Get To Know Chaun Sims Josh Davis May 23, 2011 UFC Alaskan native and current Colorado resident Chaun Sims is one of mixed martial arts most talented fighters at 185 lbs. Though he does not currently fight for the bigger shows, he will be a household name in the world of mixed martial arts before he retires. Sims, currentlly training at Grudge Training Center and Easton Jiu Jitsu for his upcoming fight on September 24, 2010 at MMA champions, recently sat down with The MMA Corner to discuss his upcoming fight as well as his plans for his future as a mixed martial artist. The MMA Corner: How did you get started in Mixed Martial Arts? Sims: Jiu Jitsu. Jui Jitsu is how it all started. I moved to Boulder, Colorado specifically to train Jiu Jitsu with Eliot Marshall and Amal Easton. At the time, Eliot had been fighting for two years and I am one of the bigger guys that train Jiu Jitsu and I had a background in wrestling and boxing and he needed some help. I came out. The MMA Corner: What made you decide to turn pro so quickly? What was your thought process? Sims: There were two things behind it. To my understanding, in Colorado there is no such thing as amateur bouts. You either have elimination bouts or professional bouts. From the very beginning I had the opportunity to train with very high level individuals. So I had a very realistic picture of what the MMA game is all about. I was not disillusioned by bad training partners or coaches. I knew exactly what it was and I could either hang with it or get whooped by it. Very early on I could choose whether or not I wanted to make this a career or I could play around with it like many people do. The choice to turn pro came because I trained liked a professional from the very beginning and it is hard to maintain that type of lifestyle and those type of commitments fighting for free. Secondly I am risking my safety, my health and my well being before, during, and after the fight for free so I felt I needed to go pro. The third reason is because I already had a strong skill set. When I decided to fight I was pretty accomplished in Jiu Jitsu. By the time I turned pro I had already won the world competition in No Gi as a purple belt in both my weight division and the absolute, so the fact that I knew I could do one of three major disciplines very well was very enticing for me to turn pro. I felt skills aside if I had to do just one thing I could do that one thing very well. The MMA Corner: You recently suffered your first defeat, what did you take away from that loss? Sims: The ability to look at what you have and what is going on. Losing is a true test. A long time ago one of my friends and mentors, Jay Jack, told me that a loss will make you decide if you really like fighting or not. It will determine if fighting is something that you really want to do and are meant to do and if you have it in you. Any one can go out there and smash people, you know it is just a game, but when you have to actually get gut checked for a bit and you have to take a hard look at your life, a hard look at your resources and your assets and abilities that is when you get a true picture of who you are inside and out. That is what I take away from that loss: the fact that I am revamped. The loss, as much as it was a loss, there is no other way to put it, it did bring forth a lot of things that I did well. I have got to positively take away the things that I did well and negatively take away the things where the holes are and refocus my game and my life. As I said, I have to take a look at the facts and gut check. The MMA Corner: Does that loss change the way that you mentally prepare for a fight? Sims: No, I do not think that way. Whatever you perceive and whatever you put into your mind, whether it is consciously or subconsciously, directs you where you are going to go. This is our game. I like fighting and MMA specifically because it is a game of inches, small gloves, all types of skills, a variety of rules and if you don’t fight a perfect fight and mess up a fraction of an inch that could be the fight. So for me, you go out there and you fight, focus on what you want to do, charge, be aggressive, you have your game plan and you execute it. You knock people out, you get knocked out, you finish people and you may get finished, that is the game. You can not focus on the what ifs, outcomes and the should haves, could haves and would haves. Life is the same way, if you spend your whole life looking backwards, you are going to run into The MMA Corner: September 24th you have a tough opponent in Forrest Clouse what do you have to do to get back to your winning ways? Sims: I need to whoop his ass, that is what I need to do. It is pretty straight forward. I need to go forward and do what I do well. The MMA Corner: Do you have a specific game plan for this fight or are you going to go out and just do what you do best? Sims: We have been working some specific game plans throughout my training camp. With that being said you can always plan as much as you want but what happens is you take what is given. He is a taller guy and rangier fighter so it will be interesting. I fought someone taller then me in my first fight ever and that was interesting. As I said before, if I focus all my attention on my opponent then I am not worried about my game. So what I need to do to beat Forrest is be the best Chaun Sims that you have ever seen. I go out and put forth and showcase all the things that I have been developing and demonstrate who and what I am. The MMA Corner: What can your fans expect on September 24th 2010? Sims: Pressure. They can expect an exciting fight that will not go the The MMA Corner: It is still early in your Mixed Martial Arts career, how quickly do you want to get in with one of the bigger promotions? Sims: When the time is right. I think that there is a lot of development that sill needs to be done both on the personal and professional levels so that I can be an