I was able to catch up with Midwest Cage Championship and Victory Cage Championship's 205 pound champ Chuck "The Reverend" Grigsby as he returned from his trip to St. Petersburg, Russia.
Chuck took part in this season's M-1 Challenge which can be seen on HDNet. He had a good run on Team USA East, traveling to the Bulgaria, Netherlands and Russia. In between his M-1 run, Rev also was able to defend his VFC belt in front of his home crowd in Des Moines, Iowa. Here is the interview:
MMA Blaster: Rev, since we last talked you have fought twice, how did your VFC title defense against Demetrius Richards go?
I won, but I really didn’t have my best performance. To be honest with you, and not to make any excuses, but I had an injury going in to the fight. It was my 2nd title defense for VFC and I really did not want to pull out at the last minute.
Looking back, I really loved the challenge of overcoming the adversity even though I should have probably pulled out. I basically only had one leg for the fight, and he forced me to find another way to win than what I am accustom to.
(Rev landing a left hand)
MMA Blaster: What is it like defending your belts in Iowa in front of your home crowd?
I’ve always felt that you need to take care of business in your own backyard before you can go out an try run the streets. I've held the VFC and MFC belts since 2007, and defended each of them twice. VFC treats me well, as well as MCC. Both organizations have supported my international ventures this year.
When I fight at home, I feel like I'm more under the microscope and feel as if I need to prove something to the people who have come out to support me. The pressure forces me to stay focused on the task at hand, so I don’t let anyone down. It’s a positive thing.
MMA Blaster: What was your game plan going into the fight?
Honestly, I wanted to get in and get out with a win as fast as I could. I had a fight lined up in Russia two weeks following. My opponent had other plans, and it ended up taking me over two rounds to finish the fight. I know how hungry fighters can be when they get a chance to fight for their first belt. I expect them to be in the best shape of their life, focused and determined when they have a fight with me.
MMA Blaster: What occurred in your last fight against Besiki Gerenava in M-1? I heard there was some controversy surrounding the fight, can you talk about that?
It was a split decision loss that myself, the media, corner, and the Russian crowd all disagreed with. I knew going into the fight that I needed to finish by submission, KO or referee stoppage in order to win. This is the international scene, and if you don’t do that, you have to expect they are going to give a decision to their countryman.
It could have been Finland, Spain, Germany, or Japan, any place in a country that is not your own you have to win with a stoppage. My only mistake other than not getting a stop, is that he may have won the first round of the three that took place. He was a good fighter, and I take responsibility for the loss.
(Rev lands a right hand)
MMA Blaster: What are your thoughts on the team taking 2nd place in the M-1 Challenge?
Honestly, it was a win win situation after making the semi finals. Nobody, except our team, believed that we would be one of the last two teams standing out of the 16 countries that participated in this awesome tournament. Winning silver instead of gold stung a little, but overall it was probably one of my biggest accomplishments as fighter, and I cherish the opportunity I had to represent our country.
(Team USA East)
MMA Blaster: How often do you plan on fighting in 2010?
Depends on who and where, I think. Fighting overseas exposed me to different skills and techniques I'm planning on incorporating into my skill-set. It will take some time to train to become proficient and effective with these new skills.
MMA Blaster: What organizations do you plan to fight in for 2009? Will you be fighting oversees? Europe? Japan? USA? Will you be defending any of your belts in Iowa?
I really can't speak specifically on that right now because my manager Reed Wallace is working on the international and national opportunities. But locally, I have another title defense for MCC that I wanna do. They have someone holding an interim belt while I have been away, so I would like to clear that up. Tentatively I have also talked to VFC about fighting for another title at 185. There is plenty of work out there for me if the contract is right.
(Rev and Reed Wallace)
MMA Blaster: Any shout outs?
I wanna thank my family: Xander, Sara, Berniece, Jaunette, Frank, Jan, and Carrie. They continue to be my core and foundation for success. My manager Reed Wallace of White Choclate Management. M-1 Global, Midwest Cage Championships, Victory Fighting Championships and all the wonderful people who are involved in making the shows tick. Big thanks to Des Moines Mixed Martial Arts, Des Moines Jujitsu Academy and Round Kick Gym.
Also wanna thank my inner circle of friends and training partners for helping me with my preparation and performance which include Anthony Porcelli, Josh Neer, Dwayne Cason, Kervin Veasly, Cardell James, Kevin Burns, Pete Peterson, Ed Spitzer, Chris David, Jeremy Stephens and Mike Ayers. Thanks to Joe at MMA Blaster for your time and support!
The wonderful fans that have followed and continue to follow my career. Thanks for being there with me. In this business I have learned there are only a few that truly understand loyalty, commitment and support with the ups and downs of the fight game. I couldn't do it without ya! Dreams Goals and Dedication.
Also like to thank my main sponsors, Joe Abbott of KOBC clothing, Joe Spenceri of Animal Instinct, Sophi Blocker of Rumors Tattoo and the 515.