In any competitive sport there is always a winner and a loser. For the winner it is the satisfaction of months of hard work and preparation culminating with the sweet taste of victory. While in the case of the loser it is the unfortunate realization of experience the agony of defeat.
Losing a competition is something every athlete must go through in their careers however it is how they overcome that hurdle that makes them a true competitor. Going through highs and lows in his own career Sean Salmon knows what its like to experience this inevitable feeling.
Chilson suffered his first defeat in the hands of Filipino featherweight prospect, Eric “The Natural” Kelly at ONE FC 1: Champion Vs. Champion last September 3, 2011. However don’t count this guy out yet! His will and aspirations are far too strong to let any roadblock stop him from once again savoring the delight of prominence in his career.
Mitch “The Dragon” Chilson is a former 2x MCFC Champion. He currently competes for ONE Fighting Championship, Asia’s largest MMA event. He is 9-2 (pro and amateur) as an MMA fighter and 17-4 as a professional Muay Thai fighter. A striking specialist, Mitch is a professional Muay Thai fighter and the 147 lbs. Thepprasit Stadium Champion in Thailand. He has trained Muay Thai extensively under the legendary Sityodtong Team in Singapore and Thailand. He also has a solid base in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Mitch Chilson is an Instructor at Evolve Mixed Martial Arts in Singapore and Men’s Health Singapore’s Advisor/Columnist.
Mitch is a certified Muay Thai instructor under Kru Yodtong Senanan, 1 of only 7 non-Thai instructors in the world. He also holds a Renzo Gracie Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Rafael Gordinho Lima. Mitch is also certified in both CPR and AED training.
Here’s our interview with Mitch “The Dragon” Chilson
MMAOrient: Mitch, tell us a little about yourself and how you got involved in the sport of MMA.
I have been involved in some kind of martial art since I was 6 years old. My mom started me in Karate, Kendo and Judo. As I got older I studied Kung Fu and then found Muay Thai. I fell in love with the beauty and power of the sport. I fought in a couple amateur fights and like it. Before Evolve MMA came to Singapore I competed in some small pro events and trained on and off. When Evolve MMA opened in Nov of 2008 I was all in. I soon began training BJJ with the World champs at Evolve.
MMAOrient: When did you know that you wanted to compete?
I have always enjoyed competing in sports. I actually enjoy the training process. Making small changes to your diet and seeing daily improvements.Waking up every morning with a specific purpose to improve as a martial artist.Conditioning your mind and body for one all important day to be at your absolute best. It is unlike anything I have ever done.
MMAOrient: What is your favorite fight you competed in?
My favorite fight was on Martial Combat 2. It was against a tough opponent from Taiwan. It was my first pro mma fight and it was for the MCFC featherweight title. I was really excited and trained with hard. The fight went as planned and I even finished it with a 4th round knock out.
MMAOrient: Can you tell us the history behind your moniker, “The Dragon” ?
The name “The Dragon” came from my mother. She told me it was a guardian spirit that protected me when I competed. It took me a while to fully understand what she meant. While in Thailand I was preparing back stage for a fight and I actually felt it. “The Dragon”. Now it was I am. It is not uncommon to hear one of my Brazilian teammates scream Dragão from across the academy.
MMAOrient: You are training at Evolve MMA in Singapore with some of the best fighters in the business. What is it like for you to be a part of a fight team that includes Japanese MMA icon, Shinya Aoki, UFC lightweight contender, Rafael Dos Anjos, former UFC middleweight champion, Rich “Ace” Franklin and some of the finest muay thai world champions in the world?
It is pretty surreal. 6 years ago I was a normal guy who travelled across the world to a small island looking for adventure. If you would have said in 3 years you will be part of the greatest team of martial artist on the planet I would have said you were nuts. My current life is crazy. I feel like I am living a dream I am surrounded by the best fighters on the planet. I get to exchange ideas and give advice to people I watched on TV a few years ago. I am honored to be part of this team.
MMAOrient: Could you tell us more about Evolve MMA’s Fighters program and how it has elevated your overall game?
The fighters program at Evolve MMA is unique. You never hear that a training camp is filled with multiple world champions. Maybe you get one or two if you are lucky. We have world champions in each and every discipline in MMA. The fighters program has been designed by one of the greatest minds in MMA today, Chatri Sityodtong. He understands the MMA game and how best to develop us as fighters.
MMAOrient: How has being with Evolve MMA changed you as a person and as a fighter?
Everyday I am surrounded by the best. It is said if you want to do great things, you need to surround yourself with people who have done great things. I am a better person and fighter because of Evolve MMA.
MMAOrient: You are currently signed in the biggest MMA promotion in Asia, ONE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP. Tell us what it means to you to be competing with ONE FC.
ONE FC is quickly becoming one of the top MMA promotions in the world. It is a a pleasure to compete in ONE FC. Everything is top class.
MMAOrient: What’s your ultimate goal in this sport?
I want to be a world champion.
MMAOrient: Who is your biggest inspiration?
My mother is my biggest inspiration. She has always believed in me, even when I didn’t. She wants nothing but the best for me. My mother has been through so much hardship in her life. She had a tough childhood and a rough divorce to a difficult man. My greatest achievement could be able to take care of her and make her proud of me. Which I know she is.
MMAOrient: What do you like to do when you are not training/fighting?
When I am not training, I enjoy the simple things like watching TV or a movie. I also enjoy studying and learning about health, fitness and nutrition.
MMAOrient: What is your favorite fighting technique?
I will always be partial to the art of Muay Thai. I don’t have a favorite technique. I just enjoy the stand up game.
MMAOrient: If you could have dream fight with anyone, who would it be?
Each time I step into the cage it is a dream. I enjoy the opportunity to compete on the world stage. I just want the chance to show my skill and work on having the perfect fight. Where the techniques flow and I move effortlessly in and out.
MMAOrient: Any people/sponsors you would like to thank?
I would like thank Evolve MMA, Chatri Sityodtong and the rest of the Evolve MMA staff. It is truly a special group of people and it is my privilege to be a part of it.
Mitch Chilson is set to compete next month at ONE FC 4: Destiny of Warriors on June 23rd in KL, Malaysia. Although his opponent is yet to be determined, Chilson does not have an issue with the quality of opponents in the division.
Follow Mitch Chilson on Twitter: @mitchchilson
Follow me on Twitter: @zikeyorient