Ep #60 – Chandler Cole

Chandler Cole is a mixed martial artist fighting out of Virginia who competes in the Heavyweight division. He most recently competed for Cage Fury Fighting Championships and has won all of his five pro victories via stoppage.


Chandler Cole: Alright man so uh, so how is quarantine been world’s going crazy right now, but how have you been holding honestly? You know, I can’t I can’t really mention our names, but I had a low-key training facility where I kind of worked out by myself and I kind of felt like a new motivation to get back into working out and just training. You know I fought for years now, but I really haven’t really really prepped myself I got having like when I was an amateur. I wasn’t as hungry, I feel like it was. I could just a job you know and when that happens it kind of sucks play. The court scene was kind of good for good. For me, I really uh. I got back into working out every day, training and now the goal is, you know, I’m a heavyweight, but the goal is to slowly work my way back to 205, so yeah. I think that’s a good time to do it. You know there’s a lot of time for cardio a lot of time to run, so I think there wasn’t a whole lot else to do. You can spar or anything like that. I don’t know where you were like you mentioned: you had this own inner self. The secret facility may have something I don’t know about, but for the most part a lot of us were just you know, doing, runs and stuff like that. So I’d like to just come start talking about your your matchup that that kind of fell through it was supposed to happen only a few weeks ago. So, what’s it like getting ready for a fight only to have it fall through uh, you know, honestly. I think just because I got true and it’s it’s weird, because this is like a this – isn’t like a big advertise fight, but for everyone here locally it was gon na, be a big fight. Just because a lot of people know me and him he’s a loudmouth. He has no filter and I’m kind of the guy that you know signed the babies. You know like stuff like that, so it was one of those heal versus face types of fight, and I truly I truly don’t like the guy. So hey, I don’t wan na mention his name honestly, could be a man worth it, but Jeremiah Harper. You know he lives about 30 minutes at the road. So his like this same goes. This was this was a big font for the the region. Everybody wanted to see me shut them up and it got postponed so now they’re trying to find me an opponent for August 15 and then hopefully get that five squared away for October. But they told me, you know I could wait till October, but I ain’t trying to wait. You know I got a. I got a bunch of goals, I’m trying to fight I’m trying to beat somewhat out. So I thought it look. It’S a thought I want, but don’t keep me on the Shelf, I’m trying to fight like I’m trying to five. So is there a name that’s going around or is it just man just give me a fight whoever it is. I don’t care. I just told him like find me: five man asked a lot of people and just you know, with corns hands stuff. They lot of people have been training and they’re. Like man, you know he’s five and two Pro and his two losses are boom. Gordon and Keith Bell. No, I mean that’s good, that’s confidence with you for me, but I’m just trying to find I’m just trying to find before the October fight and then there’s another big name that we’re talking about. But I’m gon na keep that a secret because when it gets released, it’s gon na be fine as a fighter. What’S what kind of goes into whether or not you take a fight or not like obviously the worlds at a standstill? There’S pandemic, you don’t know if you’re gon na get Kovac, you know everyone’s worried. A lot of fighters are worried about taking fights as someone who’s fighting and someone who’s actually in the Octagon. What sorts of pros and cons are you balancing before you make that decision s make sense, has to make sense. You know, like my last spot, for example, I was a five and one Keith Bale he’s been around the block. He’S fought everybody, so I said that makes sense. You know that that makes a lot of sense. I need to. I need to fight this guy, because if I win then I got more people looking at me. I’M I’m gon na be a bigger store and you know now that I’ve lost now it’s like okay, so I probably don’t need be going for the key bills right now. I just got locked out first round TKO, but I don’t remember since he hit me. I just remember circle, and then I was sitting there with the wrath and the ref had my hand, and I was like oh [, __ ] like I had to Voss, because I don’t remember nothing like so as far as that goes like you know, keep there. I fought him things that work out so now. Take it take step back, get back in my lane and you know find out what I need to work on and get back into the fire. You know fight a couple spots on the region of the local scene. Again, like the regional scene, I guess I should say and then come right