61f9e7fc98b11beda1f7427d58379565Last month Chase Gormley captured his first major championship defeating Jon Madsen at Titan FC 33 to win the promotions inaugural heavyweight title. For Gormley it was a pinnacle moment, in a career which has seen it’s share of ups and downs. Most fans and pundits remember the California native for his short stint in the UFC between 2009-2010, where he lost back to back fights against Stefan Struve and Brendan Schaub. He was subsequently released from the Las Vegas based promotion and continued his rough patch through 2011 where he went 1-2-1. Looking back at that period in his career, Gormley wishes he would have done things differently. “Thinking back, I wish that I would have taken more fights outside the UFC and got a little bit more experience.” Gormley told MMAOddsBreaker.”But you know when you get the call from [the UFC]; it’s hard to turn them down, it’s so exciting just to get in there. I wish I would have given a better performance, but it is what it is.” While his UFC tenure was short lived, Gormley has no complaints about the UFC’s decision to release him. Even though we’ve sometimes seen some fighters lose up to three or four fights before they’re handed a pink slip, Gormley feels the decision was justified. “I gave horrible performances and there is no excuses for the way I fought. Yes Struve and Schaub are good fighters but I think my mind got the better of me. I could make all the excuses in the world, but I should have at least put up a better performance.  Even if I still would have lost the fights, I still should have given a better performance, just as far as getting in there and doing things. I let the nerves and everything get the better of me, I think I could have put up a better fight.” Following his tenure in the octagon, Gormley’s rough patch continued, alternating between wins and losses. What was evident was that Gormley lacked the motivation to compete at a high level and his wife eventually called him out on it. “My wife told me [I wasn’t] taking {MMA} seriously. I was only training twice a week maybe, like when I fought [Beau Tribolet] I wasn’t running, I wasn’t doing anything. I’d go make weight, show up and fight. You can’t do that in this sport if you want to be successful. ” Gormley briefly retired, but a phone call from UFC heavyweight Roy Nelson in 2013 changed his tune. Nelson wanted Gormley to help him train for his upcoming fight at the time against Daniel Cormier at UFC 166. Working with a high level fighter like Nelson lit a fire under Bodyshop MMA product. “I went down there forgot how much I missed [MMA]. That kind of got the ball rolling again. This time I asked my wife ‘if I got back again can I take this 100% seriously, can I do it?’ She said ‘yeah but if you lose that’s it’ [laughs] so no pressure.” Upon his return to cage, Gormley racked up three straight victories and signed with RFA in 2014. Following a successful debut with the promotion – defeating Dale Sopi via unanimous decision at RFA 21 – Gormley was looking for more fights despite competing three times that year. With permission, he signed on with Titan FC and was given a great opportunity to fight for the vacant heavyweight championship against UFC veteran Jon Madsen. Despite being a 3 to 1 underdog, Gormley emerged victorious, winning a unanimous decision in what many pundits felt was a controversial decision. Gormley stands by the judges scorecards and believes he was the rightful winner. “He did a lot of damage to me, but I won rounds 2, 3, 5. I watched the fight over and over again. It really came to that last takedown, you know if he would have got me down in that last round he probably would have won that fight. It was a close fight but I think I won. There is really no question about it. I try not to be biased, I made a lot of mistakes in that fight. He could have won that fight if he was in a little better shape. But I think he underestimated how good of shape I would have been in, because you know I’m kind of a bigger guy, after two rounds [he probably thought] I was done.” Currently, Gormley is not under contract with Titan but he mentioned that he plans to honour being their champion. As for what’s next, he’s open to a rematch with Madsen if that’s what the promotion wants. “I think he deserves it, it was a close fight. I think he probably thought he won this fight in his mind. So we should probably go there, [each of us can] make a few adjustments. For him its going to be a worse fight because I won’t make the same mistakes I made last time.” With that said, Gormley has another former UFC fighter in mind for his next opponent, which he believes will be a better overall match up for the fans. “I want to fight Dave Herman for the Titan FC belt.  Because I think that would be a really good challenge, if I could get past him I know I’m ready for the UFC or wherever else I might go. That’s the fight I would like, but I’ll talk to Titan, and the end of the day they make the decisions. Whoever they put in front of me I’ll fight them. I think Dave Herman is a good fight that I think people will want to see.” While Gormley won’t leave the promotion being their champion, an added benefit competing for Titan FC is their contract out clause, which has lead to former Titan fighters migrating over to the UFC. Now 31-years of age, Gormley is much wiser about his career decisions and is the first one to admit, he’s in no rush to get back to the UFC, despite winning five fights in a row. “If I do go back to the UFC I want to be a contender. I want to beat the Cain Vealasquez’s and the Fabricio Werdum’s, those kind of guys. I think I have a couple of things I need to work on, my hands need to get a little bit better. My hands in my last fight were atrocious [laughs] I think in about six months to a year I’ll be ready to make some waves in the UFC. I just have to be smart this time around, I can’t get too excited, I have to keep winning fights and moving forward.” In saying that, Gormley believes he’s rejuvenated his career and is willing to put the work in to become a better fighter. Part of his motivation to eventually get back to the UFC is the bad taste that’s left in his mouth from his UFC tenure five years ago. “I think I have that bad image about me from those first two fights in the UFC. People think ‘oh well he’s just a garbage heavyweight’ but like I said I turned the corner this time around, going into these new fights. I think I’m a different fighter than I was back then and people don’t realize it yet and that’s ok I got to pay my dues again. People can think what they want to think, as long as I go out there and win my fights that’s all that really matters. I want people want to watch me fight and respect me, but sometimes you just have to go out there and fight and eventually they’ll catch on.” Follow Chase on Twitter @ChaseGormley   


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