Ep. #59 – Christien Savoie

Christien Savoie is an undefeated mixed martial artist who competes in the Welterweight division for Elite 1 MMA. The New Brunswick native has picked up both the Middleweight and Welterweight Championships for the organization.


Christien Savoie:Tene been as a whole, I mean I’m sure the work, the world’s like fall apart, but yeah I was clearing, quarantine been for you in the family. You know I still had access to some training um. So you know it wasn’t the worst thing. The only thing that sucked for me was that I was in New Zealand training that city kickboxing when this whole thing like really hit so um. You know that sucked that I had to get mine my trip cut really soon, but uh. So from that man um. You know again and I’m fortunate to be from a small town where you know I still have access to the small gyms and stuff like that, so so yeah, that’s all it’s been a brother. What was what was a return home like? Was it just like get back on a flight as soon as you can and did you have any troubles getting in yeah man? So, like my girlfriend – and I flew out about a week before, like Trudeau, announced that everybody needs to get home or you’re gon na die kind of thing, you know so that was kind of our situation. It just kinda popped off. Like you know, a week after we touched down so yeah, it was a tough call man, but uh. You know at the time nobody knew what was going on so yeah. Here we go yeah I mean now, I’m in Nova Scotia, so we’re like next door. Essentially, I have no access to any sort of I mean there’s regular, gyms and whatnot. You can lift weights, but there’s not a whole lot of access to like jiu-jitsu or any sort of martial arts gym. Is that the same there in New Brunswick? No, so the gyms are so open up. Just like you know, my Boxing Gym is is opened up, I’m not sure what guys are doing for jujitsu right now, but um, I think, there’s you know like small get-together is going on and stuff and uh, but yeah you know things. Things are starting to open up here. I’M pretty sure we have less cases than you guys as well, though, but yeah things things are slowly starting to pick up back here. So I’d like to start a little bit about your MMA journey, because you, especially here in Atlantic Canada, there’s not a whole lot of mixed martial artists, like you know, there’s TJ, grand and John Makdessi and Gavin Gavin Tucker, but there really isn’t a whole lot of Mma prospects coming out of Atlantic Canada. So what got you involved in the sport before I forget man? I always forget to mention my boy, Ryan, Jim. Oh, we always forget about Ryan, Jim, also shout out to Ryan, but what got me started? Bro. I come from a Taekwondo background and you know I did that from from the age of six to above 13 and then I kind of got like jumped right into MMA. Around 1415 there was there’s a local gym around here called oak wooden Fight Club shoutout to sensei Britt Nickerson, who was like my original MMA coach and that’s that’s kind of how I got started. Man and I’ve traveled up in the tristar, and you know, Rufus Ford and a couple gyms up in Arizona. I power, I’m a man but yeah man. That’S that’s kind of how I got started. Speaking of speaking of Tristar, a Tristar legend and a Canadian MMA legend is getting inducted in the UFC Hall of Fame. I was surprised that, well, he wasn’t already in there have you ever had the chance to work with George and what’s your thoughts on George overall yeah man, so I’ve done a couple classes like where George has taught when I was. You know like 21 22, just fresh at Tristar. I never actually got to like roll or spot with him. You know that would be dream of mine for sure, but he’s a super nice guy man just just a vibe I get from him. I tell people a funny story, the first time I met them. I was in the bathroom i star and the urinals are like. You know me to this wall apart, like rapist on each other, and all I hear is this voice. It’S like you cannot make these any closer, and I turn around is George and uh. You know I told me: I had a nice tattoo and stuff and me being like this 21 22 year old kid right. I just totally starstruck, but uh yeah. He seems like an awesome, dude man as far as like his legacy. You know he’s definitely up there on my list per pound for pound dope. You know so yeah it’s hard to deny him is pound for pound grote. Now it’s now that he has that second belt under his to his resume, it’s really hard to deny a man he’s so dominant and such a great guy as well. I wish I same thing: man. If I had the chance to meet him, I would pay a ridiculous amount of money to do so. Something about your career that, I noticed, is seven of your fights. Your last seven have all been with elite one MMA. Why have you stuck with that organization? For so long um long story short man like they just you know like there’s no reason for me to travel. If, if they can get me fights they, they pay me well, because I’m the local guy, you know, and I bring in I bring in the dough per se for them right. So it’s a it’s a business relationship. You know, and I and I appreciate them and what they’ve done for my career and bringing me up and all that right, so so yeah man, you know there hasn’t really been a point of me. Traveling and I’ve. I’Ve been in discussion in fighting in different promotions, but um. You know I he’d there was like short notice or like we’re like they’re, just not nearly paying me as well man. So it’s like there’s. You know, there’s no point if I can make it to the UFC by fighting and vocally and having things on better terms for myself, then hell yeah, all right yeah. I think that’s a one thing I noticed now about the contender series. Is they just brought in two to young Canadians and TJ Laramie and Anthony Romero? What do you think it’ll take for you to get noticed by the UFC or Bellator one of these other organizations yeah? I think I’m already on the radar man – and you know I were we’re working on some things right now so like because of this whole covin thing. Excuse me, because