all around complete fighter. My goal is not to be a flash in the pan. I have been mentored by some of the best people in the world, people who have fought in multiple organizations and have fought in multiple disciplines and I am not looking to just jump into the lime light, be a star and then burn out and fade away. I am looking at this tactically as a career. How I can develop and market myself individually outside of those promotions. It would be very nice to work for any of those promotions and that is definitely a goal. When you play a sport you want to get to the highest league possible. There is a lot more to it though then just getting into one of the higher leagues like the UFC, Strikeforce, or Dream. Like I said, I am working on being the best Chaun Sims I can be, whether it be through my fighting, or my marketing or my business, I am just trying to put it all together so that when I have the opportunity to step forward in that direction I can make the most of it. The MMA Corner: Do you feel that you are ready to take that step up in competition and fight some of the guys in the UFC, Strikeforce and Dream? Sims: I feel that I am ready to be demonstrating my skills on a more consistent basis. I have had the luxury of training and traveling with some tremendous individuals and the time has come for me to step forward into the realm of fight, fight fight and spread my wings a little bit. I personally would whole heartedly like to fight in Fairbanks, Alaska. It is my goal to fight for the Gladiators Challenge. So there are a few things that I would like to do on my way to one of these bigger promotions. I still need to get people aware of who and what I am. I feel that I am a very marketable fighter, I believe that I am a very good fighter, and I would like to demonstrate that on September 24th and continue to demonstrate that in the future. The MMA Corner: There is a lot of hype surrounding Chaun Sims, how do you stayed grounded? Sims: Growing up in Alaska has helped me stayed grounded. My parents worked very hard to create a stable environment for me and they helped me learn how to stay focused and grounded. My mom gave me good looks and we both worked hard to keep my head flat. On top of that just look around, between Easton, Grudge, and New Mexico, if you think you are getting it together then spar a round with Brendan Schaub or wrestle with Nate Marquardt or grapple with Shane Carwin and it continues down this line. If I think my Jiu Jitsu is popping one day then I will tangle with Tyrone Glover or Josh Ford. The next thing I know my feet hurt, my arms are sore and my throat is not working so well and it goes on and on. I think that it is easy to stay stable because I am around so many individuals that are stable themselves. That is what I like so much and why I decided to make Colorado my home is not just because of the training and the gifts that are around but because of the individuals. My family is far away and I have a very different support system but what I consistently have and want is that I am consistently around is people that have stable lives, positive families and influences and have a consistent commitment to their craft, their skills, their trade and to themselves. So anytime you think that you have it going on just look around the corner and there will be somebody here to quickly remind of where you are The MMA Corner: What are your plans after September 24th, 2010? Sims: My training is a year round commitment. My training is not as cyclical as other fighters. I think a lot of individuals train when they need to fight and then take time off. I train all year round. I take a different approach. I have been working with Loren Landow of Steadman Hawkins Clinic through his Advance My Athlete program and he has been a tremendous influence on my development and to my health. One of the things he works on is year round maintenance and not just thinking about a six month goal or a one year or a two year goal but the overall career picture. How can my body and my mind develop over a ten year plan. How can my body and my mind develop to reach my personal potential. In the same light that I am excited to work for larger organizations, I am excited to fight more, I am excited to develop myself and my brain I am also on a mission to be the best individual that I can be. So what am I going to do? Well I will tell you exactly what I am going to do. I am going to rest, hopefully I get to ride some motorcycles, chase some women and take some private lessons. I have some key questions that have come to the surface and I have identified some individuals that I want to work with to shed some light on those areas. So the process The MMA Corner: What is your ultimate goal for your fighting career? Sims: My ultimate goal is to be world champion. It is that simple. I personally believe that I am the most talented individual on the planet at 185lbs and I am on a mission to develop that skill. So the journey overall is to get to that point. When I reach it is unknown and how I reach it is unknown but I know what I need to do today, I know what I need to do tomorrow, I know what I need to do next week and the week after and I am going to take it step by step, channel by channel and link by link until I reach that point and have the chance to prove it. The MMA Corner: When your career is over how do you want to be remembered? Sims: I would people to say that Chaun Sims is a mental monster. It is that simple. Chaun wanted to give special thanks to Mathew Bernier and his muscle activation technique for keeping both his body and mind healthy, Dr Evan Katz of Katz Chiropractic for his support both with his body as well as financially, Duane Ludwig for all his motivation and support, Eliot Marshal and his wife Rene for their family support as well as helping him get to where he needs to be. Without these individuals in his life, Chaun stated that he would not be where he is today.