LFA 186’s Steven Asplund: Fighting for All the Wrong Reasons

Photo courtesy of Steven Asplund on IG (@steven_asplund)

It’s been only seven months as a professional, but the name Steven Asplund seems to be popping up on the tongue of many prospect websites and breakdowns. It’s for good reason, not only has the Minnesota heavyweight put up three wins over that span, but he’s done so with a unique mixure of power and cardio. The latter of those two comes largely from a weight loss journey that has seen him lose over 150lbs.

Before that weight had come off, the outlook on life was not nearly as good for Asplund.

“I dropped out of high school and was working as a delivery driver for Davanni’s and a bouncer at Cowboy Jacks – not really doing a whole lot with my life,” he explained. “After I lost the weight, I was just so down in the dumps, but I’ve always faked whatever confidence I have had. I’m finally starting to get a grasp of who I am and that self-belief because I do believe in myself now. I’m a drastically different person.”

And while that direction in life could come from a lot of different places for a lot of different people, Asplund had an influence that led him to MMA instead. His dad, Kevin, was a staple on the scene, fighting in Bellator, KSW and Titan FC.

“My daddy did this shit forever. He was ranked number one in Minnesota for like seven or eight years,” he said. “Being able to watch him get all the glory and love from all of our people and all the fans. To watch my old man get in there with guys my size now and knocking them out at 5’11” 240lbs – what the fuck? That drew me to it.”

So when it was time to make the move, he called a familiar face. He looked up one of his father’s old opponents and made the trip to the gym.

“I hit up one of my father’s old opponents in 2021, asked him if I could come train. He said ‘fuck yeah,” Asplund said. “I was in there for three hours the first day. Got my tooth chipped by a guy that was like 15 years older than me and I was like fuck it, I’m coming back.”

Not only did he stay, but he began to rip through the amateur ranks – going 6-0 before turning pro. After another three wins in the professional ranks, LFA awarded him a new contract, and he’s hoping that’ll bring him a step closer to his goals.

“My goal is to stay as active as I can, continue to put on good shows. Win or lose, I want people to remember my fights. I want people to be like ‘that kid is a fucking dog,” Asplund said. “I’m hoping to God I can get to the fucking UFC, hoping to God I can get to Bellator or PFL, ONE, anywhere where I can get more eyes and some fucking money.”

While he knows that getting into MMA for the money is not an idea reason, he has faith in himself that he is close to making a difference in not just his life, but the life of those around him.

“I’m a single daddy. I’m fighting for custody of my daughter – I’m fighting for a good life for me and my lady, my parents,” he said. “I want to retire my parents at some point. I got into this game for all the wrong reasons – trying to make some extra money – and now I’m in a position where I have eyes on my and I have an opportunity to show everybody what I’m fucking capable of.”

He’ll get another chance to show everybody what he’s capable of this Saturday when he faces Denzel Freeman at LFA 186. He knows Freeman is formidable, but won’t let anyone stand in the way of his goals.

“Now it’s time to show everybody what titties can do,” he says with a big laugh. “You know how concrete is coming, baby. I’m coming to put mother fuckers to sleep. All love and respect to Denzel [Freeman], he’s an amazing guy, watching every competition he’s in, I admire him. That being said, he’s coming to take food off my table and take money out of my fucking pockets and make it harder for me to feed my family. So I’m looking for a first round KO.”

That fight with Freeman takes place on the LFA 186 main card. The card will air on UFC Fight Pass beginning at 10pm EST this Saturday.