When you grow up in a family of athletes, the homefront can be an intense atmosphere. Sibling rivalry and a tendency to be rambunctious can make parenting an exercise of patience. In the Beebe household, there were five boys, and all wrestled competitively. They had their own padded room in which to get out their energy and frustrations, and according to WSOF bantamweight standout, Carson Beebe, there was never a lack of training partners when he was growing up.
Now, at 25, Carson sports an exceptional 14-2 record in mixed martial arts, and will be challenging Brazilian standout, Marlon Moraes this coming Saturday, October 26 in Florida on the sixth World Series of Fighting card. In a recent interview with MMA Sentinel, The Little Juggernaut discussed what it was like growing up in the Beebe household, transitioning collegiate wrestling to MMA and what he thinks will be the key to success in his upcoming bout with Moraes. There is also a bonus personality close-up section for those who would like to know more about Carson on a non-professional level.
*As always, Dynamic Duo refers to myself and co-host, Iain Kidd*
Dynamic Duo: You have a pretty big fight coming up against Marlon Moraes. People seem to be focusing on Marlon and not you, and I think it's because they don't know your opponents very well, but you've got a 13-2 record, which is spectacular for someone so young. Talk a little bit about Carson Beebe and tell people some things they might not know about you.
Carson Beebe: I've been in the sport for quite a while now, I think about four years, and I've stayed really busy. For most of my career I've pretty much averaged a fight every other month. I've been staying busy, staying on the grind, winning a lot of fights and I've worked my way up to this opportunity. I'm really excited to get in there. WSOF is a great organization that has given me a big opportunity to go in and shock the world, and that's what I plan on doing.
DD: You come from a fighting family. Tell me about growing up in the Beebe household.
CB: In my house we had to battle to survive, you know? If you couldn't fight then you wouldn't eat [laughs]. We had five boys in the family, we all wrestled and we had a designated ‘padded room,' with wrestling mats and padded walls, where our parents would send us to battle whenever we had a little bit too much energy. I definitely didn't have a lack of workout partners growing up.
It's pretty cool because my brothers are still training with me now. My brother Chase was the WEC world champion, and he's still very competitive. He's fighting all over the world right now. He's pretty much my main sparring partner, and my other brother, Conor Beebe, is the assistant wrestling coach at Northwestern University, and he handles all of my wrestling training. It's great; iron sharpens iron, and that's what the Beebe family does.
DD: Let's talk about separating collegiate wrestling from MMA wrestling. How do you manage the crossover?
CB: From a technical perspective, the two are very different. There are a lot of wrestlers who are really good at traditional wrestling, but don't make the transition into MMA and the cage very well. It's a little bit different because you have to incorporate throwing punches in there and transitions between striking, grappling and everything in between.
Training wise, the mental aspect of the game has lots of similarities. More than anything from my wrestling career I've learned how to train, how to mentally prepare myself, how to drill and how to get ready for a fight and peak at the right time. That's been huge for me in my MMA career.
DD: Who would you say has the best adapted wrestling for MMA?
CB: GSP comes to mind, which is funny because he never really wrestled at a very competitive level. I think GSP and also Johny Hendricks. Both of those guys. Also, throughout his entire career, I would say Jon Fitch. He's one of the guys that I've really studied a lot. He does a phenomenal job of blending wrestling with MMA, and putting strikes together with his takedowns. He keeps that wrestling grind on people. We were actually both wrestlers at the same college, at Purdue, so I've watched him a lot and learned a lot from him. Jon Fitch is definitely up there.
DD: Let's talk about your last fight, which was kind of in enemy territory. You were fighting on the west coast, your opponent was from California and the crowd was kind of hostile. What was that like?
CB: Yeah, it was definitely hostile territory. When you go out there, and you put on what you think was a good performance, and you win the fight and people boo you? I guess that's just part of the game. I had my family there; my wife was there, my mom was there and they were all supporting me, so I got a bunch of hugs when I got out the cage.