back into the fog man. I thought, find a fight on UFC fight, pass or overseas or something something and then get back into the mix. So it’s a it’s funny, because I interview a lot of fighters and especially when they’re coming off a loss, they’re like oh, you know it was a bad shot or lucky shot. How do you stay like positive, even though, with the loss obviously was a veteran? A very very experienced, but how do you stay positive and not find excuses in the loss? It is what it is man, that’s the name of the game. You know and keith is awesome. Kids is a super good dude and he messages me on the regular and just talk super all on me and he even says he’s like me: that’s a big win for me and I’m like man, you’ve had 25, like what do you mean? I won big win for you and he’s like nah he’s like you’re, the next big thing and stuff like that, really motivates me, you know, and you know, against boom Gordon. I was that God did you know. I wasn’t gon na say that I said I was a lucky shot and stuff like that, but that fight I can look at and say. I know why I lost. I was not ready for that fight. I did. I didn’t train they caught lf8 called me called me out. Yo, you want to take this fight or be on national TV. My eyes got this big and I took it. You know I took the fight and I was like okay. Well, if I win, you know this could open some doors. I didn’t think I Tom I was undefeated amateur pro. I did. I thought that there’s no Makoto torch to me and I got in there. I tried to take him down. He sprog. I had to fight that and then I just felt my lungs. I’Ve never felt like that in a fire a lot of times when I’m fighting. It’S like. I keep the pressure, the pressure pressure and it might not work the first couple times but eventually like when I get when I get on that it’s game on you know so so that when I was not, you know happy about so I guess that’s what I’m Trying to say is I get why fathers do sometimes I’ve never heard the lucky shot thing. Yeah. I’Ve never looked at that like okay. That’S that’s a good reason why he lost like no dude got hit and got dropped, name the game, but my first logs dance Lee was just out of shape. I should have prepared better for it and that’s why I lost and with key Bell man. You just hit me with the rope-a-dope man and sent me in a dream. That’S a scary feeling, man, you know how it feels to be to be moved and feeling good and then the next thing you know you’re like man, I feel like I just teleported good, like this so yeah. That was not. I mean I stay positive, but yeah and he’s a good person. So now your your 5 and 2 is a pro, but a lot of people don’t even know you have an undefeated amateur record. You were very successful as an amateur. What took you so long to make the jump to pro, and do you think that you know a lot of fighters should do that, extend their amateur career before making that leap? You know I always told myself when you when you put business in the aspect of it. You know what I’m saying when you start to make money and then, when you go pro you can’t ever go back. So I told myself when I was 18 years old. I took my first spot, then I went to college and wrestled. I had some family things come up, my grandma. She had cancer while through high school. I came back there and Christmas and I could just tell I was like yo like this like. This is not this ain’t good. This is not good, so 2013 that Christmas, I ended up. Staying in 2014, I ended up fighting again, I want to say it was around May maybe April April it was April. I fought again my second five and then from there man it was just uh, you know into people, don’t understand. In two years I took eleven five, I mean. I know some people are crazy, take like 30 pots in a year, but I took eleven Fox in two years. I’Ve turned 21. I saw Matt Foley out of Lexington Kentucky he supposed to kill me all these articles and stuff was not pointed toward me. Winning – and I was just like screw it like that’s what I want. I want to find someone good. Let’S go. I bought that fight. I beat him. There were some ten eight rounds and I was like yo if he’s supposed to be good, but I’m ready, but next the next level. So that’s when I made the change, so I I really. I really didn’t stay on the amateur scene, long because I can’t really count maybe an 18 fighting cuz I took one fight went to college but as far after 2 years 19 to 21 either I just fought man, and then I made my pro debut when I Was 21 the August of 2016? Oh insane? So then pro ever since, and I really I’m kind of disappointed in that because now you know I was putting out so much: output, output, output, staying in good shape and you know injuries and it’s motivation. I’Ve only bought seven times in four years. Good, that’s good, and I really want to so. I talked to his promotion locally and we’re talking about me fighting back to back to back and hopefully getting a call, and I won stay active, I’m gon na fight. You know my