Chaun Sims: Working His Way To The Top Josh Davis May 24, 2011 UFC Chaun Sims is one of the most decorated and highly touted middleweight prospects in the country. Sims is a world champion in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, has excellent striking skills, and is one of the most intelligent fighters out there. Sims currently holds a professional record of 4-1 and he looks to continue his winning ways when he takes on Oscar Sosa at Nemesis 1 on December 10, 2010, in the Dominican Republic. Sims recently took time out of his busy training schedule to talk about his upcoming fight as well as his goals for the future. The MMA Corner: How is your current training camp going? Sims: Camp is going well. We hit a little bit of a speed bump because of the hurricane that went through the Dominican Republic and that made things a little interesting. It is a little more exciting in that regard because our strength and conditioning coach is a guru and he has really embraced the fact that we get to come up and go down and come back up. So it has been interesting watching my body develop through that process and actually getting to play with it some. When we spar there is so much damage that our body takes but when the fight got postponed I was able to change up my sparring times so that I take less damage and I was able to play with my body a little bit more with other strength and conditioning so it has been going really good. The MMA Corner: This fight was originally schedule for November 13, 2010, and due to the hurricane it was postponed to December 10, 2010, how does that affect the way that you prepare and train? Sims: It makes things interesting. It is a weird game in general, meaning everything in fighting is out of our control. All that I can do is get myself as ready as possible, be in an appropriate state of mind, show up and put my best foot forward. It’s funny though, because one of the first UFC events that I went to I was behind the scenes and I got to see how much waiting was actually involved in the whole process; for myself sometimes when I am fighting in a local show sometimes I do not fight until 11:30 at night and I am showing up at five o’clock so I am just hanging out. The whole process of fighting has so many variables that you cannot control and it is funny because I was just lecturing one of the younger guys on our team about recovering properly from an injury and how you have to separate the mental from the physical. I explained to him that you cannot let yourself be pushed around by your body because you are going to tear it up if you cannot handle the stress. So he was having problems with his body because he is used to feeding his mind through his body and now he has to separate the two and I am sitting here lecturing him and then the hurricane hits and now I’m forced into the same situation. I think the biggest thing about for me is it cost me the opportunity at a different goal. I was supposed to fight in November and then I was supposed to fight December 11th in my hometown of Fairbanks Alaska. Losing that fight was more off-putting then anything else. Fights get pushed all the time, I’ve had five or six different opponents for a fight; much bigger things fall through all the time. The thing that bummed me at the most was choosing between the fight in the Dominican Republic or the fight in my home town, which is something that I really want to do. So I chose to fight in the Dominican and another guy on our team stepped up to take the fight in Alaska. It was kind of ironic, because just as I was lecturing my younger teammate about separating the mental from physical, I was given the same opportunity to embody that. The MMA Corner: You just fought on September 24th, what made you take this fight so quickly? Sims: It is what I need to do. I am happy to say that I have great coaches, amazing training partners and I’ve been part of a system for a number of years now that has really allowed me to develop and build and now it is time to express that and take whatever I believe that I posses to the forefront of competition. I’m healthy and things are working well so let’s fight. The MMA Corner: So do you feel that you were able to get a full camp and properly train and prepare everything that you needed to for this fight? Sims: Yeah, actually it was even nicer because the break allowed us to hone in on some things that we were just beginning to touch the surface on. This fight came up rather fast in the beginning I was just training and Eliot’s manager asked if we had anybody who wanted to fight and twelve hours later is was signed. It didn’t give me much time to prepare but having the fight pushed back actually gave us four more weeks to prepare so it’s been good. The MMA Corner: How has it helped you having Eliot Marshal, your training partner and mentor, fighting on the same card? Sims: It is exciting. It is something that I have always wanted to do. I wanted to fight on the same card as Eliot in this past Ring of Fire event but I was injured at the time and I was unable to do it. I am excited for this chance, so let’s let the good times roll. The most pleasant thing about it is the fact that you have a brother to struggle through it all with. Fighting is kind of an individual sport and it definitely has an individual nature to it and sometimes it is like you are off in your own little world. With him fighting on the same show and us being close enough in size to train together it is great and also knowing that when I am down there crying, moaning, whining and complaining, he will be right there with me. Or maybe it will be the opposite, a lot of times I am down and he is up or he is down and I am up so it will balance us out. The MMA Corner: Oscar Sosa is 5-0 and is a very tough opponent, what do you need to do to come away with victory? Sims: I need to stay tight and make sure that I put my best foot forward. I think that the only ability that he might be able to exploit against me would be maybe his Muai Thai. I think that if I keep my hands up and allow my skills and my presence to push forward to direct and control the fight I can take him to a place that he has yet to see. If I keep the pressure on him then I think things will go well. The MMA Corner: This is your first fight out of the country, have you done anything different to prepare for that? Sims: Kind of. I went to Alaska real briefly for a weekend, so I flew ten hours each way to get there and I stayed for two nights. I went out there to surprise my mom for her sixtieth birthday and during the trip I was able to experiment with different things to help stay fresh and figure out when to train and how to train and how to keep my mind loose. It was interesting because I flew back and I got to bed about midnight and the next day I had to come in and spar, so I was able to test my theories in realistic situations. The MMA Corner: What can fans expect to see from Chaun Sims on December 10, 2010? Sims: I wish I had something awesome, maybe a back flip. I have been working on my back flips to be honest. One of my coaches, Emily Luellan, who is also a gymnast has been teaching Tyler Toner and I how to do back flips. So make sure that you stay closely attentive to the screen for a back flip. The MMA Corner: You are a very patient fighter and individual and you do not want to rush your career, how many more fights do you want before you push to get into one of the bigger organizations? Sims: I think that I am doing everything in my power to not just progress myself inside of the ring but outside as well. When the time is right and the opportunity presents itself all I can do is be ready and as willing as possible to take advantage of it. So I am happy to say that my manager Ricky Vasquez is on point and consistently pursuing my best interest and the opportunities, whether it be in big shows or exotic locations or whatever it may be, we are consistently pushing forward and looking for bigger and better but it is important for me to develop in the right way and at the right pace. I am not looking to force it or take an opportunity that is not a good fit for me. The MMA Corner: If you come away from this fight without injury, how quickly do you want to fight again? Sims: I’m going to try to fight again in January. I want to go home for Christmas. I have not been for Christmas in six or seven years and I finally get the chance to come home for Christmas this year so I am going home; that is first on my list. It has been so long and I am excited about it. My brother, who lives about six hours away, is also going to be there so I am pretty excited to see my family and some friends as well. Then after that I will come back here and get back to work. Like we have discussed before, this sport is a never ending process that goes year round. I think as long as I am healthy willing and able we are going to continue to press forward and get ring time. You can not duplicate fights; as much as we try you can’t duplicate them. Chaun would like to give special thanks to his sponsors: Inked out Apparel, Lethal Intentions, Ugly Knux Fight Gear, Performance MMA, Easton BJJ, DeBella Sports Entertainment, M.A.T., Advance My Athlete, Katz Chiropractic, and Relentless Fight Gear. For fights fans that have not had the privilege to watch Chaun Sims compete, remember his name because he is one of the most talented and exciting fighters to watch at any level and it will only be a matter of time before he becomes a household name and a fan favorite.