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Paramedic, firefighter, UFC fighter, hunter of coyotes and owner of arguably the gnarliest sideburns in all of MMA. All these claims to fame can be attributed to one man, Chad Griggs. Mr. Griggs has a tough test ahead of him at UFC 145 when he faces off against Travis Browne, but the seasoned veteran plans on doing what he does best. Spoiling the odds. In a recent interview with TapouT Radio, Griggs discussed his upcoming fight and how he manages his two career paths.
*Note: Interviewer is Evan Shoman of TapouT Radio, my co-host. When I don't conduct these interviews by myself, I just put "interviewer" to eliminate having to bounce back and forth between three different names.
Interviewer: How do you balance your regular job (firefighter/paramedic) with training camp before a fight?
Chad Griggs: I had a month and a half that I was going to take off before the fight got moved. It got kicked from March 24 to April 21. It changed it up a little bit, but I took about three weeks off this time around.
Interviewer: Do you ever worry about getting injured on the job before a fight?
Chad Griggs: I don't really worry about injury so much as I worry about the lack of sleep. You work 24 hour shifts, and it makes it tough to train twice the next day when you've only had an hour and a half of sleep.
Interviewer: Are you treating your training camp any differently now that you're in the UFC?
Chad Griggs: You know, the last few fights have been big, but now, obviously, UFC is king. I'm absolutely excited, and I have taken more time off then I have in the past. I won't say that I've trained harder, because I feel like I've always trained hard. I had a really good camp, so I'm going to go in there and do what I always do, give it 110% and try to hit him in the head hard.
Interviewer: Do you think this fight will make it past the first round, considering that both of you like to use your stand-up predominantly?
Chad Griggs: I'd say the chances are pretty good that it won't. I'd say that they're just about excellent that they won't go past the second, and I'd say it's near impossible that it will go all the way.
Interviewer: After winning both reserve bouts in the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix, and not actually making it in to the tournament, did you feel a little disappointed that you didn't get an opportunity to enter, or just satisfaction at being rolled into the UFC immediately?
Chad Griggs: Absolutely satisfaction. It's ok. Let them give everybody else the hype, and I'll be the underdog. It takes the pressure off me. I don't pay attention to the hype that they give everybody else, because that's really all it is. It's hype. We're all talented, we're all big, and we're all strong. I'm going to be the big underdog again in this fight, and that's ok. Once that cage door closes, all that hype goes away.
Interviewer: Do you think that fighters today aren't taking the fighter mentality as much as they are the athlete mentality into the cage?
Chad Griggs: I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that there's so much riding on each fight. Everybody fighting now is so talented that some tend to be real cautious and reserved, and pretty much outlast there opponent, because they know if they lose, they get written off. You could be third in the world, but you get knocked out, and people think you're washed up and need to retire.
I'm not to that point yet. I still want to get in there and get it done, and not have to outpoint anybody. I want to knock them out or submit them. I want to make them cry for Mama. I'm sure Travis is going to be trying to do the same thing to me. We're not coming to play patty cake. We're coming in with big bats and are going to swing for the fences to get that homerun.
Interviewer: We never really get to see your ground game because you basically knock everyone out. Your one submission win was due to strikes. Obviously you prepare for all scenarios in training, but do you feel that you might underestimated in that area?
Chad Griggs: There's a lot in my tool box that I haven't actually used yet. I've got a lot of throws and takedowns and different things that hopefully, I won't have to use, but if I have to, I'm ready to pull them out of the toy chest.
Interviewer: How many fights do you think you will need to win to be mentioned in contenders conversation?
Chad Griggs: Two good shows. If I can go in there and put on two good showings, like my last couple, I think I'll be up there. If I go in and have crappy showings, even with wins, I'll be in the same boat as I am now, but if I have a couple good ones, I think I'll at least be in a good spot.
Interviewer: How would you feel about a fight in the future with Mark Hunt, and how do you think it would go?
Chad Griggs: Absolutely. He hits like a truck. He's a monster, and he can also take a lot of punishment. I'd have to definitely put a good game plan together, and set it up to take him down to ground and pound him. He's got some serious power behind his punches. One or two from him, and it's probably going to put you out, yet you've punched him five or six times and he's still coming. You start losing confidence in that situation [laughs]. You've got to have a really solid gameplan going into that fight, for sure.
Follow Chad via his Twitter, @ChadGriggsUFC