Thursday, December 6, 2012

Isaiah Chapman Interview

Photo Credit: Landry Yankle

Isaiah Chapman has been called the next big thing in Ohio MMA. He has continued his winning ways as a pro, including an impressive win over Mike Nesto in July. On December 15th at NAAFS Night of Champions Isaiah takes another step as he takes on the always tough Dustin Kempf in a battle of two incredibly skilled fighters in what is my prediction for fight of the night.

Q: Your last fight you won a decision in July against Mike Nesto. Everyone looks to finish, but looking back, was it good for you to go the distance in that now you know you can go three hard pro rounds?
A: For sure! Like you said, everybody looks for the finish, but going the distance, especially with Nesto, he kept coming forward and I felt it was a good match, so going the distance in a match like that is something that will step your game up. Knowing you can do it and keeping the pace up like we did in that fight.

Q; How would you grade your performance in that fight?
A: I think I did pretty good. After every fight I go back after the fight and wonder what I could do different. I felt I had a good performance. I think I played it smart. I think I could have opened up a little more.

Q: You have Dustin Kempf coming up. I interviewed him and he said he thinks he will be the strongest guy you have fought, would you agree?
A: I would agree with that. Him coming down a weight class and already being a strong guy at 145, I would say he will probably be the strongest guy.

Q: With him coming down from 145 and being bigger than what you are used to, does it make you change anything?
A: No, not at all. For my fights, I basically train myself to be better so I feel I am ready to go wherever the fight goes. If I am prepared to fight at any level or aspect of the game, then I will be alright. As far as training, I have kept it the same as I have been doing. I am getting into peak week and am feeling good about my camp.

Q: With him being out for a year with an injury, do you expect him to have any cage rust?
A: No! I've heard people talk about cage rust, but I think if you put in work in the gym and have fought in the cage before, it is like riding a bike, once you have done it, you will be able to do it again. For certain people it could be an issue, but I am hoping there is no cage rust and he will be ready to fight at his full potential.

Q: Is it any harder to train for someone who has been out so long?
A: Not really cause I don't train for my opponent. I just train to better myself. Also with him being out so long, I don't know what has changed since his last fight or the fight before that. Basically just train for everything and be ready for anything.

Q: A lot of people consider you the next big star from this area, do you feel you are getting the best from every opponent knowing a win over you would be huge for them?
A: For sure! I think taking a fight with me for anyone is a good step. There would be a lot to gain from that fight. Same for me, every fight is just a step up from my last fight so for me there is a lot to gain.

Q: NAAFS always makes you one of the big fights on all the big shows, do you take extra pride in that?
A: Of course! NAAFS is a great organization. Fighting for NAAFS gives me an opportunity to fight on a big card. It is something I take as a great honor so I want to perform well for NAAFS and the crowd. It's a good honor.

Q: Would you expect that a win puts you in line for a title shot?
A: Hopefully! I am hoping that a win will put me in line for a title shot. I am not looking past this fight but hopefully that would be the next step for me.

Q: Is there any past opponent that Dustin resembles?
A: I wouldn't say I could match him up with anyone. I really haven't watched any footage on him. I have been to shows he has fought on, but at the time I wasn't fighting this guy. I wouldn't compare him to anybody.

Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: Not really! I am looking forward to a good fight, a good fast paced fight. I think it will be an up and down battle. My prediction is a great fight.

Q: Would you also hope a win could get you a shot with maybe Bellator?
A: Yeah, that would be awesome if that was to take place. I am not looking to far in the future. I hope that can possibly happen but I am looking forward to the 15th and a great night.

Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: I want to thank NAAFS for putting me on a great show. My gym Rock Hard MMA, my coaches and training partners and Intimidation for sponsoring me and my family and friends for supporting me.

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