this whole corporate thing we have to work on a work visa right now, and so that’s that’s. What my manager and my coaches and I working on, but I would I would love my shot on on contender series with these these fellow Canadians, men, so uh. You know either that or stretch on the UFC I’m down for either Wharram, I’m ready for that. Now. Man so yeah as someone who’s on the outside. Looking in what are your thoughts on on Dana White and and the USD as a whole, putting together a fight Island and giving opportunities these guys, who may not be able to get into the United States. Even though like not right now, but I like at the beginning when they were like pushing it as someone on the outside, do you think it was a good idea to just be like let’s go ahead, put on these fights, or do you think you know they? Probably should have taken a step back and continued with the other sports continue with white boards, because, like soccer and and NFL, and and hawk waited until later on, like in mid-august or late July, UFC kind of rush to get get these cards out. Yeah yeah man III. Think it’s a great thing. You know it gives guys who wanted to continue fighting and competing and making a living to do so right. So you know I I try not to you know, express my opinion too much on the whole kovat thing, because you know everybody, everybody has the right to their their opinion, etc. Right but like you know, in my opinion, if you want to compete, then then compete and if, if you don’t, if you don’t want to take that risk or whatever your thoughts are, then don’t write. But at least I leave East uh. The UFC is giving guys a platform want to compete right now throughout this whole thing right. So I think it’s an awesome thing. Man, speaking of fight Island, there’s a there’s, a big main event. There I’ll stick with your division. The main event is Jorge Mosby doll. Taking a fight on six days notice, which is crazy across the world, he’s eating pizza on the plane, it’s insane and he’s fighting Camaros man. What’S your thoughts, I guess on Jorge taking the fight on such short notice, especially with potentially, is only ever title shot at stake and your thoughts on the the fight who do you think is gon na win. You know what man and I think, Jorge’s a smart guy, you know and uh you know I I don’t know if I buy the whole pizza thing you know like I don’t know. If that’s just kind of a gimmick, you know the you know the to get us thinking he’s eating pizza. Basically, you know but yeah, I think he’s a smart guy man and, like you said you know this might be his only title opportunity. So either he’s getting paid big money or you know um. You know he’s been well prepared for this. So again I think he’s a smart guy and you know he wouldn’t take this fight. If he didn’t think he could win it or you know he’s he set for life right, so I think he made the right call and as far as the fight goes, if I was a betting man which I’m not when it comes to fighting, but if I Was hypothetically speaking, I probably put my money on who’s been winning a decision but um? I do think if i ceman doesn’t stick to the game plan and try to wrestle them um and think that you can go on there and strike with Maspeth all I I don’t think that’s gon na play out well for him, so I think master dolls he’s Just a lot more fluid on the feet like Guzman’s Guzman’s got really solid fundamentals. You know like that. Henry who walk you down kind of you know real good basic, but um. I do think Jorge will light him up if they say stay upright, but we’ll see man we’ll find out Saturday right. Let’S fight yeah in the in the co-main event, Alexander Volkov ski he’s squaring off against max Holloway. What’S your prediction for that one? Obviously, Alexander Volkov ski looked very, very impressive, last time max Holloway, arguably the greatest featherweight of all time. Do you think he avenges is lost or do you think Vulcan off ski? It’S it done again, man, I really like both those guys. So it’s uh! You know it’s tough to pick a winner, but uh again, if I was a betting man, I’m kind of leaning towards Vulcan off ski. I think he’s a really smart fighter he’s a big guy for the weight class he’s a good athlete. You know, like he’s kind of got all the tools um, I like his style, he feints. Well, you know he knows how to how to use his body type to get on the inside and then the leg kicks. And so you know if I was a betting man, I guess I’m leaning towards spoken off ski, but I love max man. So yeah may the best man win: you’ve uh speaking of Vulcan off ski you went to, you went to Australia and New Zealand spent some time, it’s City kickboxing. What was it like being over there and what was the decision behind going over there to get some work in? I was, unfortunately, I was only there for like a week and a half. I was supposed to spend six weeks in New Zealand and in four weeks just training at City, but um. You know that got cut short but um for the time being man, it was awesome. You know you know I made some friends there. I made a good relationship with Doug Vinny who’s. Like the head. Kick boxing coach there, you know. So at least I made the connections and uh. You know. I love the style there, man, what uh? What brought me there is that I’m I’m a big fan of visual artists Sonia, and you know where the way that I like to fight, I kind of like what they’re doing up there. You know so I just wanted to test it out really dude and I iMessage their Instagram, and somebody go back to me and though that was around two months later, yeah is that the plan once once all this coded thing is over with it is a plan To go back and maybe get that six weeks in we’ll see brah we’ll see how life plays, though you know, but definitely at some point I do want to go back. There’S definitely unfinished business there. You know, but yeah. I don’t know if I’m gon na go there right away or anything cuz. You know it is on the other side of the world and takes a takes a bit of planning but um. I definitely want to go back. Man. You’Ve