Friday, November 6, 2009

Exclusive Interview - The Reverend

In his past three fights, Chuck "The Reverend" Grigsby has been traveling across the globe fighting for the M-1: Challenge promotion. I was able to catch up with and ask some questions about his recent mixed martial arts bouts.

MMA Blaster: Where are you training right now?

I primarily train at the Des Moines Mixed Martial Arts Academy run by Anthony Porcelli. I train my kickboxing with Kevin Veasly and Cardell James, and when I have the opportunity, I like to also work on my Jiu Jitsu at Des Moines Jiu Jitsu Academy. I train with some of the best submission wrestlers and Jiu Jitsu guys in Iowa.

MMA Blaster: Since the last time we talked, you defeated Rob MacDonald from The Ultimate Fighter show, how did that fight play out?

It was a real quick fight. I think felt like it was over in 7 seconds and I enjoyed that. I am very fortunate to get a win in the manner that I did, you don’t get many fights like that.

MMA Blaster: What led you to the M-1 promotion?

I have always wanted to fight internationally. I think that is the best option for me and my style of fighting. I played pro basketball overseas after college for a few seasons. My manager Reed Wallace has many connections internationally and M-1 was the best option.

MMA Blaster: What was it like fighting in Bulgaria for your first M-1 fight?

Bulgaria was wild! There were so many things outside of the actual fight that I had to consider, but outside of that extra stuff, I just assumed it would be like any other fight. I loved the experience, especially getting a win over an Olympic level wrestler and fighter. They displayed good sportsmanship and were good to us, despite our team shutting them out.

MMA Blaster: How did the fight play out against Atanas Dzhambazov? What type of fighting background did he have?

His style was Sambo. He was an extremely strong individual and gave me some unique challenges during the fight. It didn’t help that I pulled my hamstring in the first 30 seconds of the fight either. He was really tough, it was very good win for me.

MMA Blaster: What are the fans like in the M-1 events?

They are different in each different country. In Bulgaria they were much like American fans being rowdy and into the fights. In Holland the fans were very laid back and nonchalant, but you can tell they were well educated in MMA. The Russian fans were really into it and love their Russian fighters, it is a tough team to fight against.

MMA Blaster: What is it like fighting on Team USA East?

I am very proud to be a part of the championship team, it was a lot of work and we were never considered the favorites. That made it even that much more satisfying. I enjoyed seeing fighters from all over the country, with all the different skill sets and styles coming together for one common goal, Team USA East winning. The bond with your teammates is much like the bonds you develop with the guys you train with regularly. The experience of traveling out of the country to fight and going to the finals was awesome. M-1 is like the World Cup or Olympics of MMA.
(Team USA East Pictured)

MMA Blaster: In your second fight you fought at heavyweight right? What happened in the fight with Jessie Gibbs? How much weight were you giving up?

Yes, that fight was at heavyweight. He was too big for me honestly. I think he had like 40 pounds on me. I won’t fight at HW again unless it a opponent I can’t turn down. If anything I might look at the 185 division, but I doubt that. Weight cutting can be hard and I didn’t want it to be an issue. Traveling for that many hours while trying to cut weight can be really brutal if you don't have an organized weight cutting system.

MMA Blaster: How was the fight against Spencer Hooker? Did you look at any of his tape, I saw he has some quality victories?

He is probably the most skilled heavyweight in the M-1 Challenge. That is why I fought him because I wanted to go against the grain and challenge myself. It was a good fight and very technical. I think if we were fighting in neutral territory the fight would have gone into the 3rd round where I would have had another round to break him down, or visa versa. There was no quitting in that fight.

I knew he was a Jujitsu guy, so I knew I had the advantage in stand-up. It seems that most fighters see me a pure stand-up fighter, so they think I’m a good match up for them if they are a wrestler or submission fighter. He was tough and had no quit in him. He took some really good shots from me and was still standing, not many guys can say that. It was awesome fight.

MMA Blaster: What was it like fighting in Russia?

The Russian people were really open to Americans and our culture. Americans have a lot of misconceptions about the Russians. I would like to take my family over to visit someday.

MMA Blaster: What sort of preparations do you have to make before fighting oversees?

I have to be literally fight ready on the day I leave the United States in order to combat the hurdles of cutting weight and training. Usually the time I am overseas I focus on doing light cardio and technique and pray that weigh-in's come faster than they ever do!

MMA Blaster: Any shout outs?

I am able to unveil my family who are my heart and soul: Xander, Sara, Berniece, Jaunette, Carrie, Mannie and all of the rest of the crew. Also want to say thanks to my manager Reed Wallace of White Chocolate Management, training partners and coaches. I couldn’t do it without cha!

MMA Blaster: Sponsor mentions?

KOBC clothing apparel, Animal Instinct clothing apparel, Cup O' Kyptonite Coffee and Comics, and Jordan Creek Chiropractic. All those guys have been great to me.
(Rev's Bling)

*You can catch the M-1 Challenge on HDNet!
*Visit past articles on Rev by clicking the label below.


Midwest MMA Fan said...

Cool interview bro, nice to see an Iowa guy going global.

Anonymous said...

Keep doing yo thang Rev! You make Des Moines proud!

Iowa MMAFAN said...

Go Rev!

tongo said...

HDNet is a pretty cool channl.

Boxing Bags said...

Cool interview The Rev seems like a really down to earth guy!