fans deserve. My family deserves that I have a little girl now, that’s a year and a half she deserves it. So just thought about making it happen. The the good thing about being a heavyweight – I guess, is realistically five and two is an unbelievable record for a heavyweight. You see guys in the UFC, with three and one or as heavyweights, Justin Tavo, for example. So you realistically could be two or three shots. Two or three fights away from from a shot at the contender series or the UFC is that the ultimate dream there to make the UFC or to make a Bellator absolutely. I actually got a call with Tom for Bellator up in Connecticut and it was a huge opportunity. I was against Tyrone fortune and I was all about it because I know how good his wrestling was, and I said you know that doesn’t matter to me. I just won fossil my tub. This is on TV like timely time to get it so they I’m like. Okay, give me a date. Tell me tell me what y’all need me to do and the day that they gave me was the same day of the state tournament for wrestling, and I actually cut I’m a head wrestling coach, Isan high school. So when they said that I was like, I can’t go like I wasn’t even I thought I didn’t think about it, because I substitute teach I coach football coach wrestling and if it wasn’t for my coaches growing up, I don’t know where I would be so when They asked us they can do as I what I was like yeah, I state wrestling tournament. Man like my kids are going to stay, got to go and they were like. You know. This is like a crazy opportunity and I’m like well what’s a better opportunity to to have an impact on a kid’s life, knowing he’s gon na be the future or for me to fight our fortune. I come on like it’s a good opportunity, but let’s reschedule this [ __ ] later on and we’ll talk about it. So people call me crazy all time, like man mute them, kids, they don’t understand it’s like about understanding. It’S about. You know doing the right thing and I think I made the right choice and I just stuck by as someone who’s had. You know swimming coaches and whatnot. I think I think a lot of people go would say, that’s a very respectable thing to to put students. First ahead of your career – and I think that I think that says a lot about you and I think you deserve – deserve a big shot just for that alone. So, what’s the message for your kids, for example, I mean I’m sure a lot of a lot of parents, for example, would say, don’t put your kids in martial arts, it’s vicious! It’S dangerous. You know they get cauliflower ear. They they get CTE. Why what’s it? What’S the message for your wrestlers and what’s the message for your kid: if they eventually want to take the end of a road, you know there’s a lot of people that are well-known and you can even say yet kind of famous trying, not wealthy. No, I’m not wealthy, but Fame is just really SuperDuper known that people look at and they’re like man he’s an [ __ ], and I just don’t want to be that guy. I want people to look at me and be able to judge me off my character and be like man. He was a great fighter and an even better person, and that’s really what I it’s really what I aim to do man. I just want them to know that you know one day, I’m swinging my last punch that I’m not gon na be able to fight no more and it’s. What have you done to help your community or what have you to to really move forward, especially the kind of time we’re living in now? It’S like you know what what kind of message are you sending you know if it ain’t a positive message, you’re part of the problem. So that’s really how I look at things and I just I just try to be the best person. I can be what I like most about your fighting style. Is it’s kill or be killed, which is a which is very entertaining for fans? You’Ve got five wins all of them. Stoppages you’ve got two losses both of them stop. It is. Why do you fight that way? Is it just who you are? Is it the way your coaches tell you to do it or is it what your most successful other? Is it just instinct and I’m gon na give I like to think I’m a good person, but when that caves were shut, there’s like a switch that gets flipped a lot of people just don’t know my background and I grew up in a really rough neighborhood in Virginia it’s in the country, but when I tell you the rough neighborhood, it’s definitely poverty. I’Ve seen a lot of things as a kid and you had to be tough. You know I’m saying like before I was 12 and Oh as an amateur and five and two as a pro. I was probably 20 and 400 on this bike. It has a kid like. I got, beat up a lot and it just taught me like yeah. You got ta, be tough, you got ta, you got ta. Definitely by you know. Sometimes you might beat that person up and when y’all stand up he’s won the fight again. So it’s like. I don’t know it’s just a lot of this past stuff man just coming back to life when I’m in there. I try to be the best person I can be like I said, but when you sign that contract instantly, I