Mitch Chilson believes he is good enough to compete with anyone in the featherweight division on the ONE FC roster and he has good reason to. He tests himself day in, day out against the best in the world at Evolve MMA and the American feels that if he can survive that sort of training week in, week out he has nothing to fear in the cage,
“Every single day I get submitted by world champion BJJ black belts, I spar stand up with Lumpinee Muay Thai champions and WBA boxing champions and I get thrown around in wrestling by a US Olympian and and NCAA Division 1 wrestler. What could possibly happen to me in the cage which would be harder than what I have to go through training at Evolve MMA? After getting constantly pushed to my limit in that environment fighting is the easy bit,” said Chilson in an interview with Fighters.com.
Chilson is taking on unbeaten Thai fighter Shannon Wiratchai at ONE FC: Pride of a Nation in Manila and is looking for his second successive win after submitting AJ Mansour in Kuala Lumpur earlier this year. There will be 16,500 fans at the Smart Araneta Coliseum for the biggest event in the history of Filipino MMA but for Chilson it will be just another day at the office,
“Everything the Evolve MMA Fight Team does is tailored towards competition, nothing is left to chance,” explained Chilson. “Chatri Sityodtong and Heath Sims devise a precise training schedule and gameplan for me and the whole team of trainers works to ensure that I am at my best on fight night. After such intense and rigorous preparation stepping into the cage to do a fight seems like the most natural thing in the world and I won’t even notice how many people are there.”
His record currently stands at 3-1 and Eric Kelly, the only man to ever beat him, will also be in action on August 31 when he goes up against former UFC champion Jens Pulver. Chilson might be totally focused on his fight with Wiratchai but the possibility of a rematch with the unbeaten Filipino is clearly at the back of his mind.
“Wiratchai is a Judo black belt and he has never been beaten. I am expecting a tough fight and I am training very hard to make sure I am totally ready. Long term the ONE FC belt is definitely my goal and it is what I am working towards. I will fight anyone I have to if it takes me a step closer to the title and if I get the chance to try and avenge my only loss by fighting Kelly again that would be a bonus,” admitted Chilson.
His last fight finished fast when he submitted Mansour early in the opening round though Chilson did not even stop to celebrate, as he was he was back in the gym on Monday morning training and improving just like any normal week.
“Obviously the training is much more intense during a fight camp but the Evolve MMA Fight Team work together every single day, regardless of whether we have an upcoming fight or not. I have been working my boxing with Yodsanan Sityodtong, my Muay Thai with Orono Wor Petchpun, my BJJ with Leandro Issa and my wrestling with Sims. When you have coaches of that caliber you can never stop learning. Evolve MMA is like an encyclopedia of martial arts knowledge which you would need several lifetimes to finish studying.”
The American trained with Matt Hume in Seattle before moving to Singapore and has been involved with Evolve MMA since it was founded in 2008. It has now established itself as the top team in Asia and Rafael Dos Anjos appears on track for an eventual UFC title shot while Issa, Chilson, Zorobabel Moreira and Fabricio Monteiro are all contenders for ONE FC belts, not to mention Shinya Aoki‘s name about to be added to the mix.
Evolve MMA could potentially soon be home to a stable of champions rivaled by few, if any camps, in the United States. According to Chilson, despite all the talent in the gym, there is also no infighting and they all drive each other to compete.
“I don’t think you would ever see two Evolve MMA team mates fight each other in the way that Rashad Evans and Jon Jones did. We are like a family and we train together everyday and are constantly striving to improve as individuals and as a group. Everything I achieve I owe to the team at Evolve MMA, no details are overlooked in my training and I think the results will be there for all to see in Manila,” Chilson concluded on his current training situation.
PHOTO CREDIT – EVOLVE MMA
Interview courtesy of Evolve MMA