But it was definitely hostile territory. People have their opinions about the fight and everything, but we go the W and it was a great time out there. I went out to Vegas and had a lot of fun regardless.
DD: What does it feel like when the fight finishes, and you're pretty sure you won, you're feeling good, and then all of a sudden everyone is booing and everyone around you is unhappy with the decision. Does that bring you down?
CB: You're kind of caught up in the moment of the fight; you still have so much adrenaline going. It didn't really faze me too much. I was a little bit thrown off because there was a little bit of unsportsmanlike conduct on the other end of the cage, when the other corner wouldn't shake my hand and stuff like that. That kind of throws me off a little bit, because our sport is all about respect. You like to be appreciated for the hard work you put in that cage, but we got the win, it was an entertaining fight and the fans hopefully got what they were looking for.
DD: Hopefully the fans will get what they're looking for in your next fight against Marlon Moraes, who is a top 10 ranked Bantamweight, which is a bit of a step up for you. Are you looking forward to the challenge?
CB: Yeah, I'm super pumped, man. I could not be more excited for this fight. It's a big step up; the guy is ranked in the top 10 in the world, and in my opinion it's deservingly so; he's a phenomenal fighter. The more hype he has, and the more people who rank him in the top 10, the more excited I get. Some people aren't giving me a shot in this fight, some people are saying I'm a big underdog, but I'm getting ready to shock the world. That's what gets me excited; knowing this is my shot. Everyone thinks this guy is great, and when I go out there and take it to him it's going to be a huge shock, and I can't wait for that to happen.
DD: If you were to predict a round for this fight, what would it be?
CB: I'd say the second round. I think we'll break his will. The guy doesn't like to get hit a lot, and we're going to hit him a lot. I think in the second round we will break his will and put him away with a TKO.
DD: You're a real student of the game, you're a guy who studies fights and watches tape. What have you been watching recently?
CB: I'm always watching and trying to pick up on things. I watch pretty much every show that goes on and just try to pick up things here and there to bring back to the gym. I just recently started training with Ricardo Lamas and I've been bouncing some ideas off of him. I've been trying to steal some of his good moves and things like that.
DD: Do you watch any other sports?
CB: I'm a big fan of hockey, especially being from Chicago. I'm a big BlackHawks fan. I've got a lot of respect for those guys; they're tough and mean, it's everything I'm a big believer in.
DD: Who do you think the best hockey player of all time is?
CB: I really like watching Kane. He is incredible with the stick and is very, very talented. He's probably my favorite player to watch right now.
DD: Is there an athlete or person you would say inspired you when you were growing up, or while you are training?
CB: I think Michael Chandler. He's definitely inspirational. Number one, because of the way he fights, and more importantly, he reps the lord, and that's what I like to do. He's a strong Christian and represents his beliefs every time he steps in that cage. He's always trying to be a positive influence and that's something I try to do as well.
DD: Favorite movie?
DD: Favorite actor?
CB: Hmm... That's tough... Mel Gibson was pretty good in Braveheart. You can't beat that performance. I'm going to watch that movie two or three times before this fight to get in the right mental state.
DD: Are you a gamer?
CB: I don't play too many videogames. I do like NHL on the PS3, but I don't have too much time for it.
DD: What was your high school experience like? Do you have any fun stories?
CB: When I was in high school I was just very focused on wrestling. I just wrestled really hard and probably focused a little bit too much on that. I could have been a little bit more social, I guess.
One thing I was always a little bit crazy with was asking my date to the dance. One time one of my friends dressed up as a gorilla and kidnapped the girl I wanted to ask out from class. He double legged her and dragged her from the classroom. I was dressed as Tarzan and done a whole spiel where I beat up the gorilla and asked the girl out to the dance; that was pretty funny.
You can follow Carson via his Twitter account, @CarsonBeebeMMA