Chas Skelly on UFC Fight Night 77 opponent Kevin Souza “My ground game should be leaps and bounds above his”

61f9e7fc98b11beda1f7427d58379565Featherweight Chas Skelly looks for his fourth straight win when he takes on hometown favourite Kevin Souza (17-3) at UFC Fight Night 77 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Skelly (14-1) spoke to MMAOddsBreaker on Episode 127 of The Parting Shot Podcast and discussed a variety of topics.   Why he left Bellator after competing for them three times “They had offered me a contract. I fought individual fights for them. Just one fight deals. It was basically just because they wanted me to join their tournament; you were basically stuck in a contract for seven years [laughs] or something ridiculous. I just didn’t want to do that. I wanted to leave my options open and get into the UFC. Not that there is anything against Bellator, it’s a great organization. At the time I didn’t think the contract was suited for me.”   Loss to Mirsad Bektic in his UFC debut last year  “Realistically I learned that no matter who the fighter is, you really have to go out there and do what you do best. Just implement your own game plan. For me that fight, I kind of did something different. I went out there and I looked to counterstrike and circle away a lot. I wanted to catch him with a big shot, which I did end up doing. Instead of switching it up and going right back to my style at the end of the second, I continued to circle a lot.  AlI was trying to do was just walk him into a right hand. I think had I fought the way I always fight and take him down a couple of times because I didn’t even work my wrestling before the fight. I didn’t think there was any way he could take me down, which he did. I thought if I needed to I could take him down, which I didn’t. I learned a lot, it was a good learning experience and you just move on.”   Pulling out of his UFC Fight Night 70 bout with Hacran Dias “I wanted to fight, I was in great shape, and my camp was going awesome. It just so happened I got a staph infection, I believe it got a little bit mistreated in the beginning. I continued to work out and do my thing and sure enough, before they even had the fight my arm had blown up. They ended up doing a MRI and it was spreading up my arm really fast. They sent me into the emergency room really fast. They ended up getting it all out; I was in the hospital for about a week just on the IV and stuff. That was only a couple of weeks out from my fight. I talked to the UFC doctor and they felt it was best if I didn’t fight. Without a doubt it was probably the most frustrating thing I’ve experienced so far.”   Matchup with Kevin Souza “I think it’s a good matchup for me. He’s a good boxer; I think his jiu-jitsu is not great, I think his wrestling defence isn’t great. There are also things he does in his standup that I think I can capitalize on. I’m not one of the guys he’s fought in the past that are afraid to stand with him. When I watched video of him, a lot of the guys that fought him were timid. Really let him dictate the pace of the fight in general and I’m not going to do that. I think I’m going to bring something to the table that he hasn’t seen and get the win.”   Fighting in Brazil for the first time  “I’ve heard mixed reviews; some people say it’s not that bad, some people say it’s horrible. All you can do is prepared and hope for the best. I’m sure the UFC has good accommodations, they always do. I’m sure I’ll get down there and be just fine. The only thing with me is if my weights on track. The weight cut shouldn’t be a big issue it’s just the facilities to cutting weight and things of that nature I’m a little concerned about.”   Worried about the judging in Brazil  “I do feel like I need to win the round convincingly or get the finish. Obviously I’m looking for the finish, that’s the gameplan is to get the finish. I don’t want to leave it in the judge’s hands because I want that to be the excuse, I don’t want that to have to look back on and regret. But you can’t finish all fights, the only thing I can do is do is my part. If it’s bad judging, it’s bad judging.”   Training Camp  “I’ve got a lot of guys you wouldn’t know, boxing wise. I’ve been doing a lot of a lot of boxing sparring. As far as wrestling, I’ve been wrestling with Alex Munoz a guy from Oklahoma State.  Coach [Kenny] Monday of course. Andrew Parker is a 170 pounder that’s taller that I spar with it. There will be other guys too.”   Thoughts on the UFC suggesting his teammate Johny Hendricks move up to middleweight  “I don’t think [Hendricks to 185lbs] is an official call. I don’t think he’s being forced up just yet. I think he has some decisions to make and possibility the UFC too. I literally have talked to Johnny about it yet. I think he’ll make the right decision for his career. He’s missed weight one time, obviously were professionals but things happen that are out of our control and that’s just the way it is. There’s nothing you can do about that. I think forcing a guy up a weight class after missing weight one time; I think that might be frustration talking because they just lost the co-main event for a major PPV. I guess we’ll see.”   Thoughts on the rumours that his gym Team Takedown is in financial trouble  “I’ll be honest with you, as long as my pay cheques cash I stay out of that s**t. We have investors, owners that pay the bills. I’ll ride out as long as I’m here. I don’t know, I haven’t even asked the owners about anything like that. I do what I’m doing, I go in and train. I have the opportunity to train with great coaches and partners. I just do what I got to do to make my career better. If there are financial problems and anything happens, I’ll be fine. If there’s not that’s great, I love the team.”   Weight cut for this fight  “My weight cuts good, I’m disciplined on my diet. When it’s time to get ready for the fight I don’t want to mess around with that because I don’t want bad weight cuts. I’m a big 145 pounder I feel like especially going to Brazil, I plan on showing up the week of, being ten pounds over.”   How this fight ends on November 7th  “I believe that this fight is going to end in a submission. I believe I’m going to submit him late round one, mid-round two possibly. I would say my ground game should be leaps and bounds above his. I get him to the ground and I finish him off.”   You can follow Chas on Twitter @ChasSkelly and you can listen to the full audio version of this interview below (33 mins in) 

Written by James Lynch

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