The MMA Bad Boy: Charles Bennett wants you to meet a kinder, gentler "Kid Kaos"
There was a lot of noise in the background.
"What was the question?" said Charles Bennett, the man better know in the mixed-martial-arts world as Krazy Horse, even though he would now prefer to be known as Kid Kaos.
Bennett was getting his hair done. He was in Oklahoma to attend his roommate's fight, and he wanted to make sure that he continued what he considers his new image – cleaner (or, as he put it, "cuter, funnier, funner") and a role model for younger fighters and kids.
So, he can't have his hair being crazy. He got it braided, nice and neat. Like he wants to be now.
The question was on that line, kind of. After all that he's been through – the drug sales, arrests, move to MMA, theatrics, back flips, crazy hair, gold teeth – what does he think about his future in MMA? He is, after all, a 10-year veteran now at 30 years old.
"If I'm doing what I should be doing, I can't be touched," he told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "In the next three years I'm going to be training hard, and I'm really training for the first time. It's a different feeling, putting in the hours.
"And in the next five years I think I'll be in movies."
Right, the acting. Bennett says that the sometimes-crazy behavior he exhibits at his fights – playing to the camera, especially – comes because he's trying to prove he can be a comedic actor.
Still, it will take plenty to convince many MMA fans who have seen him that he's worth rooting for. Long known as one of the more unusual – and, at times, skilled – fighters in MMA, Bennett is looking to reinvent his character.
He's a father now, he says, so he needs to be a role model. He's training, committing himself to the sport, cleaning up his image and hopefully heading into the best part of his career.
However that turns out, people will be watching. With his years in jail, string of mugshots, colorful past as a drug dealer, jumps off of venue ropes, Bennett is also a must-watch character in a sport with plenty of them. You can't help but hang on his words – because you don't know what he's going to say next.
That's his plan, to make himself into a figure whose next move must be watched. That includes a move from Krazy Horse (and all that character entails) to Kid Kaos, who, despite the name, is meant to be calmer and more controlled than his former incarnation.
Can it work? Well, if nothing else, he seems to be serious about it.
"When I speak, I want to be heard and understood," Bennett said. "Please respect what I say."
Krazy Horse on the streets, too
Bennett's story begins in Ocala, Fla. His toughness, he says, comes from often getting into fights as a smaller kid in the neighborhood as the oldest boy of 11 siblings.
But things, like many parts of Bennett's life, get confusing from there.
"I didn't grow up with them," Bennett said of his siblings. "We were spread out. The government does things to kids while they're growing up to make them the way they are – who do you fault?"
Bennett says he was a skilled high school football player, but he couldn't play his sophomore season because he was kicked off the team for a year. He was a defensive tackle, he says, and he was too quick for other players his size.
When he was a junior, though, his father kicked him out of the house, and he turned to drug dealing.
"It was a family for me," Bennett said. "Everybody loves each other, but then they really don't."
So was he tough in drug dealing?
"Very, very, very much," he said. "If you come to my hood and ask about Krazy Horse, they'll tell you about my destruction."