WILL CHOPE LOOKS FOR REDEMPTION WHEN HE RETURNS TO CHINA THIS WEEKEND.
After a disappointing end to his REBEL FC campaign, former UFC featherweight Will ‘The Kill’ Chope will return to China this weekend, but the American fighter has his sights on a bigger target.
Chope was scheduled to face Miguel Torres in the semi-finals of REBEL FC in Qingdao last weekend, but was unable to fight due to missing weight.
Chope was on a five win streak and was both publicly and privately extremely disappointed with his failed weight cut.
“I let down myself, my team and most importantly my family,” he told ROUGH.
“I have to put pressure on myself I have family to take care of and I take care of them using my fight purses as most of my income is from my fights.
“Cutting weight every six to eight weeks for MMA and K1 fights have taken a toll – combined with me getting a bit older and putting on more muscle mass. Still, I should have been more professional and calculated these things beforehand and made the weight.”
Come this weekend, Chope will test himself in a heavier weight class in a K-1 tournament China. He will move up to welterweight, but whether or not he remains is not yet clear.
“I normally don’t fight at welterweight, but it will be good not to cut weight and I will try to use this fight as an opportunity to redeem myself.”
Early last year Chope was released from his UFC contract, after bad-conduct discharge from the Air Force was revealed by the media. But he has continued to push ahead, lining up fights across the Asia Pacific and says his goal remains clear.
“After being cut from the UFC my goal was simple – to fight as often as I can and to make a living fighting.”
“I will try to take tough fights in big shows and stay busy in between in smaller shows as well. Rebel FC has passed so my new sights are set on a Pancrase title shot in the near future.”
That shot will come soon for Chope, who will face Isao Kobayashi at Pancrase 269 on 9 August 9 in Tokyo.
For now, Chope has his sights on China, a market he says offers a different experience, with the crowd typically throwing their support behind home-grown talent.
“China is always cool because the shows are so massive. I have been fighting in China on and off since 2011 and intend to keep fighting there more in the future as well.
“There’s a huge part of the population that loves combat sports, the more MMA is pushed the more it will grow there that is for sure.
“I hope to go in there and do well and show I can hang with guys bigger than me outside my weight class and of course win.