One of the more under-the-radar fights on Saturday’s UFC 211 card in Dallas is a featherweight clash between Chas Skelly and Jason Knight. Both men are on the cusp of entering the top-15 in perhaps the deepest division in the UFC, so there’s much at stake in this battle between two entertaining ground specialists.
Skelly sports an impressive record of 6-2 in side the Octagon, including submission finishes in his last two fights, which took place in his home state of Texas. Very early in his UFC career, “The Scrapper” earned himself a pair of wins over the span of two weeks, but as he recently told Bloody Elbow’s Three Amigos Podcast, making two weight cuts over a very short period of time was rough on his body.
“It was terrible,” Skelly said. “I was cutting weight in a way that was unhealthy at the time. My first weight cut was really hard, and then I came back and took another fight 13 days later. Obviously I’d gained all the weight back already, so the second weight cut was just absolute torture. It was very hard for me, it was tough on the body. I definitely think that the two weight cuts in a row were not good, for sure.”
As if those cuts weren’t bad enough, the 31-year-old considers his ensuing bout vs. Jim Alers, which he ultimately won by second-round TKO, to be his worst one.
“My worst weight cut ever was probably when I fought Jim Alers in Colorado [in 2015],” Skelly said. “I actually had thumb surgery and I was out of the gym for awhile. [The UFC] called me the day that I stepped back in the gym and said, ‘You have a fight in Colorado, at elevation, in 4 1/2 weeks,’ and I stepped on the scale and I was 185 pounds. That was a tough one. Kenny Monday was one of my coaches at the time and he came out there with me. Have you ever seen that picture of Jesus carrying somebody and there’s only one footstep in the sand? That was Kenny Monday carrying me through the weight cut.
“I’m the type of person that — I’ve cut a lot of weight in my life, and I’ve done a pretty good job of cutting. I complain about it, I bitch about it like anybody, I whine about it sometimes. But I’m good at it, I tough it out, and I always make weight. That one was just one of those ones where it seemed like I wasn’t going to make it. I was really doubting myself, but Kenny helped me out a lot, and we made it, we pulled through.”
Skelly admitted that his past training camps “revolved around making weight.” Those days appear to be behind him, thanks to the help of a longtime friend of his.
“I’ve brought in a guy who’s been a good friend of mine for a long time,” Skelly said. “We trained together back when I first started MMA and we’ve been good friends ever since. His name is Douglas Frey — his wife is [Jinh Yu Frey], who is the #1 ranked atomweight in the world for Invicta — and I contacted him and said ‘Hey man, I really want to change the way I’m living. I want to change the way I’m getting prepared for these fights and eating and just really make a big change,’ because I couldn’t handle it anymore.
“After I lost to [Darren Elkins], that was a horrible camp in general, but it was just a terrible terrible weight cut, too. It was taking all the energy out of me when I was fighting. My last two fights haven’t really lasted long. When I fought Maximo Blanco, that lasted 19 seconds or something like that, so you’d never know how much energy I had. When I fought Chris Gruetzemacher, I could’ve stayed at the pace I was at or picked up the pace for five rounds if I had to. I really had a lot of energy and I could tell the difference that my nutrition made in the fight. So yeah, it’s really important.”
The complete interview with Skelly can be listened HERE at the 1:21:20 mark of the audio.
- Discussion on technical skillset of Jason Knight
- How he sees Edgar/Rodriguez going down
- If he prefers fighting in his home state or abroad
- Birthday plans (Thursday was his birthday)
- If he has a callout planned in the event he wins
- Masvidal/Maia discussion
- Pet peeves
- Best day of his life
- Go to meal after a big win
- Best/Worst fan experiences
- What he’s afraid of
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