Combat Corner Professional and UFC Newcomer Chico "King" Camus Talk's UFC 150 Debut and More...
Interview by Matt Homeyer
Just a week prior to his UFC debut, Combat Corner Professional , dangerous striker, and Duke Roufus prodigy, Chico “King” Camus sat down to talk about his upcoming fight, the trials and tribulations he has faced, and the path he chose that lead him to the UFC. Anyone who has been to one of Camus’s fights knows the excitement he can bring to any bantamweight bout but Saturday August 11th the whole world will know. Camus is set to face The Ultimate Fighter veteran and tough bantamweight, Dustin Pague , a fight that will be on the undercard portion of UFC 150 Henderson vs. Edgar 2. Though Camus vs. Pague came as a late addition to the card, giving Camus only a few week camp to prepare, he plans on putting on a show and proving that he belongs amongst the elite fighters that make up the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization.
It’s my understanding that you got into MMA because of UFC lightweight fighter Anthony “Showtime” Pettis; can you tell what your relationship is to Anthony and how he got you involved in MMA? We’re just friends kind of like a brotherhood though; I met him like 5 years ago at a mutual friend’s barber shop. I over-heard him talking about an MMA fight; I think it was his second or third amateur fight that he won, so I came over and started asking him about where he trains and where does this happen? I didn’t know that mixed martial arts even existed in Milwaukee. He told me that he just opened up his gym and it was called Evolution Martial Arts, so he told he told me to come in and train. So probably about two or three days later he called me and asked if I was ready to train, I said yeah, he came and picked me up at my house, I thought I was a tough guy because I was running around with the wrong crowd so I’m sitting out front smoking a cigarette waiting for him to show up. Anthony pulled up I put out my cigarette and jumped in his car, we drove to his gym where he just kicked my butt. He was fast and just tough on me and brought me back to earth. After that I threw away my pack of cigarettes and never smoked again, and the rest is history.
You train at Roufusport , one of the top MMA gyms in the world how long have you been training there and what discipline originally got you hooked ? I was with Anthony less than a year, maybe like eleven months, then Anthony bought me over to Duke’s . After training with him a few times Duke told Anthony you focus on your career and manage your career, why don’t you let me take care of Chico. I’ve always been a competitive person even before MMA I was always wrestling around with my friends and stuff like that. I always wanted to be a tough guy so I just took it and ran with it. I’ve always liked boxing and stuff like that so after I started training with the guys down at Roufusport , I fell in love with the lifestyle of being a fighter.
Why did you choose MMA as a career and has your career thus far been on a pretty even keel or has it had its up and downs? I chose mixed martial arts as a career because I had pretty much nothing else going for me. I was running with the wrong crowd and I have always wanted to be a professional athlete ever since I was a little kid in some kind of sport like basketball, baseball, or football. But I got caught up with the wrong crowd with gangs and drugs that made that dream unrealistic, once I got with Anthony and started winning fights it made a lot of things more clear and it changed my life. As far as the ups and downs yes, there have been ups and downs. Losing fights, I’ve lost three fights, there have been times where I just want to pack it up and times where it seems the road was taking too long, but I just stuck with it. The ups and downs of grinding and training every day, the winning and losing of fights, sometimes not believing in yourself and not thinking you’re getting anywhere but I’m glad I stuck with it.
I noticed that you have quite a lot of tattoo’s what do you all have and why? I have “Only God Can Judge Me” across my chest which is pretty much self-explanatory. I had a rough childhood and only god can judge me on that. I have “King Of Milwaukee “ on my back accompanied by the Mitchell Domes, Miller Park , and the Allen-Bradley clock tower which is pretty much to represent my city. It’s pretty much like a lifestyle people always ask me like “do you actually think you’re a king of Milwaukee?” No I don’t sit on a throne or think that I’m better than anybody it’s a lifestyle .But, if I walk in a room I think I’m the best person in that room no matter who’s in the room as a fighter you pretty much have to think that way or have a mindset like that. My other tattoo is on my right arm it’s my nephew Damien Camus he passed away about 4 or 5 years ago.