spent some time you had some hard times either finding a fight or you were out what was what was the reason for such a long layoff between your last two fights man. It’S been like just hard to get fights wrong. It’S been hard to get fights. You know yeah like every three months. I think I’m fighting and some something happens. You know and that’s it’s, the 95 % of the time. It has nothing to do with me. You know it’s either the promotion or you know the fighter gets injured or whatever right, but um, the other men that I’ve been trying bro like yeah and that’s. Why again? Why? Why I’m grateful for Ali Tuan right? Because, at the end of the day, man that they get me fights, you know that they give me a good notice to prepare, and you know so. But yes, as far as the the inactivity man you know, part of it has been maybe a little bit. My fault because I do like you know decent training camp, but that being said, I’ve accepted all kinds of fights bro like, and you know they just didn’t manifest so yeah for a timeline to your return is. Is there? Is it six weeks out? Is it eight weeks so, what sort of notice to me would you need right now for a fight I mean you know I would like six weeks just because the thing is to Brom I’m a big 170 right. It has more to do with with the the weight cut. Then it has to do with like the preparation. I guess you know the preparation is nice too, but you know I would like six weeks but say in a month from here when you know I’m in really good shape, because I just kind of got back to the full-time training. You know give give me three weeks to make weight and you know I’ll fight pretty much. Anyone brought as long as it’s a UFC related, so yeah. I like that man I think staying ready is the key, especially throughout the pandemic. I mean you’ve seen people get opportunities on two or three days notice, Justin James, for example. I interviewed him on a Monday and on Saturday he was fighting it was. It was crazy, so I think I’m saying ready was the is the key there. For example, if you got a call from the UFC is that something you’d be willing to take on a short notice or is it or you just? I need a full camp regardless yeah hell, yeah man, like I said um, you know, give me a month or a couple weeks, even to get me back in peak condition, because the thing that I’m learning brother is just like, I can’t be in peak condition all The time you know it’s just not the way my body works and again I’m a big guy for the weight class right. So I do like a little heads up well like when I’m in that peak shape. All I need is, you know two three weeks to actually make the weight. Does that make sense, yeah yeah, so that’s that’s kind of where my head’s at man, like some guys, are lucky. You know they’re, they walk around. You know like somewhat close to the weight class and whatever right. Unfortunately, me and my you know, I’m just a big dude right, I’m a big welterweight, you know and uh. So I can. I can’t stay. You know around 185. 190, all the time you know so. Yeah, that’s that’s where my head’s, at with that for for people who maybe haven’t seen your fights, who aren’t aware of who you are what what fight of yours. Would you say: hey, that’s the one. You got a watch, you know. Oh man, the first thing that comes to mind was my third professional fight. Um, you know, even though it was a ways back. I felt like that was like one of my best performances like just yeah, just felt like I was in my full flow state. You know and uh even my last fight man, it wasn’t my most exciting fight but um I felt like I got real loose out there and uh. You know I did some fun things so well, yeah man, I I got a ton of fights on YouTube, so check them all out if I finishes so five of eight. That’S a really good ratio. Thanks bro and last question before I before I let you go. What sorts of things have you been doing throughout the pandemic non MMA related to to keep your keep your mind occupied like what TV shows what video games, what sorts of things you’ve been doing? So that’s one of my biggest problems. Brawls. I, like I, don’t really have any hobbies know when and when I’m not training, you know I’m like. I just like to stay active man. You know I uh, you know I go rollerblading. I got a paddleboard which is a lot of fun. I go hiking. You know I just I love being you know in shape and being an athlete, and I love watching fights bro like uh, I’m a big-time, studier um. You know you probably tell by the way I kind of break down fights. You know I love studying and uh. You know either so yeah outside I’m a man bro. I don’t do a whole lot to be honest with you, but uh do you watch other, like you watch like more Thai or combat jujitsu. Do you watch any of those things? Yes, sometimes man, I I kind of go through phases like sometimes I’m really into boxing. Sometimes I’m really into my eyes, sometimes I’m kind of really at the wrestling jujitsu. So I kind of bounced all over the place, but um but yeah. Usually I just kind of like whatever style of fighting I feel like. I can imply I’ll really study that fighter, and you know I I kind of get obsessed with it man, so when I’m not actually in the gym, I’m usually watching fights or you know hanging out with my girlfriend. You know go for hikes. Staying active that sort of thing all right man, I appreciate you taking the time to speak with me and hopefully, hopefully we’ll see what their sooner rather than later, and hopefully it’s UFC or contender series, or one of these other organizations that I can really blossom you Into into something great for sure, bowler all right man all the best and don’t get sick. Yes, sir yeah, you too man uh good night,

Sergio Pineiro

Sergio Pineiro is the Founder of FighterPath.com and host of the Quarantinecast podcast. Based in Canada he is both a sports journalist and MMA enthusiast. He practices the sport but has a passion for the individual stories of training, fighting and living the fighting lifestyle.

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