start training instantly. It’S like okay, you’re. On the hit list, cuz you’re trying to take food off my kids table, that’s how I always looked at it. That’S how I always went about things so just a wild man’s mentality. I think that’s the mentality you have to have when you go inside the cage. If you go in with any other mentality, it’s gon na be a pretty short night for you. I think, and I just live off of vodka. You know all my stuff is pink. Oh team, Cole, Team kochenko, and I just I just tell people it’s like the team Co way – is different. Like it’s just uh, it’s more than just the brain. It’S like a mentality. You know when you wake up it’s your your first loss should be. What can I do today to be different? What what can I do today be different and I even got it tattooed on me: hi kids, it’s a it’s a grenade and it has like an American flag through it and it has team co on it. And basically, it’s like you know, especially like it, not just in today’s time, but over time like the world is a grenade. My the life we live is a grenade and it’s like you know, doesn’t matter put your stamp on it. So it’s kind of how I like to live. My life. One thing: I’ve been asking fighters who are at smaller camps. Is you see a lot of fighters make a move to an aka or an extreme contour, for example, especially in the upper weight classes? I mean I can see you like, even going down to Jackson, wink and working with a guy like John Jones or aka, working with a guy like Kane or DC, has that move ever crossed your mind or because of the the family you have and the roots You have with your wrestling team is: if that way, you want to be, or have you considered a move to a bigger, bigger team, or at least a training camp there man, it’s crazy, because the the people that I started with since I was a kid like They’Ve always looked out for me and then like therefore, a little bit, I was traveling to hearing their American killer bees. I went out to team Aoyama out in California, training with them and I kind of forgot like who was always there for me, and you know we had a falling out there for a couple months, and I was just know like when you’re back home. Are you gon na train with you know, and, and I start I had a lot of time to think I – I had a train from November – all the way till no MMA. You know I’ve worked out. I’Ve started to get back to check the MMA up until two weeks ago. I just had to take a break and now that new motivation, it’s like okay, go back to what you know go back to the people that love you go back to the people that want to see you do and no doubt about it. Like I don’t went out to California and went to team Aoyama like I know, Colin, Oh y’all know what I looked out for me. He’S he’s awesome, and he knows his stuff he’s, probably the most as far as I up here, knowing his stuff he’s that guy and I knew that it took up here – definitely got him in the right direction and making so many good friends, but it just wasn’t It just isn’t home, you know, and those guys have been looking out for me since I was 18 years old. I was kid like the crazy kid and now I’ve matured. I work a full-time job like before. I was even working I’d starve. Just so I could train full-time now I got a full-time job got a kid and if I still find time to Train so that’s kind of where I decided like okay, let me get back to my team. Let me get back to my roots and let’s it’s from here, let’s take over like no more, no more wondering if I want to do it. Now is the time I got ta, I’m 25 years old before it was autumn 21. I got kinda on twitch. I got now 25, I’m like holy cow, I’m halfway to 30, like I have to get this started. I have now it’s either Now or Never someone’s upbringing that that your story kind of reminds me a lot of with the with the street fights and everything and not – and you know, like you said doing everything he can to Train, even if it meant starving, is A guy named Jorge Maz, Badal he’s a you know. I think every fighter all over the world respects him for everything. He’S done for the sport he’s finally getting his shot at a big big title this weekend. What’S your prediction for that fight in two days, Jorge miles is always gon na, be the BMF champ and the welterweight champ. I love watching him. That’S one dude! I really like. I know it’s as easy as going at a TT, but I don’t want to just go to a TT and see him. I would really gently like to sit down and talk to him about this everything you know cuz his his upbringing. I actually met Kim Bo back in 2014 and like Hisle off the wall, a little crazy, but he was I mean he. It was enjoyable to talk to, and I think that Jorge would be kind of the same, except the only difference is this: Jorge’s roots are Street by street fighting, but he’s got to fight for a world championship. Kim O’Connor was just a street fighter, you know and even though, like I respect them, I think he’s awesome. It’S like he’s not Jorge and where