Former UFC heavyweight champ Kevin Randleman
admits hasty returns to the cage have been a detriment to his fighting career.
Randleman, who recently completed a small role in the upcoming Men in Black 3
film, tells MMAFighting.com he's back in the gym training, but won't be rushing into his next fight. Taking time out after the shoot to reevaluate his career, Randleman came to realize he hasn't been allowing himself to recover from injuries.
"Any fighter will tell you that the hardest thing to do is wait to heal but I have learned my lesson -- the hard way unfortunately -- and I did way more harm than good for myself pushing too much too soon," Randleman said. "I also realized that when I would get in the cage that getting hurt was something that was always in the back of my mind because I knew I wasn't 100 percent. I just tried to talk myself into it -- because I wanted to fight so bad."
Randleman hasn't signed any deals yet but would like to compete again in the spring.
"There are some options on the table, which I feel very lucky to have, but I am not rushing," Randleman said. "I started training solid after the new year and I will continue to train as if I had a fight In March or April so that once I lock something in I will already be primed and ready for a solid camp."
Training out of the TapouT gym in Las Vegas with Shawn Tompkins
, Randleman will look to find success through consistency.
"I have always trained hard and had some great training partners over the years," said Randleman, who believes through the years he was missing the "team" factor. "But it is different when you get to roll around with the same crew night after night and help your teammates get victories and watch them grow because of you being there every night.
"Consistency. It is a great thing in life on so many levels and I feel very grounded in my training right now, as well as very focused on what is most important to me," Randleman continued. "Although I have broadened my training, being consistent in my training is what has helped me find my way back to my roots. I am a striker and a wrestler and that will be my game plan no matter who I am fighting."
As the end of his career draws nearer, he's hoping he can expand on his experience in Men in Black 3
with other acting opportunities. Randleman along with Xtreme Couture's Mike Pyle
played Wushu assassins on the hunt for Agent J and K, the main characters of the film played by Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.
"Our makeup took about three hours every day and although there is a lot of waiting around it was overall -- just a really good time for me," Randleman said. "I hope that this opens many more doors for me in the future in this industry."
So although he'll be 40 in August and in the 14th year of his career by October, Randleman won't be hanging up his gloves anytime soon.
"With over a dozen surgeries in five years most expected me to hang it up -- but all it did was make me hungry," Randleman said. "Having the month and a half off to film the movie really gave me a great perspective on just how much fighting is in my blood and how I am not done -- not even close."