Chris Holdsworth – UFC 173, PlayStation 4 and Bang Ludwig
By Dave Carpinello
Team Alpha Male and Bang Muay Thai student Chris Holdsworth recently took some time to talk with PunchDrunkGamer.com about his upcoming fight against Chico Camus at UFC 173, winning The Ultimate Fighter, Duane Ludwig’s departure, the PlayStation 4 and more. Enjoy!
PDG: At UFC 173 you will be facing Chico Camus after Kyung-Ho Kang was pulled from the fight. With this much advance notice, did the change in opponents alter your training camp, which I imagine has just gotten underway, for this fight?
Chris Holdsworth: Actually, I train year-round with really no off time or off season, I have been training hard since The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale. As far as the change in opponents, it is just something that happens in our sport, so you just always need to be ready to fight. Of course there will be some changes such as the gameplan but I think that this fight is going to be better, entertainment wise for the fans and Chico is a more well known name.
PDG: I know you said you train year-round but don’t you have a more intense training atmosphere leading into a fight?
Chris Holdsworth: Things do get stepped a bit closer to fight time but the biggest change for me is usually my diet and having to restrict certain things that I eat. So yeah that has already started and other things will intensify once the fight gets closer. Fortunately, I have had a big heads up concerning this fight, nearly 13 weeks, so I have had a lot of time to get ready and work on improvements from my last fight.
PDG: Chico Camus is a tough opponent, do you see any advantages for yourself going into this fight?
Chris Holdsworth: I think Chico is a good fighter and when he gets in the cage he is always ready to bring it. When the lights come on he is ready for a fight, he looks strong, he is a good athlete and although some may think he should be fighting at 125lbs, he looks comfortable at bantamweight. It is going to be a good fight but I don’t think that he has ever faced an opponent like me. I have some different things to throw at him that he probably hasn’t seen before.
PDG: It has been roughly six months since your first official UFC fight and when you took home the title of The Ultimate Fighter; What has been the biggest change in your life since then?
Chris Holdsworth: I would have to say job security, that and I was able to pay off some debt. Of course there has also been a heightened public awareness, more people recognize you and want to take pictures with you and all that jazz. But for the most part I can honestly say that I am the same person as i was before I won the finale.
PDG: What was the biggest thing that you took away from being on The Ultimate Fighter?
Chris Holdsworth: The biggest thing I took away from being on the show was the whole experience of getting used to having cameras in your face, the whole process of a UFC fight, staying disciplined the whole time and not getting off track with things including your diet. In the TUF house you never really knew for sure when you were going to fight, you might have a clue or hear a rumor, but for the most part you needed to always be ready to fight. You only had a day or two to make weight, so discipline was key. So I would say the biggest thing was the experience I got from fighting top caliber fighters on the show and then fighting on the main card of the finale. So I was able to do the press conferences and all the other media stuff at my first official fight. So it was cool to get that experience and now going into this fight I am not going to have to most of the stuff I did at the finale because I am not on the main card, so there is not nearly the attention on me this time around.
PDG: Speaking of that UFC 173 main card, one of your teammates, TJ Dillashaw is facing the UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao. What do you think of that match-up?
Chris Holdsworth: I think it is a great match-up and I think TJ has the best chance to win the belt out of all of the top contenders at 135lbs right now. Obviously I train with the guy, I know where he is at mentally and physically and I think he is going to win the belt. It is going to be a great fight, Barao’s record speaks for itself, he is undefeated in his last 32 fights, so he is definitely the man right now and he will be going in there the champ. TJ is going to have to use all skills to take the belt and it is great to experience to see what he is going through heading up to this fight. He was originally expected to face Takeya Mizugaki but after Chris Weidman got hurt and they had to move his fight, TJ gets a shot now. Before they announced it I was wondering now who is going to headline this card? Will it be a big draw for the rest of the card? Then I wake up one morning and I hear TJ Dillashaw is fighting for the title. He is a good friend of mine and he deserves this opportunity.
PDG: Other big news has recently surfaced regarding your fight team, Team Alpha Male; Duane “Bang” Ludwig has announced that he will be leaving your team to open up his own gym/training center in Colorado. Do have any notions on what you will do when he leaves? Will you stay in Sacramento or make the move to Colorado?
Chris Holdsworth: Yeah it sucks to see Duane leave, just because he is a great role model for me and he has been such a great coach. I got love for the guy. We spent a lot of time learning the Bang Muay Thai system, so it sucks that he is leaving and then we will be getting a new coach and stuff like that. But you have to do what is best for you and makes you happy and for him a big part of that is his family. I still plan on working with Duane and I want to keep him around in my life and my career. I am definitely staying out here in Sacramento but if I get the chance to go train with him in Colorado or have him take a trip out here, that is definitely going to happen.
PDG: So when you are not training, which doesn’t sound like that is very often, do you play any video games?
Chris Holdsworth: Yes I do and I actually just got the PlayStation 4 and it is pretty cool. They don’t have too many games out yet but I have been playing inFamous Second Son and although my time has been limited it seems like a great game. I used to be into video games a lot more when I was younger but yeah like you said, training consumes the majority of my time. People may not realize but games do take a lot of your mental energy, passing missions, figuring out puzzles and stuff. Sometimes I just come home and do nothing but relax, not using my mind to try and solve a game that I am playing. I do like to play though and I really prefer playing with friends against eachother, adding some competition to it.
PDG: Have you always been a PlayStation guy?
Chris Holdsworth: No, actually my first gaming system was the SEGA Genesis and then I went to the Nintendo 64, then the PlayStation, PlayStation 2 and then I moved over to the Xbox and then after a little hiatus I wanted to get the Xbox One. Then on TUF we all won the PlayStation 4, so I wasn’t going to spend my money on the Xbox when I got the PS4 for free.
PDG: Yeah, I remember because Shayna Baszler was trying to trade her PS4 for an Xbox One.
Chris Holdsworth: Yeah, I have heard great things about the Xbox One and I probably would have preferred one but did she tell you the story of how we won the PS4’s?
PDG: Not that I recall, didn’t you guys just get them at the “Coaches Challenge”?
Chris Holdsworth: Yeah, but there is a little bit more to that story. So when we went into the gym there was a big PS4 logo on the floor in between the rock climbing walls and so right away I thought I was getting one. Then Dana White started telling everyone what each team would win if their coach was victorious at the challenge and I didn’t hear anything about the PS4. So jokingly I said something to Dana about us getting them and he was like nope but the Sony rep is over there, let me go ask him. Next thing you know, Dana comes back and announces everyone here gets a PlayStation 4. So my nudging of the Boss Man helped us all get our PS4’s.
PDG: Nice. Let’s get back to your fight. All five of your professional wins have come via submission; Do you have any preference whether your fight with Chico takes place on the mat or standing?
Chris Holdsworth: Preference? Yeah, you know that my specialty is on the ground, so I would probably favor that but I think a lot of people have yet to see my full skill-set. I always look to showcase my skills and so I am pretty sure you will some striking in this fight. I am just constantly trying to improve and keep evolving because if you are not, this game is going to pass you up very quickly. So I will be comfortable wherever the fight goes and I will be ready for a war. So it should be fun!
PDG: That will about do it, is there anything else you wanted to add?
Chris Holdsworth: I just want to thank my team, my coach Duane Ludwig and all of my sponsors – see you at UFC 173!
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