Chase Sherman Back To Form Ahead of Fight at UFC São Paulo
Jackson-Wink’s Chase Sherman takes on Augusto Sakai this weekend at UFC São Paulo. Ahead of his fight, we got to talk about where his love of MMA started, bringing over his athletics to the new sport, and keeping a positive mindset as a fighter.
Sports have always been a part of Sherman’s life. The “Vanilla Gorilla” played college football and the competitive drive never left him. “I wasn’t ready to hang everything up and be a regular member of society. I started training in a garage with a couple buddies of mine and we just kept going. The rest is history, I just fell in love with it.”
Playing college football is an American dream for many. Sherman played at Delta State University where he played on the offensive line. Carrying over his experience with other sports has helped Sherman find success at the highest levels of MMA. “You know, I played offensive line. Really what that helped the most was the footwork, keeping space, obviously pressure on the cage, and hand fighting. Obviously we did a lot of hand fighting. When you’re playing offensive line, you have to stop the bull rush, you know? It gives you a strong fundamental base and it really helped there.”
“The boxing had nothing to do with football, really. That comes from getting in fucking street fights, I guess.”
Augusto Saki, Sherman’s next opponent, is another fighter signee from Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series Brazil. Chase Sherman is concentrating on making himself better and feels like that will be enough to take himself to the next level. “We’re constantly trying to work on my defense because that’s just the biggest hole in my game right now. The offense is there with the productivity. I have a very high output. I’m somewhere around the top in the UFC in strikes-per-minute. The defense just has not been there and that’s just something we’re constantly trying to work on. Keeping my hands up, my head moving and not always engaging in the firefight.” Sherman is right, he currently sits 12th in the UFC with 5.9 strikes per minute.
“I’ve got to get to where I am a little more precise and where I can pick and choose my shots and not feel like I constantly have to fight for the whole five minutes of a round. I need to use my mind to pick my opponent apart a little more. This is a short notice fight. I haven’t really had time to add anything new to the toolbox, I just have to work off of what I already have, which I think should be more than enough to beat this guy.”
As for the top of the division, Daniel Cormier and Brock Lesnar are all but finalized to fight. Many are upset about Cormier and Lesnar holding up the division and not giving the rightful contenders a shot at UFC gold. Sherman doesn’t feel that way. “I think DC is a great fighter, man. I really wanted Stipe Miocic to win that fight just because he’s the heavyweight king. You kinda want to root for your own guy in your own division. I kinda feel bad for how it happened. This is heavyweight and a small slip up can cost you the fight. That’s why you don’t see these heavyweight fighters go on these long win streaks. It’s very unforgiving.”
As for Lesnar’s title shot, Sherman doesn’t care. “I really don’t give a shit, man. I’m just worried about me, you know? They’re not in my radar. I’m just worried about what I got to do. Right now, I’m not fighting for a top 15 spot or fighting for a title. I’m fighting to fucking put food on the table. I’m fighting to keep my fucking job. That’s the only thing I’m worried about right now. Everything else will fall into place. Whatever is going on with them, that’s their deal. They’re obviously going to give the title shot to whoever brings in the most pay-per-view draws and that’s Brock Lesnar. I don’t really have a dog in that fight. I’m just worried about what I have to do.”
Chase Sherman is also commonly known for sharing meme’s on his social media as opposed to strictly fighting like most fighters do. I asked him if he planned on challenging Derrick Lewis, another memester, for the Meme Belt of the UFC. Sherman think’s it’s important to keep your life not too serious and enjoy it. “I don’t know man, [Derrick Lewis] is pretty funny. I enjoy it man, you got to keep it lighthearted in this sport. You have to laugh because ain’t none of us getting out of here fucking alive.”
UFC 229, A Prediction
The big one is in a couple weeks. Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov face off at UFC 229 in Las Vegas. Chase had some insight on that fight as well.
“I think it’s going to be a great fight, man. A lot of people are like, ‘Khabib is going to rag doll Conor.’ But, Conor is fucking intelligent, man. If you don’t think Conor McGregor has known this fight was coming, if you don’t think Conor has been training his wrestling since he got done fighting Floyd Mayweather, then you’re a fool. He can bring in the best wrestlers and the best grapplers in the world. He’s been getting ready for this fight well before it was announced and well before it was put on the table.”
“He’s very smart, he’s very meticulous, he’s a very savvy business man, all that shit. What he did in New York, he did for a reason. That’s going to bring in even more pay-per-view draws. If it goes into the third round and past that, I’m going to give it to Khabib. Obviously, his pressure is phenomenal. But, I really believe that Conor is going to knock him out in the first two rounds. He’s really long and Khabib is going to have to shoot from a real far distance and Conor is timing and precision is off the charts. So, we’ll see.”