BSB- Chris we understand you are working with Edge Shaving Gel and are a member of “Team Edge”. Can you explain what that is all about?
CW- Basically it’s a contest and there are four guys in the running to be the face of Team Edge Shaving Gel from the beginning of July to the end of September. The winner becomes the next “Face of Edge” so basically the winner will have their face on a couple million cans of edge shaving gel cans. I’m trying to win but I’m in second place and I’m down by a lot, these numbers are weird man. I think there’s some cheating going on (laughing).
Who is in first place right now?
Joseph Benevides. But go and vote for me at Edgeshave.com/ufc.
How has your training and life in general changed since your knockout win over Mark Munoz?
The UFC is definitely using me more. The talk about getting Anderson Silva has been pretty big. As far as my life, not much; still have my family and still got to take care of them.
In the fight against Munoz you were physically dominant where in general, Munoz had always overwhelmed past opponents with his strength in previous fights. Was he weaker than you thought he would be, or are you that much stronger than he is?
I feel like I have deceiving strength ; I don’t look like a monster but when I get my hands on someone I’m definitely a lot stronger than I look. I felt strong in that fight. I don’t want to take too much away from him but I felt like I was definitely stronger.
You fought Damian Maia on Fox in your previous fight on 11 days’ notice. As far as training and game plan how can you do something like that?
It definitely wasn’t a great idea for me and was probably the worst experience I ever had. I had to cut 32 pounds in 10 days on top of not being in great shape. I pretty much came right off the couch and took that fight. So, I wouldn’t recommend anyone else doing that and I would never do it again myself. But it was a huge opportunity for me and I found a way to win against a guy who was top five in the world at the time. I was fighting at about 10% of what I generally feel like I fight at, but it did more for my confidence than any other fights, even the ones I’ve finished in the first round. After that fight I got a lot of criticism because it wasn’t a very exciting fight and I looked tired but it did a lot for my confidence regardless.
How different is it doing a big event like that on Fox where the UFC is going to want to be an exciting fight compared to some of the other fights in your career?
I tried my best (to make it exciting) and that’s all I can do. I won’t be taking any more on 10 days’ notice, knock on wood. But I would definitely not do it again if I have to cut weight like that again. All I can do is go out and work hard and usually that makes an exciting fight.
How do you lose 32 pounds in 10 days anyway?
It was terrible man, literally a couple days of just a spoonful of peanut butter and going thru a lot of delirium. Really not a good thing, bro. I cut weight my whole life with wrestling, and no matter how much weight you cut you always suffer a little bit, but that truly built up a fear in me to cut weight. I don’t mess around with it anymore. I just always figured “Hey, I’m tough enough I can cut whatever weight, I don’t give a crap”. But now after that my body wasn’t there for me when I was fainting, I was totally depleted of everything. It was out of control.
You’re listed at 6-2, 185 on the UFC site- what were you before that fight?
217 10 days before.
You have a psychology degree from Hofstra. How did the weight cut affect your mental state? We’re you truly delirious as you said?
Yeah, really and it was tough. It really pushed and tested my mental state. You have to be mentally tough to cut weight, but I feel like the psychology degree helps the most when are preparing for a fight, not letting the negative thoughts get into your head and really bother you. It helps with that more than anything.
Everybody wants to see you fight Anderson Silva but it seems like he is reluctant to take the fight against you- what are your feelings on that?
It’s frustrating. Since I got into the sport anytime I’d tell people I was doing MMA they’d ask what weight class and I’d say middle weight and they’d say “Isn’t that Anderson Silva’s weight class? Oh, you’re screwed. You better change weight classes, pal.” That motivated me and he deserves that type of respect ‘cause he’s earned it, but it motivated me to take risks like fighting on short notice and I’ve worked really hard to be the #1 contender and for him to just kind of downplay me, more his managers, it’s kind of frustrating. So I hope the UFC makes the fight happens but if not, I will fight someone else.
I’ll prepare for him like anyone else, just like I did for Munoz. Munoz was the worst matchup for me on paper- he was ranked #3 in the world, he has higher wrestling accolades than me and he has powerful hands; he’s knocked people out. So, on paper that was going to be a tough fight. I took that fight as a challenge and I wanted to prove people wrong, let people know where I’m at. Anderson Silva, on paper for my matchup, he’s unbelievable and the best of all time, but on paper he’s an easier matchup than Munoz.
I’m young and I don’t want to be one of those guys that lives with regret, so when I’m 50 years old looking back I don’t want to say “Oh, I should’ve taken that fight, should’ve taken that fight…” I’m gonna take whatever fight is offered and do my best and if I lose, I lose, but at least I won’t have the regret of not taking the chance.”
Check out Edge Shaving Gel and vote for Chris at Edgeshave.com/ufc