When the UFC called and offered you the three fight contract what was your reaction and what did you do to celebrate? I pretty much just burst into tears, it was a dream come true for me. The first thing I did was go to my mom’s; I was like 2 blocks away when Duke called and told me that I had the contract by that time I was pulling into my mom’s. I ran in the house and told my mom that I was getting signed by the UFC. It was pandemonium my nephews and everyone was that has been there since day one who stuck with me. I remember kind of when I first started and told them that I was going to do this for a living. A lot of people didn’t take me that serious or probably didn’t think that I would do that good. They saw me street fight but as far as MMA these guys are trained professionals so I think it was a learning experience for them in the beginning for them too and I started fighting really good guys and winning, seeing me fight guys that were on posters and winning. They see me beat all these good guys; my nephew was always like this guy is good he’s going to kick your butt. Then I’d beat that guy and he would tell me the next guy is going to get you because he beat this guy and that guy, and I would beat him. Then it was this guy has this belt and beat that guy, and I would beat him too. So it was like an ultimate sign of respect my whole family pretty much attacked me they were so proud and proud that I stuck with it, and that everything was coming true for me, it was just pandemonium in the house.
What do you feel you bring to the UFC bantamweight division that differs from others in that division? Excitement, I’m an exciting fighter. If you have ever been to one of my fights or talked to anyone who has they will tell you I come out teary eyed I come out every time to get it. You can cut the tension in the room with a knife. I’m just an exciting fighter I don’t think that I have ever had a boring fight whether it was lasted thirty seconds or fifteen minutes. You can close your eyes at one of my fights because you never know what’s going to happen.
Being a late addition to the UFC 150 undercard and making your UFC debut against The Ultimate Fighter vet, Dustin Pague on August 11th, you won’t have much of a camp to prepare for Pague, does this concern you at all? Not really, I was already in the gym training hard so we just had to pick up the pace a little bit. Denver is a high altitude place so I just picked up the pace a little on the cardio. Pague is a good fighter he is a striker like myself he has decent ground game too. I think the fight will be very exciting I’m pretty sure he plans to stand until I change his mind and I plan to stand until he changes my mind. So, it should be an exciting fight like I said he’s a good fighter. I’m ready to come out and show the UFC and show the world what I can bring to the table.
We never know what moves to expect from any of the Duke Roufus prodigies, is there anything special that you and Duke have worked on that we might see that will make a lasting impression for the fans and the UFC? No pretty much I been doing the same thing I been doing. My styles the same I’m an exciting fighter the game plan is the same just go out there and get it. No boring fights just go out and work hard.
Assuming you win your UFC debut, do you have any big plans to celebrate your first win as a UFC fighter? No plans, my only plan is to go out and win so far and pretty much just take it from there. That’s the only thing that’s on my mind just winning and after that we’ll go from there and see what happens next. Hopefully we’ll be celebrating in Denver.
Is there any particular fighter in the bantamweight division that you would like to fight, either because of how your styles match up or what a win over them would do for your career? I want to fight the best; I don’t duck fights or dodge fights I haven’t in my amateur career or my pro career. Whoever the UFC puts in front of me I’m sure will be an exciting fight. As far as personally who I would want to fight, I have no vendettas against anybody so I’m willing to fight anybody they put in front of me.
If you were able to fight anyone on the planet who would you choose and why? Anybody on the planet? Man, that’s a tough question. Dominick Cruz, I want to be the best and Dominick is the one wearing the strap. Hopefully I can work my way up there and get the opportunity to fight for the belt in the future.
When not training or fighting how do you enjoy spending your free time? I’m usually with my family and my kids I’m a father of two boys my sons Armani and Isiah. I have a pretty close group of friends that I consider pretty much family that I hang out with. But when I’m not training or at the gym I’m a family man. I like playing sports, basketball, football, baseball or anything that involves sports or going to my kids baseball games. That’s what I’m doing when I’m not in the gym.