On June 27, 2014, Chuck "The Reverend" Grigsby (23-9) will look to collect the 6th championship belt of his MMA career at MCC 54. He will take on Robert "The Destroyer" Morrow, a tough veteran of the Midwest fight circuit. The five round title fight will headline a 14 bout card at Hy Vee Hall in Des Moines, Iowa.
Robert Morrow is a power puncher with some solid victories on his resume, and certainly isn't a fighter to be underestimated. In speaking about what he knew about him, Rev said, "the guy across from you in the cage is the toughest guy in the world until you beat him. That guy is the best, strongest and most skilled guy. You have to respect your opponent. You have to respect the game. You don't get this far in MMA without respecting the game."
Chuck won't be watching any tape on Morrow, or any of his future opponents for that matter. "I used to watch tape earlier on in my career and it didn't help. Some guys would look fast on tape, and it didn't translate to the fight. Sometimes they'd look stronger on tape. You never know until you get in there with them."
(MCC 54 Promo Poster)
In his last bout, Chuck steamrolled Dan McGlasson in just over twenty seconds. In describing the fight, he said, "I had respect for him, but he filled in at the last minute. I work way too hard preparing for my fights, mentally and physically. I don't think he was prepared. You can't get in there with me if you aren't prepared."
(Rev gets the quick finish)
When describing the amount of fights that have fallen through, a major problem for fighters, Chuck didn't want to point fingers. "Nowadays people pull out, think about what the outcome might be. I might have been able to make more money that way. I haven't had the greatest management all the time. You have to make your own opportunities. Embrace every opportunity and prepare the best you can."
The biggest topic I wanted to ask Rev about was the bout at VFC 40 against Houston Alexander. "Alexander is this big scary guy everyone is afraid of. I wasn't. He lay and prayed the first round. The referee wasn't the greatest and let him lie there. I started to do better in the second, and in the third was really causing damage." It looked like Chuck had opened up a cut with an elbow, with blood coming out near Alexander's right eye. When asked about what happened in the fourth, Rev explained, "my mouth guard came out for the first time in my career. I made eye contact with the ref and I thought he was going to let me put it in. When I went to grab it, I got hit and knocked off balance. I take full responsibility for the loss."
(Rev throwing a big uppercut)
When I asked about a potential rematch, Chuck said, "I'd be excited about taking that fight. That would be an great fight for the fans. A lot of people would like to see it. Really it is the one fight of my career where I'd like a re-do. I feel like I can win that fight and I'd be better prepared. Of course, he'd be better prepared for me. But, I don't think he will take the fight."
(Rev throwing the jab)
Chuck is proud of what he has accomplished in his career, from amassing regional titles, representing Team USA East to a silver medal in M-1, fighting around the world and being in the MCC Hall of Fame. Currently training out of Omega MMA and Westchase Impact Martial Arts under Alexey Petrov, Rev explained that he is training with some up and comers that not many people know about yet. However, MMA is not a team sport, "it is about self discipline, respecting your opponent, preparing yourself for every scenario. You can never do enough. I've seen so many up and coming fighters with potential have 3, 4, 5 fight careers. The thing about MMA is that it exposes you mentally."
(Rev with Team USA East)
Overseas fighting really opened up Chuck to several things and expanded his game. "Not many American fighters go overseas to fight, I've fought in Amsterdam, Bulgaria, Russia. Win or lose, it makes you a stronger person. I've been lucky to get those opportunities." Not everything goes according to plan overseas however. "You have a fourteen hour flight, you are in different time zones, new food, new environments, there are a lot of unknowns."
(Rev throwing a punch)
Rev actually was in Sochi, Russia, before last years Winter Olympics. "They took us around to lots of the construction sites. It is a resort area, kinda like the Florida of Russia." When asked about the stray dogs that were made popular in the news, Rev said, "Now that you mention it, there were lots of stray animals running around. Not just dogs."
(Rev in Sochi)
I was wondering about the best wins of his career, and one fight that came up was his battle with Bellator veteran Atanas Djambazov (18-4) of Bulgaria. "Over in Bulgaria, I didn't know who was a friend or foe. That guy is a monster. I actually pulled my groin in the first round of the fight. They have a canvas on the floor of the ring over there, it is way different. It was bananas. I just kept battling and pulled off the decision. I left everything in the ring. Afterwards we were treated like kings. We all went to dinner after the fight and were treated very well. They respected us for having good sportsmanship, representing ourselves well and leaving everything out there."
I asked about the nickname "the Reverend" in our first interview, but wanted to learn more. Rev said, "You know, I originally wanted to be called The God Son for my first fight." But that nickname didn't get close to sticking. "Everyone was calling me The Reverend for that fight anyway. It actually started in high school, and I don't know who started saying it. My coach Tom Lee had all the basketball players wear a suit and tie to school on Friday game days. I'd never had a reason to have a suit or a tie before. I guess one of the kids saw how I looked and how I was carrying myself, and called me "The Reverend." It snowballed from there.
"It isn't religious at all. It is a positive thing and I do take pride in the name. I don't want to be an Axe Murderer or an Assassin. I'm proud of the nickname." Pressing a little more I was able to get Rev to talk more about what got him into MMA, he said, "maybe it was insecurity, trying to prove something to someone. I've been very fortunate to always have success. I wasn't sure who I was, and maybe [MMA] helped me. You learn something about yourself."
My first interview with Chuck was six years ago. He is the same genuine high character person today as he was then. The biggest difference seems to be his motivation for fighting. Early on, Chuck's motivation seemed to be more about accumulating belts and getting to a bigger stage. Now it is all about fighting for the Grigsby family, or as he calls it the "G-Unit." "I want to thank my family most of all. They've had to sacrifice for me to do this. I also want to thank my inner circle, my role models, coaches and friends. I don't want to list names because I'll accidentally forget someone, but you know who you are. I also want to thank Joe from MMA Blaster. He let's me talk and really does a great job translating."
(Rev repping Team Revolution)
*Click on photos to enlarge