Shogun Fights welterweight champion Chauncey Foxworth spoke with AllianceMMA.com about his upcoming title defense tomorrow at Shogun Fights 16
Foxworth has been as active as they come lately. Donald Cerrone-esque if you will, in his efforts to get inside the cage as much as possible. Since the beginning of 2016, Foxworth has fought six times, and would've fought seven had his scheduled opponent in December of 2016 not pulled out. Foxworth says this is all to done for one specific purpose, and that is to make it to the highest level of competition the sport of MMA has to offer in 2017.
"I made a goal that this October when I turn 25, that I want to be in the UFC or Bellator, whichever is paying me more. Of course, I’m doing this the smart way, I’m not just jumping in there. I’m making sure I’m fully prepared, eating right, and I’m ready to make it to the top this year"
Foxworth suffered his most recent loss under the Alliance MMA banner when he fell victim to a picture perfect spinning backfist from his highly touted opponent Sean Brady at CFFC 60. Foxworth got dropped, but he never really got the chance to recover because the bout was stopped very quickly after the shot landed. Perhaps a little too quick for Foxworth's tastes in fact.
"That loss was motivating. That was a big chance for me fighting Brady, and it hurt me. It was hard to even sleep that night. I learned from it. I got dropped, and I don’t want to make any excuses, but I felt like it was stopped too early. The biggest thing I took away from it was just to keep your hands up and that would’ve never happened. I’ve stayed humble since then, and that loss really lit a fire under me--more than I already had."
Since the loss, Foxworth has rattled off three straight victories including his capturing of the Shogun Welterweigth Title where he defeated Jon Delbrugge via unanimous decision. He has really turned things around for himself. Much of that has to do with the self-discipline and determination Chauncey has displayed over the past year and a half.
Foxworth has not only transformed his fight game during this time, but also his body. Since beginning his journey to becoming an MMA fighter started in 2013, Foxworth has gone from meaty football player, to shredded martial artist. Chauncey suggests that he owes a thank you to the guy who has helped him change his lifestyle.
"Four years ago was when I started. I was weighing like 250lbs playing football, power lifting and everything that goes along with that sport. Now I fight at 170, so yeah, that’s a big change. I just treat it like an every day grind. I give first thanks of course, to god, but also my teammate Dawond Pickney. He’s the one I started with before I was even training at a gym. Back then I didn’t have the time to get away from my job. I was training in the back of his house and he dedicated himself to me free of charge because he saw the work I was putting in. From there we just took it and ran with it."
Foxworth hasn't just run with this opportunity, he has sprinted full speed and gotten far enough to gain recognition in record time. Foxworth has gone from relatively unknown to one of the hottest prospects at 170-pounds in all of regional MMA in a short amount of time. Surely the recognition feels great, but Foxworth assures he is far from done.
"It’s a blessing man, it really is. That’s one reason I got into this sport, because I’ve been in team sports most of my life. When you close that cage door it’s all on you and no one else and I love that. Of course the work you put in involves teammates and coaches, but the fight is you and only you. So, I really do feel blessed, but I’m not satisfied--I’m not even half way there to be honest. But, it is nice to see that I’m doing something right."
When speaking on his championship bout with Micah Terrill tomorrow, the narrative of the stylistic matchup is an obvious one. Terrill is a dangerous striker that owns several first round KO/TKO finishes in his career, but his weaknesses are just as clear. Through 15 professional fights, Terrill has been submitted via chokes 6 times. Foxworth will surely look to use his more well-rounded skill set to force Terrill to play his game.
"That’s what sets me apart from a lot of other fighters. Some guys are really good at striking, others are really good at grappling, but I train everything. I’m not going to say I’m the best, but that’s the way my camp trains. We do a different martial art almost every day of the week. So, Michah is going to be in an MMA fight, not just a striking match."
Foxworth seems well aware that taking the fight to the ground could be the path of least resistance against Terrill, but he certainly isn't going in there with the mindset of a pure wrestler.
"I’m ready to get right in there and keep the fight at my pace. I don’t see my opponent keeping up with that. Maybe for one round, but for a whole fight? Nah, man. If he can then we’re in for a dogfight. I will take the opportunity to grind him out or I can knock him out in the first round. Whichever opportunity presents itself first. I'm ready for war."
That open-minded strategy is what could be the deciding factor for Foxworth come April 8th.
When it's time for the cage announcer to call his name on fight night, Chauncey's nickname that he goes by is "The Machine." No, it's not because he is a calculated individual. It has to do with his endless work ethic that his favorite teammate began to notice.
"It was actually Dawond that came up with it when I had one fight coming up like two years ago in Arkansas. My opponent ended up backing out, but at one point the promoters were asking me for my fight name and Dawond said ‘You know what? We should call you The Machine.’ It just stuck because I’m a very hard worker, I push it to the limit every day.
I always keep in mind a quote that I heard from Walter Payton back when I was younger. People we’re asking him what are you doing when you work out, and he said ‘I try to kill myself.’ I use that same mentality. Obviously I don’t take it too far, if something is hurting me or I’m injured I don’t force anything."
A veteran of several MMA promotions, Chauncey Foxworth has competed in The World Series of Fighting, Legacy Fighting Alliance, CFFC, Shogun Fights, and a few others. When asked to compare them all from his experiences, Foxworth pointed out how different Alliance promotions are.
"Honestly, I’m from the south, so those promotions up north in New Jersey and Maryland are a lot different. I like it a lot. It’s kind of hard to explain, but when it comes to the crowds, I never see anyone besides my corner, the ref, and the guy in front of me. After the fight I take it all in and see all of the people and I’m like ‘Wow that’s crazy.’ I guess the only thing that could be better would be if I had some of my people in the stands. Not many people can make it out when I’m fighting so far away from home.
With Shogun I still got a lot of support from fans though. I was walking out of the cage and people are yelling and cheering for me, it almost felt like I was fighting at home. I especially love having Burt Watson at Alliance shows. I love that guy, he gets me so hype.
These regional shows are definitely preparing me for the big stage. Once I get there it will be sort of like I’ve already done this before. I appreciate what these organizations do for me and other fighters, because it really does help."
Before wrapping things up with Chauncey he had to first give some shoutouts.
"I wanna give a shoutout to god first and foremost. I also want to thank my brother. Before I got into this sport all I knew was football. It was a hard transition and at times I thought, ‘Do I really want to do this?’ The one person that believed in me was my little brother Collin Foxworth. I love him to death for that. He helped me start all of this four years ago, and he’s still my number one fan. Of course, all of my teammates, my coaches, my family, my son, his mother, and all of my friends. Lastly I'd like to thank my sponsors, Lela's Landing, MAC Fence & Deck, and Tydal Wave Creative. All located in Hot Springs, Arkansas."
To see Chauncey Foxworth defend his Shogun welterweight title in the main event of the evening TOMORROW at the Royal Farms Arena you can order tickets by clicking the link below