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Tim Credeur: “I feel like one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse”

Tim Credeur thanks his lucky stars for making the decision to stick with his fighting career when all of the odds seemed to be stacked against him. He thanks his lucky stars and one very special person in his life. Credeur’s wife convinced him to give it just six more months before he made up his mind to leave the sport that he had grown to love. During those six months he put together a string of first round submissions that caught the attention of some very important people in the business. The 6’3″ middleweight secured a spot on season seven of “The Ultimate Fighter” and as he put it, the rest is history.

Credeur will be looking to follow up his impressive UFC debut with another victory when he takes on undefeated submission specialist Nate Loughran at the “UFC Fight for the Troops” card from Fayetteville, North Carolina on Wednesday. Neither fighter is known for letting fights go the distance and this bout is sure to follow the trend. The finisher will move a little higher up the ladder in UFC’s middleweight division and the finisher will have a much more difficult road ahead of him. This could very easily be seen as a battle for legitimacy at 185 pounds in the UFC.

When had the chance to speak with Credeur in an exclusive interview he was overflowing with confidence going into his bout with Loughran. He also expressed additional excitement over the new mixed martial arts gym he has launched in his home state of Louisiana.

Cory Brady: I heard you opened a new gym in Louisiana called Gladiator’s Academy. What can you tell me about it?

Tim Credeur: We have a section for fighters and then there’s a lot of MMA classes, Muay Thai and boxing. Also we teach kids classes and we teach a fight fitness class for women so we have something for everybody. MMA is getting so big as a sport that I kind of feel like it’s our job as fighters to kind of give back a little bit. The gym is for sure a place for me to train and get better. A place for me to work with my boxing coaches and my wrestling coaches and at the same time it’s an opportunity for me to coach some of the up and coming guys and help a lot of different people that want to get involved with MMA that don’t necessarily want to get punched in the face. It’s awesome. We had like seven guys fight at an event last weekend and they all came away from victories so it’s doing really well.

Cory Brady: How often do you guys have events out there in Louisiana?

Tim Credeur: It’s Louisiana, every weekend. Within a hundred mile radius there’s fights every weekend. There’s guys that have been fighting and training whether there was a gym or not for the last five or six years.

Cory Brady: Do you find that there’s not a lot of exposure for the events and fighters in your neck of the woods?

Tim Credeur: It’s tough for me to break out the scene out here. There’s not a lot of coverage, media or Internet coverage. There’s just a bunch of guys out here that are really tough that have backgrounds in different things that get together and work hard and try to get involved in the sport the best they can.

Cory Brady: So what made you decide to really put the whole thing together?

Tim Credeur: I just saw an opportunity to kind of unify a lot of those guys and give them somewhere to train. It’s kind of the first of it’s kind. Rich Clementi has a gym about two hours away and my gym and his gym are two of the only ones out here in Louisiana that are really putting out quality fighters. So I’m just going to kind of keep working on it from the grassroots level. This is the kind of thing that built MMA from the beginning. For it to get bigger and bigger these kind of things need to happen. I’m glad to just be part of it and help build the next generation of fighters.

Cory Brady: Is this something you have been wanting to do for a while now?

Tim Credeur: When it comes down to it I’m a fighter. I’m just a fighter. I’ve lived here for the last three or four years and I never had a gym necessarily. I travelled a lot while I was here. I trained with Rich Franklin, Alan Belcher, had a boxing coach out in Baton Rouge. I was just kind of a renegade. I was the states first black belt in jiu-jitsu and I never really had a gym because I didn’t really care. I just wanted to compete. The real reason I got my black belt is because I was a competitor. I was just competing every weekend and as you do that you just get better and better over time. The belts just came quickly and then eventually I was a black belt. I never wanted to use my black belt to open a school and teach children. It was never my goal. I have a business degree in college so I just wanted to fight as long as I could and then go get a real job. I never thought I would be able to make money do this. Being in the game for such a long time I’ve seen a lot of guys just basically take a vow of poverty opening gyms and trying to make MMA a career but I think that’s changing.

Cory Brady: Do you find that there’s a lot more interest to train in mixed martial arts coming from the younger generation?

