An Interview with an MMA Champion

In this new interview series, Evolve MMA will be interviewing World Champions, professional fighters, celebrities, and legendary teachers from around the world and from every martial art. We start off Interview #1 with the only 2x Martial Combat FC Champion, Mitch "The Dragon" Chilson. Martial Combat FC is Asia's largest MMA broadcast to over 350 million viewers across 24 countries.

Mitch "The Dragon" Chilson is one of many Champions on the Evolve Fight Team. He is also a member of the elite Evolve Instructor Team, the most decorated instructor team in Asia with World Champions in Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing, and No Gi Grappling. Now a celebrity in Asia, Mitch is a 2x Martial Combat FC Champion and a decorated Muay Thai fighter.

Evolve MMA: Can you tell us a little bit about your background, where you grew up, and what drives you in life?

Mitch: I was born in Erie Pennsylvania in the US on Feb 28 1978. I am half Japanese on my mother’s side. I have a little sister who is in nursing school. I was raised in Seattle, Washington and came to Singapore in 2005.  Singapore is now my home.  I love it here.  I have studied the martial arts all my life since I was 6 years old.  I am fascinated with the human body and want to see how far mine can go.  I believe MMA is the ultimate challenge of the human form.  I want to be the best version of myself that I can be.  That's what drives me in life.

Evolve MMA: Mitch, you are the only fighter at the Martial Combat Fighting Championship to have won 2 championship belts. What is your secret to success?

Mitch: I am surrounded everyday with the best martial artists in the world. Each training session I need to raise my game. They say you are as only as good as the people you surround yourself with. By that rule alone I can only get better.

Evolve MMA: What is your training routine when you prepare for a fight?

Mitch: I train between 4-5 hours per day. Each day is a little different. I train Muay Thai, BJJ, wrestling or strength training. My coaches design the program depending on my next opponent. They tell me what to do and I show up and do my best.  Training for an mma fight is interesting. You can see your body change everyday. You begin to get harder both physically and mentally. The worst part is the diet. Not only are you working out 2-3 times per day, but you also need to lose weight. I fight at 67 kgs. I walk around at 75, so that is 8 kgs I need to lose. I have been studying nutrition for the past decade, so it has gotten easier but it is still difficult.

Evolve MMA: What are your favorite "sin" foods if you have any?

Mitch: I love ice cream and really anything with sugar in it. I am definitely a sugar addict. It is a good thing I am in a sport where you need to watch your weight or I could be in trouble.

Evolve MMA: What is your greatest accomplishment in life? Your greatest failure?

Mitch: Winning 2 championship belts in the first season of Martial Combat was the highlight of my life so far. It meant so much to me to be given that opportunity. I am looking forward to the upcoming season. The biggest failure so far in my 32 years of life is a toss up between leaving university and losing my championship title shot at Thepprasit Stadium in Thailand. With both events I gave up on myself. I did learn a valuable lesson with each failure and managed to turn things around for the best.

Evolve MMA: What is your favorite martial art technique?

Mitch: My favorite martial arts technique is the high kick. It is by best way to knock someone out.

Evolve MMA: Mitch, what makes the perfect fighter? Is it heart? Is it technique?

Mitch: The perfect fighter is a blend of heart and technique. You cannot have one without the other and reach the top level. If I had to choose one over the other it would be heart. If you believe in yourself during a fight and never give up, you will go far. You can teach technique, but you cannot teach heart.

Evolve MMA: You've become a celebrity in Southeast Asia (especially here in Singapore). How has it impacted your personal life?

Mitch: Life has not changed at all. I am a simple guy. I may get asked to take a photo at the mall or someone might recognize me in a taxi stand, but I am still the same guy. I enjoy movies and going out to eat with my girlfriend, Christi.

Evolve MMA: Any chance that you might be teaching more classes at Evolve for the students' benefit?

Mitch: I would really like to begin coaching more Muay Thai. For the past 2 years I have been working on achieving my instructor certification for Sityodtong Muay Thai. I've been doing Muay Thai for many years, but it is the Sityodtong Camp that truly elevated my game to a world-class level. It would mean a great deal to me to be given the honor from Kru Yodtong. I love coaching and teaching people. I have been teaching fitness for the past 10 years and would love to apply my coaching principles to the martial arts.

Evolve MMA: In 3 words each, how would you describe the following:

"a great rush"

Leandro Brodinho
"future UFC superstar"

Evolve MMA
"a special place"

"in the future"

Georges St Pierre
"very smart fighter"

"a learning experience"

Renzo Gracie
"an mma legend"

"worth fighting for"

Ice cream
"my favorite snack"

Chatri Sityodtong
"tough but fair"

The Evolve Fight Team
"only the best"

"not an option"

"something to avoid"

"with my family"

Rafael Gordinho
"great BJJ coach"

Evolve MMA: When can we expect you back in the cage to defend your title?

Mitch: I will be fighting in 2011.  I've been training hard and you can expect to see some new tricks from me.  I can't wait to get back into the cage!  Come out and support the Evolve Fight Team!

Evolve MMA: Thank you very much for your time, Mitch. We wish you the best of luck in 2011! Any last words to your fans?

Mitch: Thank you to all of my fans and students! You mean the world to me...I give my heart and soul in the cage for all of you guys. Happy Holidays! Let's all have a wonderful 2011 together!

Evolve Mixed Martial Arts® is Asia's premier brand of MMA academies.  Evolve MMA ranks among the best academies in the world for Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Mixed Martial Arts.