Chico Camus Says “Sticking to the Sport and Never Giving Up” Behind Victorious UFC Debut
By Kelsey Mowatt
Unlike the foundational years of mixed-martial-arts, more and more of today’s fighters begin their training with the hopes of making it to the UFC. While of course, there are still plenty of full time fighters who began their journey to the Octagon unknowingly, UFC 150 winner Chico “”King” Camus reports he wasn’t one of them.
“I dropped everything I was doing in life to train full time and become a mixed martial artist,” said the Roufusport fighter, who scored a win in his UFC debut Saturday by handing bantamweight Dustin Pague a unanimous decision loss. “From day one, me and Anthony’s (Pettis) dreams were to make it to the UFC. We never talked about anything else. We never talked about being a local fighter to make a few extra bucks, we’ve always dreamed of making this happen.”
The 27 year-old Camus signed with the UFC earlier this year after winning three consecutive fights and having gone 8-2 in his last 10 fights. Despite his success, however, the former brick mason and father of two boys admits he had doubts time-to-time, as to whether he would reach his MMA goals.
“Sticking to the sport and never giving up,” said Camus (12-3). “There was a few times, where I lost a few fights, things weren’t going as well and training wasn’t right, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit there was a few times where I thought about giving everything up. But, God answered that call and everything happens for a reason. Now I’m in the UFC with a 1-0 record; everything’s great man.”
Although Camus emerged from his UFC debut with the win, the “King” believes there was room for improvement in his performance.
“I could have done better,” Camus told Full Contact Fighter. “‘There’s some parts of my game that I definitely need to improve on. Overall I think I fought a decent fight. I got the win, which is most important, and I think I put on a decent show.”
“My stand-up a little bit,” Camus added. “I know I could have done better with the stand-up game, even with him having the reach advantage, I’m a lot better striker than I showed.”
As Camus alluded to, the UD victory came largely as a result of his grappling, as he outscored Pague while working from the top position throughout much of the fight.
“The opportunity was pretty much there,” said Camus, while recalling the bout. “Like I said, I could have done better with my striking, but once I caught the kick in the first round, and took him to the ground, I saw that I was able to get big shots off…I felt like if I was able to him down again I’d be able to stay on top of him and ground-and-pound him out.”
“The triangle wasn’t really that close in the first round either,” Camus furthered. “I had my hand in there protecting my airway so I could breathe. When he was dropping elbows I was just waiting for him to stop and work on loosening up the triangle.”
The loss was Pague’s (11-7) second in a row, as after submitting Jared Papazian at UFC on FX 3 on June 8th, he fell by split decision to Ken Stone just a couple of weeks later at the next FX card on June 22nd.
“I think I maybe surprised them with the ground game,” Camus said. “I don’t think he trained for that or expected me to take him down and ground-and-pound him. But thanks to him man, he battled throughout the whole fight and we had a little show. That was nice.”