H is Lehmann, I can be man, so I can’t wait to. I can’t wait to see him fight this weekend and bring home a championship. Another another fight. I know it’s a little bit a little ways away, but it’s it’s in your division, Daniel Cormier, steep, a Miocic three, I usually hate rematches, but for some reason I don’t care if both these men retire afterwards. I want to see it what’s your prediction for that one DC DC, I think, DC in the first spot. He kind of just walked forward caught and dropped him in the second five. I thought he was when he was wrestling cuz. You know Steve a was just kind of trying to be an athlete, but if, if then you’re poor May is doing what I think he’s doing and it’s truly, he said I hope you put your wrestling shoes on two things are happening. Warren he’s either trying to get him to to focus mainly on wrestling. So when he gets in there wrestle wrestle wrestle wrestle or he really is gon na, go in and wrestle and if he does like. That’S not gon na be a good day because it’s been a while, since we’ve seen that I strictly just straight wrestling Daniel Cormier, you know back when he fun silver. Like that. Those were the days you were strictly wrestling when he was fought for Strikeforce. So I’m excited to see that and it’s horns both of them retiring. I would love to see it. I would love for both in the fight go out on this [ __ ], which is not gon na happen. If steep a losses, he is fighting again, but I think Daniel Cormier has done after this and they both went out. You know with awesome fight, I kind of like it, because I think there’s a lot of heavyweights that potentially can be champion. They just can’t get past those two, you know and by the time that they get to that level. You know you know they’re gon na be going out anyways. So there’s a lot of lot of formulas and stuff to play with, but I do think that the next champion will be Frandsen. Gon na hurt Daniel Cormier. I hope Daniel Cormier less time after this generation when, when Prince and garnish that’s up, he is he is the scariest human being. I have ever seen in my life his it’s crazy to think it’s crazy to think that he has probably the meanest pants as far as like when they touch you, you die, but he, but he has the most boring you spot on record yep with Derrick Lewis. I was watching that, and I was like: oh my god, someone stop and then right after that, Steve Beck or DC knocked out steep a it was on the same card and then broken. Is there this anyway decision can suck some Miocic sucks and got him. I wish he came back, but I don’t think he could pass the drug test. I think he’s definitely on staff hundred percent. You don’t look like the Smokey Mountains and be forty plus. He missed a lot of good years, a lot of good years yeah. It’S a shame what happened with his back, because I really do think he could still be kicking it too. I think he’s got you know. I don’t know if he Howard do against a guy like Francis in Ghana, but I mean DC’s wrestling would be nullified against. You know a guy twice his size when they were in the Octagon and he and Brock lesner shoved him. He looked like a look like a flyweight right and I don’t even know how he would do against eBay. I think steep a would be able to to keep him off and has he might. I thought the same thing about mark on him and he wrestled. You know I mean so I don’t know, there’s a lot of variables there with heavyweight, but I’ll tell you. If Jorge wins, there’s going to be a cluster at that 170. If Austin wins then horray kind of take steps down, you know, may fight, maybe s2, and then you have burns come back to his awesome and then that fight happens, but you never know yeah I mean you never know. What’S gon na happen, you know this. That’S the beauty of the fight game, yeah, it’s it’s the beauty of it. It’S also uh. This could ruin it if Jorge wins. I it’s gon na be real issue. It’S not he’s gon na fight who he wants and you’d be like Connor. Give me Connor an eight and it’s like what do you do like? Do you strip them you you, I mean, I think you have to make that five. I think I think, realistically, you know what I don’t care. What anyone says it’s a business. This is just like, though, to me, it’s part, except you really don’t know the outcome, you really you know, but as far as like what make what’s the fans want, you know you have to be entertaining that’s part of your job everybody’s, like that’s dumb, like blah Blah blah well, if you’re, that good, eventually you’re gon na get you’re, knocking everybody out and beating everybody. Eventually, your time is gon na come and I tell you a fighter that is so low-key right now, but I just seen today that he signed a contract who potentially will be a future world champion. No he’s a little older, but do you remember when I went out to Vegas? I opened fighter tryouts and you know I was punked. I have 100 %, but I was gon na go on there and and do my thing, but I looked at this