After a series of fights falling through, Chris Chapman is finally stepping back into the cage.
Although he hasn’t stepped in the cage since April 2016, Chapman had still been in multiple fight camps in that time, and doesn’t believe the layoff will affect his performance on Nov. 16.
“As long as you’re in the gym, and I have been for the last two years, the ring rust shouldn’t be a big factor,” said Chapman in an interview.
“Nerves may be a factor just because I’m not used to being in there, but it won’t be anything crazy.”
With the contest taking place in Chapman’s hometown of Red Deer, Alta., he said there will be a little added comfort when it comes to his preparation.
Although he said he doesn’t see a big hometown advantage when the cage door closes, he says the added comfort comes on weigh-in day and not worrying about travelling.
“The big thing is I get to sleep in my own bed. I don’t have to go travel to a different city and sleep in a hotel. I get to stay home all week and hang out with the family,” said Chapman.
“I don’t have to worry about finding somewhere to cut weight because I already know where to go and have houses to go to use their saunas.”
While it may seem like business as usual for Chapman, one major difference this time around, compared to his past fights, is the 190-pound weight.
Chapman has fought the majority of his career at lightweight, meaning he’s making a move up more than two weight classes for this contest.
But despite the big jump, Chapman said it’s not something that hasn’t concerned him throughout this training camp.
“When I fought at lightweight, I was still a pretty big lightweight. My water cut was from 170 pounds down to 155, so I’m used to walking around at 180-190 pounds,” said Chapman.
“Also, when I was at lightweight, I was only 22. And now that I’m 25 my body’s gotten a lot bigger, so there’s not going to be a huge size difference.”
Schmit Holds Size Advantage
Although Chapman will be competing at a new weight, Schmit will feel right at home, having fought anywhere from welterweight to as high as heavyweight.
Schmit said the advantage he has in the weight department has its positives and negatives, which he feels will all equal out in the end.
“Sometimes those smaller guys have a little more quickness about them, and they don’t have to cut as ridiculous amounts of weight as I do,” said Schmit in an interview.
“But obviously having size and strength on a guy is huge; that’s why we cut weight. But I think there’s positives and negatives to the size factor, and I think the two kind of cancel each other out.”
At 33 years old, Schmit said he knows he’s reaching the tail-end of his career, which dates back all the way to 2013.
And at this stage of his career, Schmit said he’s always looking to take on the toughest challenges he can, and prepares for them as if it’s his last fight.
“I’m trusting that my coaches and my teammates are preparing me for one of the best fighters I’ve fought in my career,” said Schmit.
“We’re definitely taking this fight very serious because, getting to the tail-end of things for myself, every fight has the potential to be my last. I’m definitely doing my due diligence to make sure I’m ready for this guy.”
Throughout his 12-fight career, Schmit has a reputation for always putting on an exciting fight, having never gone the distance in any fight.
With Chapman also possessing a similar kill-or-be-killed style, Schmit said this fight has the potential to be a true crowd-pleaser.
“Being that we’re both grinders, both fighting at the right weight for us, and both in awesome shape, this fight is one of the fights on the card that has the potential to be an all-out war,” said Schmit.
“At this point of my career, I just want to have good fights. When I prepare myself for a fight, it’s getting to the point where it’s not as much about winning or losing, but it’s being able to pour my heart and soul into the event.”
“I’d like to thank everyone from Arashi Do for helping me get ready.”
“I’d like to thank my sponsors Jo-Ash Plumbing and Heating Ltd., Rayton Contracting, Magnum Cementing Services, Palliser Well Service Ltd., Scalptec Inc., Envious Renovations, and Classic Fight Shop. I’d also like to thank my girlfriend and my family for helping me and putting up with me.”