KELLER, TX, July 19, 2012 – Still currently undefeated at 8-0 and making his return to the cage for fight #9 next Saturday, July 28th, it’s quite fair to say that Team Takedown’s Chas Skelly (8-0) could very possibly be on the verge of a career breakthrough.
By that we mean that could be on the verge of getting the “call up” to fight in the big leagues (read: UFC) if he wins this upcoming fight against BJJ brown belt from Brownsville Luis “The Law” Vega (8-2).
In truth, Chas has been in this ‘prospect to watch’ position before. It’s been that way since he got started in the sport back in 2009. The former collegiate wrestler has two wins at Bellator including one over current UFC fighter Daniel Pineda who fights this weekend at UFC 149. His other 7 wins have been equally impressive but despite all his competitive successes, he’s been slowed by injury – his big pushed delayed by one annoying pain after another.
The good news for him and all his fans is that bug seems to now be behind him. He’s already shaken off the rust of a two year layoff after beating fellow Bellator vet Jeremy Myers by submission this past May at XKO.
Staying on track to fulfill his career promise is now the main mission and it starts at the Premier Fight Series 1 main event when he takes on Vega – another fighter looking to make his mark and prove that he and not Skelly could be the top featherweight prospect in the state.
We recently spoke to Chas about this fight and everything else leading up to it.
Interview – Chas Skelly (Team Takedown)
Thanks for taking the interview Chas. Before we talk about your upcoming fight, tell us a little bit about history as a fighter.
I have been training MMA for about 3 1/2 to 4 years all together now. 1 year of that I spent injured. Well, I came home from wrestling in college and got a job. I heard about a pro fighter (Johnny Bedford) that trained at a gym right up the road from my house, and he needed some wrestling partners. I went in to wrestle and spar with Johnny, and we hit it off really well. He said I smell really good, and he enjoys grabbing on me in my spandex! After that, he pretty much forced me to go work out with him all the time even though at the time I was more interesting in partying. Eventually Johnny asked me to take an amateur fight, and then I was hooked. I quit my full time job, and went pro. Winning my first 7 fights with Johnny and Rafael before suffering a couple back to back injuries; I was at the point that I would have to quit fighting and get a real job, and Team Takedown asked me if I would join the team. I have been with them for about 7 months and loving it. I can now train full time and live a comfortable life.
What’s been the moment that has stuck out most so far?
I would have to say my first Bellator fight was the most memorable. I took the fight on really short notice, and was out of shape. It was my first experience on a big show, and I was really nervous. Winning that fight was a great feeling!
What about biggest obstacle? Anything come to mind specifically?
INJURIES!!! I broke my foot and tore some tendons in my second fight against Pineda. That put me out for awhile. I came back and got in phenomenal shape only to suffer another major injury. Before you know it I’m out for over a year and thinking I will never fight again. That took a huge toll on me physically and emotionally. It took me two years before I could step in the cage again, but I did it and now I feel great!
Do you have anyone you’d consider a mentor in MMA? What about outside of the sport?
No, I do not feel as if I have a “mentor” that has shaped my view on MMA. Marc Laimon has been a great coach, but I shape my own outlook on the sport. Outside of MMA I have a lot of great people in my life that I can turn to. Ray Bassinger has always been a mentor to me personally.
What’s your typical training day like when getting ready for competition?
Every day is different. I train two to three times a day typically. You know kicking Coconut trees, studying Steven Segal movies, rubbing Tobacco in my eyes, and karate chopping beds of fire ants. For this fight specifically I have worked a lot of kick defense and counters.
How would describe your style as a fighter to the average fan?
Tell us about your last fight against Jeremy Myers at XKO 15. Did it go just as you planned it?
Yeah, it went pretty much to game plan. I wanted to strike, but Marc wanted me to just take him down and get the win. I learned that I still got it, and I look sexy in orange spandex.
Looking ahead to next week at Premiere Fight Series 1, you’ll be taking on Luis Vega from Brownsville in what we’ve heard people say could be a very significant fight. How are you feeling heading into this one?
I feel great. It has been a good camp, and I’m healthy. Every fight is significant for me.
What’s motivating you for this one?
My motivation is just to get to the next level and provide a better living for Myself, Stephanie, and Elizabeth. They have been a great source of motivation.
I have prepared for a three round war, so I wouldn’t mind that happening. I believe I will finish this fight in the second by TKO though.
What’s next for you after this? Will the UFC come calling?
I can’t look forward…I have to focus on the task at hand. The past is history, the future is a mystery, and today is a gift…that’s why they call it the present. BOOM!