Tim Credeur: Before a lot of the kids would go to those traditional martial arts schools and they don’t want to do that anymore. They know that front kicks and karate chops are garbage. You can’t convince a kid that karate works anymore. They watch “The Ultimate Fighter” on TV for free. hey know what armbars and rear naked chokes are. They know what that stuff is and they want to learn how to do it. I’m talking about nine-year olds. I have nine-year olds in my class that want to learn how to do heel hooks. That’s crazy talk. I had never even heard of a heel hook until I was about eighteen years old. So seeing that kind of shift of consciousness in martial arts kind of let me know that there may really be a possibility for me to be able to do what I love for the rest of my life.

Cory Brady: Has opening your own gym helped you elevate your training to an even higher level?

Tim Credeur: Just being in the gym all day has really helped me step up my game. I train ten times more now than before because I don’t have a choice. I’m in the gym all day anyway. It’s really exciting. It’s exciting to see the general public be interested so I’m really excited. Excited to have my own gym and excited to be fighting in the UFC.

Cory Brady: So it seems like everything’s really falling into place with your mixed martial arts career.

Tim Credeur: Yeah it is and it almost didn’t. I was very much on my last leg there right before “The Ultimate Fighter.” I was walking away at that point. I first started fighting back in 1996 and I never really got the opportunities that some of the other guys got for one reason or another. It was kind of frustrating for me seeing my wife have to deal with the rigors of being married to a psychopath that wants to fight for a living when he’s not making any money. It’s frustrating. Especially when you’re sitting on a degree and there’s all kinds of great job offers coming in and I’m turning them down just so I can keep getting in the ring but my wife talked me into staying. She talked me into giving it another six months and I rattled off a bunch of first round victories, got the call from the UFC and it’s history since then. I thank my lucky stars and my wife otherwise I could be stuck working at some dumb oil company or something.

Cory Brady: Who are some of the key people that have been helping you prepare for your upcoming bout with Nate Loughran?

Tim Credeur: My boxing coach is James Georgetown. He’s a former professional boxer that’s been coaching boxing for years. He has a really aggressive boxing style. I’ve been training with him for the last three or four years and in the last year we have started to make some real strides in my game. We work together five or six times a week. My jiu-jitsu coach is Rodrigo Medeiros. I work with him regularly and then all of my fighters as well.

Cory Brady: Did you travel anywhere to prepare for this one?

Tim Credeur: I went to Las Vegas for a while to work with Forrest and some of the guys at Xtreme Couture but all of my coaches are the same coaches that they have always been. I don’t think I’ll be the kind of guy that gets some recognition in MMA and stats switching coaches. I don’t really agree with that. These guys got me where I’m at. There’s no reason to change whats been working.

Cory Brady: How are you feeling right now physically?

Tim Credeur: Phenomenal. I feel like one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. I feel great. training has been really difficult. I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself in practice and I feel great. I’m excited to fight in front of the troops and to put on another impressive performance in the UFC.

Cory Brady: Have you been able to study any tape on Nate and how do you feel you guys match up?

Tim Credeur: I’m not really the kind of fighter that studies a lot of tape and picks apart my opponent. I’m a really aggressive fighter. I’m going to fight the fight my way. I’m going to try to finish the guy the whole fight. I don’t care what Nate’s going to do. I’m coming out there to do my job.

Cory Brady: Neither of you guys let fights go the distance so do you think it’s safe to say this on will end with a finish one way or another?

Tim Credeur: Somebody is going to be finished. There’s no doubt about it. I don’t think either of us fight for decisions ever. The fights that I’ve been in that have gone the distance have had a lot more to do with the other guy than they had to do with me. I think the both of us are looking to finish the fight and move on to bigger and better things. I know I am for sure.

Cory Brady: How do you visualize this fight ending?

Tim Credeur: A win’s a win to me. I’m not biased in any way. Knockout or submission is fine with me. I’m not going in there to get anything other than the win. I’m looking to go out there and to take what Nate gives me.

Cory Brady: Is there anyone you would like to thank?

Tim Credeur: Denaro Sports Marketing, Graffight Apparel, and Gladiator’s Academy in Lafayette.

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