If you sit down and talk to Chris Wright (6-0-1), you never know what he might say. It might be something controversial, it might be something brash. However, whatever “it” may be, if he says it, he means it.
People see him enter the cage to his own music, with his own dance, and they may assume that he is cocky with an over sized ego. He will admit as much, and will tell you so.
But that attitude is not something that gets turned on whenever he enters the cage, only to quickly evaporate away after he has done battle and steps out of the cage. It is a constant, and it is unchanging.
“When I get in the cage, I have the same personality that I walk around with everyday,” Wright recently told ProMMAnow.com.
“I have always been a confident person. I’ve been playing sports all my life. It’s just the drive… I do have an ego when it comes to sports. It’s like I feel that I can’t be stopped so that helps me. So now i feel like my skills are catching up to my ego. I don’t have any money, none of those fancy things, but I do have a dream, and I’m going to get there by any means necessary.”
That “dream” is something Wright mentions often when you talk to him. He repeats it over and over. The “dream” extends outside of the cage. It affects him in his daily life when he is working a 40 hour work week, in addition to his numerous hours of training at Knoxville Martial Arts Academy, where he trains with UFC fighter Rafaello Oliviera, fast-rising Strikeforce fighter Ovince Saint Preux, and his other training partners and teammates.
Working with kids at his full time job is part of the “dream” also. Some of the kids he works with have crack addictions. Some come from broken homes. These kids inspire and motivate Wright every day as he helps them in their recoveries.
“I see those kids and what they have been through, and what they don’t have,” said Wright. “They have a lot less than me, and they still have to make it. I have to let them know everyday that you have to make it regardless, so through my actions I try to live what I say.”
Wright tells them what it takes to be a professional fighter. He tells them how he lived at the gym, literally, when he first started training. They know that his team at KMAA has become his family when he had no relatives close by in Knoxville. How they fed him when he needed to eat. How they were there for him when he needed somebody to talk too.
That is why he gives back. There have been people there for him, so part of his dream in this MMA journey is to give back. Give back to the kids he works with, his family of teammates and training partners, his friends, and his family. For him to fully give back to everybody that has been there for him, he must fulfill his dream.
“I used to rush, and push, but now I know its going to happen in God’s time,” said Wright.
“It will happen in the way He wants it to happen, and that’s what is going to be best for me. Just knowing and understanding that I can push everyday without the stress and without the worry, and I know im going to make it. So I don’t have to worry about when I’m going to make it to the UFC to make this money. I know I’m going to make it, so my coaches don’t have to worry, my gym don’t have to worry. No matter what, I just have to do what I have to do and God will take care of the rest, and I don’t have to worry any more.”
Wright will be back in action this Saturday, facing Cornelius Godfrey (2-0) at the SFC 9 in Ashland, Kentucky, and when he gets back into the cage, his game plan will be the same as it always is.
“You have to impose your will,” said Wright. “One of the most important things is don’t ever let anybody out condition you, no matter what. I won’t ever break mentally. I have been in many different situations in fights, but you won’t ever see me breathing hard or see any pain on my face.”
Wright is confident wherever the fight goes, but has a message to Godfrey or anybody else that decides to take him to the ground.
“If i get taken down– Lord forbid I get taken down– because it’s going to be a quick fight,” said Wright. “Because it’s going to end in a submission. More than likely I’m going to get the submission win. That’s how it usually happens. I’ll be going in there standing up and waiting for the war and ready to bang, thinking that it’s going to be that type of fight, then I get took down and somebody gets choked out, and it’s getting ugly.”
Those words don’t just apply to Godfrey, but are also extended out to Chris Coggins. Coggins was supposed to be Wright’s opponent earlier this year at the Strikeforce Challengers 13 event in Nashville. Just before the fight, Coggins got sick and had to pull out of the bout, leaving Wright with no opponent.
“He said he was sick, then I seen him at the fight,” said Wright. “He was looking pretty healthy to me, and I had just spent $58 dollars for blood work. I felt like running his pockets right then and getting my money back. I just hope it works out to fight him in November.”
Wright and Coggins are tentatively set to face off later this year if everything works out right, and it’s a fight Wright cannot wait for.
“I was on the internet saying I didn’t think he was really sick, and he didn’t say anything for months. During that time he was probably training his [expletive] off, on some Rocky Balboa type stuff, like it was going to make a difference. Then after all that time, he starts running his gums. He talked about if the money wasn’t right, then it could be winner takes all. I’m going to take that money though… that winner takes all sounds lovely to me, and that’s what it’s going to be. I’m just advancing my career.”
Chris Wright would like to thank the following:
“I have to send a shout out to my friends that prayed for me on Facebook when I needed you. I would like to thank my friends and training partners at KMAA: Eric, Hannah, Ovince, Rafaello, Joey, Nicole, Scott, James, and strength and conditioning coach, Nate “The Great”, everybody. My family… I lost a lot of my family this year, so I’m trying to close out 2011 the right way. I have never been to so many funerals in my life. My cousins, my pops, my mom, my grandmother. She’s so strong! My auntie, everybody. All the strong women in my family, and all the strong me in my family also. They made me who I am today. My cousin Kenny Butler, who was the first person in my family to see me fight live. This weekend will also be the first time my parents have ever seen me fight live. They are all about the dream! They are all in! I also would like to shout out Denny Hodge from ProMMAnow for doing this interview.”