guy. The grappled a guy named Daniel James, don’t know if you know Daniel, but I know who you’re talking about, though Juan right. Yes, my boy, Spanish fellow Spaniard, right he could I pulled Daniel James at the tryouts and just to see how he was moving. I was like, oh my god, that’s another guy that should’ve been on the show Daniel James he’s tough, but I watched the way that they were wrestling or just doing that thing and I was like. Oh my god. This is crazy and then I watched him hit. The pads – and I was like, oh my god, this dude is hitting so hard, we’ll see at the time you couldn’t be over 34, I think, but he was 37 and I was doing stairwell man. I was just with Harry and he looks at me and goes listen embrace it in bracelets cuz. You never get to live through moments like this again and I was like, oh my god. Okay, so I get up, I start bouncing around. I’M like dude, I’m getting warmed up for an interview so, and I told my once once I didn’t get kicked because I made it through the first round of interviews and then they cut it and there was like 20 people at interesting people, and I was like It’S like, but he was the guy after everybody got people. I said he is the next open fire champion winner, like he is the next big thing and he’s like 37, but he has like. I think he is from Spain. I know I talked to him, but he said that he he what he used to do he’s do another sport. It was way bigger. What do you know? What’S the sport they do over in Spain? That’S like they something it’s something crazy, but it’s it’s nuts! It’S nuts yeah he’s the next big thing. If he signed a contract, I put my money again. Cuz he knocked out. Moore’S drew Maurice. Greene is widely he’s. Eight, maybe not he’s. He just dropped out of the rankings cuz. He lost to two Luxio, but he just picked up a huge win over to Jean Volante. He mauryans look super successful at him, flan dominated them, mashed em, so to match down smashed. I remember he was talking all that crap on the show, and that’s really Maurice greens, his personality dude, I think, he’s a little bipolar cuz. I have on Facebook and stuff and like one minute he’s like talking crazy next meetings, I love my kids. I love my wife, I was just moved. He was cool tryouts. He was crocheting, everybody like benning’s him crochet me one like an [ __ ], but but nah he was cool. It was really cool but yeah one. He merked him and he also marked my good friend, justin frazier and justin is a monster, a monster. He was by far the second-best guy they’re like Justin’s, a stud. I don’t know why he ain’t got a call to go, find some guys cuz. I watch he’s on The Contender series now. I think it is he I missed that, but i’ma go ahead and tell you. I watched him at the tryouts and he’s a stud like he should be in the UFC 100 %, but like the longer they wait. The longer he’s not making that type of money to feed his family, which kind of makes me mad as free as for you I’ll loop it back around to you. How many fights do you think you are away from? Maybe a call the UFC? What do you have to do to get that call T The Contender series, The Ultimate Fighter, the UFC? I think I bought some local fights and fought the top cats around. Here I mean who says I don’t like say a win them. You know win or lose you know. Hopefully, if God’s will you know I win some fights and then pick up another big fight against which this name, I’m not saying he is a big. I mean if I beat him, people are gon na be like what the world so that’s. My goal is just about a couple, more fights that you know take you step back from Keith Bell those spots and then take another jump leap forward. I think my mindset now is it’s. It’S gon na be good. I think that I’m in the right mindset to where the Hammers back you know I’m tired of being in the nail, which I know five basta to studs. But to me that’s its big deal. Man, loosens everything yeah, I don’t. I stay positive and I’m not gon na make excuses, but at the end of the day like where I’m from people don’t make it so I got ta make it. I got ta make it for every kid that looks up to me and says: hey, you know, Chandler you’re doing such a good job. You know we love. You were a big fan. It’S like okay! Well now it’s time to take those words and put it all in motion cuz. I can’t let my community down that’s wrong. That’S one of my biggest fears. I know I shouldn’t even think like that, but you know I I got too many people riding for me. It sounds like you’ve got a lot of support men. You seem like a really nice guy. No, we just met today man, but I’m rooting for you. Hopefully you get to three wins and and you’re knocking right there at the UFC. I wish you all the best man stay safe. I appreciate you taking the time to talk to me all the best man a time to go. Trying now got you motivated yeah, all right man, all the best

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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