Carson Gregory: My Ultimate Goal is to be UFC Champion
Carson Gregory is a welterweight prospect from Lehi, Utah. Gregory is relatively unknown with an undefeated record of 5-0. Gregory is getting ready for the biggest fight of his career when he takes on UFC-veteran Clay Collard (15-7 MMA, 1-3 UFC) for the SteelFist Fight Night promotion this Friday, April 13. With a win there he will go from unknown to instantly a top-tier prospect. Get to know a little more about Carson Gregory.
First of all, how did you get into MMA? Do you have any background in any other sports?
I was a struggling teen who was too fat for skateboarding and needed something to keep me busy and out of trouble. MMA at the time seemed a little too violent for me and I actually wanted to start kickboxing. I was referred to the gym that I currently train at. There I had my first sparring and grappling match. After those, I was hooked on MMA and there was no looking back. I knew as soon as I turned 18, I wanted to start fighting. I have never played any other sport seriously.
Is MMA your full-time job or are you working somewhere else as well?
I do not train full-time yet. I work in construction doing wire shelving and teach MMA to children and adults.
Can you explain who you train with and how you came across the camp? Also, who are some of your main sparring partners?
I train at Xcite MMA. My coaches are Mark Balcer and Dustin Smith. My partners that I train with are some local guys who are dedicated to the gym as well as my dream to be in the UFC. The people I train with have a passion for the sport, whether they want to take it far or just as a hobby they have a deep love for MMA. We don’t do a whole bunch of sparring in my gym. I could probably count on both hands how many times I’ve sparred in the last year. My gym believes in much drilling and mitt work.
What would be your favorite striking technique and grappling technique?
I don’t know if I have a favorite striking technique per se, because I love all that comes with stand up! The same thing goes for grappling I find it all fascinating and I love to work all parts of it!
What was your amateur record? Also, what has been your favorite memory of your MMA career thus far?
My amateur record is 5-1. I think my favorite memory is more of my favorite tradition. I love waking up Saturday mornings and coming to train with my coaches. They are pretty much my father figures in life. Have been a tremendous support to me and help to my family!
It seems that you have only one loss in your career. How has that loss changed you as a fighter and what did you learn?
My only loss was to Thomas Huges who was a Kickboxer for Team USA. I learned very quickly that I should never leave my destiny up to the judges! And I also should have had a little more focus during that camp. I learned that fighting takes a tremendous amount of devotion, time, and effort, as well as a sacrifice, to get the result of a win.
How is the cut to 170? What is your favorite thing to eat before and after weight cut?
The weight cut to 170 isn’t too bad. I make sure that my weight is never astronomically high so when it comes time for cutting I can do it in a healthy way. I don’t really like food before a fight because I eat the same three things, protein shakes, eggs, tilapia! It gets pretty old LOL. As far as after the way it goes I really don’t care what goes in my mouth as long as it’s not protein shakes, eggs, or tilapia. Food is just great in general at that point!
You don’t have much footage out there so can you explain to the fans that haven’t watched you on what to expect when you step into the cage?
I’m sorry I don’t have a lot of footage out there currently. I’m going to look into that after this fight and see what I can do to get it out there. You can go to Blitzz.TV and buy all of my footage there if you’d like to watch it. In short, you can just expect me to use angles and footwork to break my opponent down. The goal is always first-round finish but that’s not always what happens.
You are set to fight a UFC veteran in Clay Collard. How do you feel about fighting him only a little bit over a year into your pro career and how do you feel you match up?
Fighting plays just like fighting any other opponent. I treat every fight as if it’s a championship fight and all fighters with respect. I’ve always felt that I had the potential to be one of the best fighters in the world. And because of my sacrifice and dedication to my training, I feel like I’ve earned the right to fight UFC veteran. I personally don’t think there’s a better matchup in Utah as far as local fighters go. This will be by far the greatest fight of the year for Steelfist, if not the greatest fight in Steelfist history.
A win over Collard is a huge statement so what would you want next and what is your ultimate goal?
UFC is always been the goal! That is what I expect after this fight. If it doesn’t come then I will continue to fight until I get there! My ultimate goal is to be UFC champion one day! Sooner rather than later. I know I have a lot to learn in a long ways to go but as long as I continue to learn and improve while winning I know it’s completely achievable.
TV or Movies?
LOL I feel like this is the hardest question on the interview. I feel like it’s a trick question. Honestly I don’t watch a lot of electronics so TV and movies are basically the same thing to me. But if I had to make a choice I’d probably say movies.