in here with your opinions.’ And  then after time (went by) I took a step back and let the pride down and let her back in, and it was  the best thing I ever did because she can run the business when I’m not there. 

“She helps me manage my time; she’s taking things off my plate. She watches the kids for me, she  does all the ordering, she does all the accounting. She does so much behind the scenes and does it (with no intention) to put herself in limelight, not for any gratitude or reward. She just does it  because we’re a team. I take my hat off to her so much and there’s no way that I could be here  doing what I’m doing without her doing that.”

“Having her having my back and being able to take a lot of responsibility and tasks off me that I’ve already set up for myself, like being a business owner or having staff that require certain things, it’s been great, I couldn’t do it without her.” 

The many helping hands in the life of Josh Kuhne are clearly paying dividends on every level both  professionally and privately. As a mixed martial artist, the strides Kuhne is making inside the cage  may not always be obvious given how quickly the curtains are drawn on each of his fights. 

Behind closed doors however, the gains are being made at a rapid rate in all facets of MMA far  beyond his dangerous striking abilities. The work is translating well to the cage. In his last two fights,  Kuhne was finally given a chance to show fans how he would deal with at least some adversity. 

“Seventy percent of our camp is wrestling, just because it’s such a fundamental. 

“I know my striking’s there; I know that I’m super heavy handed. I know that once I start putting  guys heads on the end of my f—-n’ punches, they’re not going to want to stand there with me.  They’re going to be wrestling me, they’re going to be taking me down, they’re going to be trying to  slow me down, they’re going to be clinching (and) grappling. So, I’ve been prepared for that in every  fight. 

“It was good that I got to show it in my last two fights that I’m not so easy to take down and I am  working those other areas. 

“I’m not going to go and big-note myself now and say what I’m capable of or let people in on my  game. They’re just going to come and see what I’ve been working on and test me (in those areas)  and see what I can do there.” 

For those who have come so far, they have certainly seen. Kuhne’s devastating approach to the  fighting has set him on a trajectory for superstardom, with no previous challengers coming  anywhere close to halting the justified hype that surrounds him. 

It is an approach that Khune does not plan to abandon any time soon. It is his belief that the  aggression he exhibits in the cage comes naturally; it isn’t forced, nor is it a tactic that he leans on  for any other reason besides the fact that Josh Khune just loves to fight. 

By his own admission, fighting isn’t something that he does for the money. This isn’t a sport that he  wants (or needs) for any type of financial gain. The training, the education, the weigh ins, the fight  days with his teammates – this is all purely for the love of the sport. Tattooing is where Josh Khune makes his bread – the fight game is where he butters it. 

It goes without saying that Kuhne’s fan friendly style has made him a huge hit with the Australian  crowds, but it is on the Gold Coast where his star shines the brightest. The hometown support is  evidenced by the fact that no matter where Kuhne is placed on the card, it is his name that gets the  biggest pop of the night. It is this level of support that Kuhne does not take for granted. 

Kuhne frequently gets the biggest pop from the crowd.

“It’s huge,” said Kuhne. 

“It fills me with energy. I love putting the pressure on myself. I find that I perform the best under  pressure.”

“In those moments when you step into the cage, and I’ve invited all my friends, all my family, all the  supporters are there. Everyone’s there to see me perform. So, I can’t let my people down. I have to  go out there and I have to perform, so putting that pressure on myself makes me work even harder  and it makes me even better in that moment.” 

Like any up-and-coming fighter on the local scene starting to make a name for themselves, Kuhne  has ambitions for international competition. The UFC is the number one destination for most mixed  martial artists, and by Kuhne’s own sentiment, he is no different. Blazing the trail that he is in red  hot fashion, Kuhne believes it is an ambition that he will achieve in the not-so-distant future. 

For now, his eyes are focused on what lies ahead on home soil, with a hopeful return to action when  Eternal MMA returns on the Gold Coast in March 2022 for Eternal 65. Relatively untested at any  notable length up until this point in his career, Kuhne expects his next opponent to be someone who  can challenge his resolve and give him the chance to showcase his abilities on a wider spectrum. 

“Throw me a name,” Kuhne said when asked who his next opponent could be. 

“A lot of people are out there promoting themselves that they’re not getting fights and they’re not  getting people to say yes. But behind the scenes, I’m saying yes to everyone. And these fights aren’t  getting made. 

“There are a few people that I don’t want to fight because they’re either my mate, or I don’t feel  they deserve that shot. But anyone from here on out should be a test. It should be an elite striker, an  ex-champion, the next best thing, or a f—–n’ title shot.” 

The prospect of a shot at the belt feels like it could be sooner rather than later for Kuhne. With ex contender and now head coach – Brentin Mumford no longer in the title picture, Kuhne believes the  path to gold is becoming a little clearer. 

“I considered the belt (to be) out of the picture for the next two or three fights, purely because I  thought Brentin would be the belt holder. But now that that’s taken a different path and the belt is  in other hands, I don’t mind taking my shot at it. Whether that be one or two fights before I get  there, or if I’m gone by then, so be it. 

“I’m down for whatever the promotion throws at me. At the end of the day, Cam, and Ben – they’re  the matchmakers. They know what’s exciting, they know what the fans want to see.” 

Until such time as a match is confirmed – Josh Kuhne will be ready and waiting for his number to be  called.