CLEAR LAKE, TX, July 3, 2012 – Longtime Houston MMA veteran Chris Reed will making his return to active competition this Saturday at the IXFA 8 event scheduled for the Delta Downs Casino in Vinton, Louisiana.
A former police officer, assistant police chief, and eventually City Manager for the City of League City and now Nassau Bay, Chris has always juggled both sides of the coin – public official and fighter, lone warrior and family man.
From 2006-2009, Chris “The Celtic Tiger” explored MMA as a means to test the skills he acquired in training as his primary purpose, as opposed to the money (there was none) or a primary desire to make it into the UFC (though that would have been nice). Simply put. He fought because he enjoyed the competition and the test it provided him.
With a child preparing to head off to college and his two youngest children keeping him busy along with his career, Chris walked away from the sport in 2009 to focus on the important things in his life. But MMA and the love for the sport never left his mind. It’s a different world now as opposed to 2006 but he still feels that desire to test himself nowadays.
Even at 43 years old. he want to prove to himself that he can still compete with the best of them and that’s exactly what he intends on doing this Saturday when he meets Jeremy McCombs.at IXFA 8.
We recently spoke to Chris regarding this fight the motivation behind his comeback.
Interview – Chris Reed (IXFA)
Chris, first of all how have you been and how’s life been to you in the recent past?
It’s been real good but real busy; my oldest just graduated and will be headed to college in NY so that’s going to be a big adjustment for me. My two youngest kids stay busy in everything too. My biggest asset is my family they are all busy too, but they support me 100%.
You’ve been fighting for awhile. What do you miss about the early days with Renegades, etc?
I think more than anything it’s the people I miss, in our sport people come and go in popularity but it’s important to remember if not for them we wouldn’t have the scene like we do today. Like Saul, Kirk, Cook, Jesse Vasquez, Rocky Long and many many more all those guys blazed a path for us.
With all the stuff you’ve got going on, why did you make the decision to step back into the cage?
That’s a real good question. I sit on one of the committees at Hope Village in Friendswood. Hope Village is a home for the mentally challenged they provide a home, job, and training for these folks old and young. They are trying to raise money to build a new facility. So the same week Scott says he would like me to be on the July 7th card. So I figured here was a way for me to raise money and awareness to Hope Village. I am pledging all of my sponsorship money to the Village. It’s been great because I have been able to bring awareness to Hope Village at the same time expose some to MMA that were not maybe so acceptable to the sport before.
How’s fighting melded with public life for you throughout your career?
Most know that at first I kept it secret mostly fighting in Louisiana. When a local reporter found out about it and said he wanted to do a story. I said oh no, I can’t do that people won’t understand. He convinced me by saying would you want me to write a positive story or for a reporter to pick it up and right a negative one. He had a good point so it came out. I was amazed at the support; I think I brought several MMA fans out of the closet… <laughs> now I have followers with all types of backgrounds. At my pre-fight party I had everyone from politicians, school board members, bankers, and guys will tats and mohawks. Now THAT’S a party!
Have you had any detractors that didn’t understand MMA? If so, how did you respond to them?
Not really and I know I am surprised too most are curious so they ask me about it. I am happy to explain the culture of MMA fighters. They are always shocked about how close we are. I explain that it’s a true Martial Art, and we treat it as such. Very few people have bad blood. We don’t condone street fights. We aren’t and don’t accept bullying. When they hear about all the fighters and what they do for the sport and the community like fundraisers, blood drives, blankets for the homeless, etc… They are usually shocked and I hope go away with a different perception.
What’s been your most memorable personal MMA experience been so far?
I would say my fight for Renegades at the Toyota Center. It was the venue, crowd, I had lots of support. My dad flew in from Indiana and I surprised him and let him walkout with me I think he was more nervous than I was. It was really a cool experience.
What are you expecting in this fight?
I know Jeremy is a tough guy so I expect a war. The difference is I am probably more stubborn so I will push the pace. Like every fight I play the fight out in my head 1000 times from standup to the ground. There is nothing a person can do that I won’t be prepared for. I also think that my maturity or age as some would say will help by going in more calm and relaxed. Delta Downs is a very loud and emotional venue and it can take a lot out of a fighter.
How would you prefer to win this one?
Ha like always I want a standing knockout because I’ve never won that way. That would be sweet.
What’s next for you in your old age?
I’m sure some ibuprofen and a few ice bags first! BUT I will say this isn’t it, I have at least one more in me and I will announce it after this fight! I feel in great shape, my training camp has been good and as long as I can do that I’ll keep going! Professor Draculino gave me good advice just the other day; he said at my age it’s important sometimes to train smart and not necessarily hard.
Any last words before the fight Chris?
I have too many people to thank to list including my sponsors, but also everyone who has helped me prepare for this fight. I am very humbled by the support I have gotten, the MMA community has always been very good to me and I can’t tell you how much that means to a person that knows the career is coming to a close sooner than I would like.