POSTED ON APRIL 3, 2013:
More Than an Introduction
Busy days, nights for Tulsa's MMA emcee
Jack of all trades, master of none" is a figure of speech commonly used to describe someone with many skills but not necessarily outstanding in any particular one.
So maybe K.C. Lupp can launch a new catchphrase into 21st century lingo. "King of all trades, master of most."
Admittedly, the new slogan could use some tinkering, but do not count on Lupp to assist with the details. His plate is rather full.
"I wake up every morning and go do a television show, Great Day Green Country," said K.C. Lupp, referring to a Fox 23 program. "I leave my house at 7:45am. I do the TV show live from 10-11am. I work on the TV show until 1pm (including) whatever we have to shoot for the next couple of shows.
"Then at 1pm I go over to radio. I am the assistant production director for Clear Channel. I produce commercials. I voice commercials. I also do voiceovers for Creative Services group out of Atlanta. Then I get on the air from 3-7pm and do KMOD (97.5FM). On several nights, Friday nights, I do one of my favorite jobs, which is emcee and be the ring announcer for Xtreme Fighting League and Xtreme Fight Night. I also do weddings."
He may have been joking about the weddings, but the rest of it is as real as it gets. If you are lucky you might even catch him playing the keys for Promo Dave & the Haters.
How did the self-appointed (not elected) "Mayor of Bristow" become a multitalented, semi-workaholic that reaches Tulsans like few others in the media?
Born and raised in Dayton, Ohio, he moved to Chicago at the age of 14. He attended the Chicago Academy for the Arts.
"I performed and was on stage for 12 years then went into radio," said Lupp. Part of his journey included singing, acting and a little dancing. He toured for almost three years with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with Donny Osmond. Pretty soon he was ready for a change. Hello radio career.
A brief stint doing traffic updates and being the token white guy on a hip hop and R&B station in Chicago (he moniker was K.C. White, the White Guy), then it was on to Tulsa.
"For a year and a half I broadcast from my in-laws house (in Oklahoma) on morning radio in Chicago," said Lupp. "Wake up, sit in my boxers, do morning radio, be done by 9:30 -- it was great."
The move to Oklahoma was a natural one. His wife Jennifer, who he met in Chicago, had family in Oklahoma. "When I came down to Oklahoma, I fell in love with Oklahoma," he said. He relocated here in 2001. "It was a culture shock moving from the north side of Chicago to Creek County USA. Totally worth it."
Both of his sons, Patrick, 11, and Jackson, 9, are into athletics. They play basketball and are passionate about soccer. "They are both good golfers but my oldest is probably going to be a really good golfer.
Ronda Rousey and KC Lupp
"This is why I moved to Oklahoma. As much as I work, I leave my house at 7:45 and get home at 8pm every day, and a lot of times I work on Saturday because of the radio station. I'm working six days a week. Sometimes 60-65 hours but at the same time, the most important thing is my family -- my kids, my wife. I love it."
Lupp is as synonymous with Xtreme Fight Night in The Joint as cold beer, ring girls or the big screen. His excitement is palpable and not feigned in the least.
"It is like a rock concert to me," he said. "It is mixing two things that I love. It is mixing the live party atmosphere and theatrics of it, and the incredible martial arts."
His ability to keep the crowd engaged between fights is masterful. He's able to pump up an already electric crowd with pointed words and natural enthusiasm.
"I love entertaining people and I love being in front of a crowd," he said. "Sometimes it is hard to hold back my excitement because I am having so much fun."
And what's not to get excited about. He's seen the best boxing, kickboxing and MMA this region has to offer. He's introduced Sugar Ray Leonard to Tulsa fight fans. Bill Goldberg carried him around the ring. Fist bumps with Quinton "Rampage" Jackson? No big deal.
But one star shined brightest: Ronda Rousey. "I mean, class act. Beautiful. One of those ultimate athletes. She is the Tiger Woods of women's mixed martial arts. It is crazy."
You can hang out with Lupp and a few of his close, passionate MMA friends on Friday, April 12 for Xtreme Fight Night 12 when they drop a cage inside The Joint for the first time. Visit hardrockcasinotulsa.com for ticket information.
"Getting my black belt was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life," said Lupp. "Doing that at 43 years old was pretty nuts."
He interviewed Dale "Apollo" Cook and the two hit it off. A common love of kickboxing, martial arts and Bruce Lee paved the way. He took the challenge and four years later received the reward.
Testing lasted three days. As his knees began to weaken, Icy Hot and heavy wraps were a necessity to finish the rigorous running, sparring, grappling and board breaks required to don the black belt.
"My body was screaming," he said. "All the tendons in my left knee were giving out." This is also why the results were so rewarding.
It is with this knowledge that he is able to fully appreciate his ringside (or cageside) seat at Xtreme Fight Night.
"I wish people could see the art of the jujitsu that happens in that ring and the technique of almost getting swept and then passing guard. It is not just a bar brawl. It is true technicians and fighters with so much respect for each other."
Some Tulsans identify his face from TV. Others distinguish his voice from the airwaves. He still gets double takes from his years as the voice of both the Oilers and Talons.
But more and more are starting to recognize him as the emcee of XFN. He loves them all. And with talent like his, he will be slaying each job for years to come.
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