When I caught up with fast rising heavyweight mauler Chris Tuchscherer the night before his scheduled bout with Jamie Klair at this evening’s SNMMA “Extreme Beatdown” card at The Apache Gold Casino in San Carlos, Arizona, he was looking for gloves in all the wrong places….. looking for gloves. Much like Tuchscherer’s close friend and training partner, UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, the towering 260 pound North Dakota fighter’s fists are not the type that you can easily squeeze into your typical Wal-Mart MMA glove. After an extensive search through the sunny desert of Arizona, the oversized gloves were located, and the heavyweight showdown will take place as expected.
Tuchscherer, much like the late comedian Rodney Dangerfield, is one heavyweight that just can’t seem to get any respect in this game. Definitely not the amount of respect and coverage that a fighter of his caliber deserves.
With a more than impressive record of 16-1 during his five years in the sport, Tuchscherer has compiled wins over dangerous heavyweights such as Travis Fulton, Tony Sylvester, Alexey Oleinik, Jimmy Ambriz and most recently, UFC veteran Brandon Lee Hinkle. If you don’t already know the name Chris Tuchscherer, you should start doing some research because it’s only a matter of time before this powerful big man starts making people ask ‘Where did this guy come from?’.
Training out of the extremely well respected Minnesota Mixed Martial Arts Academy, Tuchscherer is a two time NCAA Division II All-American wrestler. He recently toppled Brandon Lee Hinkle with a brutal fourth round TKO stoppage to obtain the SNMMA heavyweight championship just three weeks ago.
The saying goes, ‘You’re only as good as the guys you train with’. Well Tuchscherer trains with the best. For two years now he has been a full time training partner to Brock Lesnar, putting in countless hours of sparring and grappling with the division’s most feared heavyweight.
Chris Tuchscherer, remember the name.
Cory Brady with FiveOuncesOfPain.com: It’s been a busy day for you I’d imagine. You had weigh ins today right? What did you weigh in at?
Chris Tuchscherer: Yeah, I weighed in at about 261 pounds with my clothes on.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: How are you feeling physically heading into your fight with Jamie Klair?
Chris Tuchscherer: I feel really good. I’m just coming off of a fight with Brandon Lee Hinkle that was three weeks ago. I took a week off after that fight, then I trained all of last week and I’ve been working all of this week doing what I have to do to get ready for this fight.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: What do you know about Jamie Klair, if anything?
Chris Tuchscherer: I know he’s supposed to be a heavy hitter, but all heavyweights hit hard, you know. If they know how to punch, they can hit hard. I train with Brock Lesnar pretty much every day, he hits pretty hard too [laughs]. I think all heavyweights hit hard, if they get you right, they’re going to put you down.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Did the fight with Brandon Lee Hinkle unfold the way you thought it would? Did you expect for it to be such a long, grueling match?
Chris Tuchscherer: You know, I was prepared to go as long as the fight went. I had been training really hard and I had a really good camp for that fight. Brock was working with me throughout the entire training camp, so that helped me out a lot. Then I had all of the other guys that I train with back home, so I was ready to go the full five rounds. I was surprised at how much of a beating he took. I mean, every round was a total domination round and there was a few times where the ref probably could have stopped it, but he let it go. It’s kind of funny because after the fight I had talked to Brandon and he told me that he had blacked out three different times during the fight. The ref didn’t catch it but he went out a few times for a second.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Yeah, that’s a little dangerous. To black out only to get knocked out over and over again. That can’t be could for your brain.
Chris Tuchscherer: Yeah, I just kept pounding on him and he just kept taking the abuse, I couldn’t believe it. I’m not the type of heavyweight to just lay on people. When I get on top, that’s my favorite position. I’m a ground and pound guy and I like to handle business down there.There are a lot of heavyweights that will just get comfortable and lay on their opponent but I’m very active on the ground.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: How would you describe your fighting style?
Chris Tuchscherer: Well of course I come from a background of wrestling so a lot of my fights end up on the ground, but I’m getting to a point now where I’m trying to focus more on my hands and my stand up. The more tools you have in your arsenal, the better off you are. You’re going to run up against people that you can’t take down, and you’re going to have to stand up with them. The last year and a half I have been kind of focusing on by stand up, because what basically made me wake up and smell the coffee was when I fought Travis Wiuff in the Yamma tournament. I kind of got a wake up call in that fight because I was used to being able to take everyone down and I was forced to stand up with him and it created some problems for me. That’s when I woke up and I was like ‘Oh [expletive]! I have to do something’.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: So it’s been a lot of hitting the pads and sparring since you’re fight with Travis Wiuff?
Chris Tuchscherer: Sparring! I’ve done a ton of sparring since I fought Travis. I have gone through three training camps with Brock since then. We spar all the time and it makes a huge amount of difference. I’ve also been really working on my Thai Boxing. I’m starting to really like the kicks and all of that stuff and it seems like it’s been coming pretty natural to me.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Yeah, I think that’s one of the most important things is losing the butterflies during the stand up and being able to concentrate more. Have you been feeling more and more comfortable on your feet as you spend more time sparring?
Chris Tuchscherer: Exactly! Before, it was like ‘I’ve got to get him to the ground, I’ve got to get him to the ground’. Now I can come out there and pick what I want to do. If it ends up staying on the feet, then I feel comfortable.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: How did you end up hooking up with Brock Lesnar? Were you already training at Minnesota Mixed Martial Arts when he came in, or how did that work?
Chris Tuchscherer: I was training at Minnesota Mixed Martial Arts Academy and Brock knew me from being a wrestler. I had rolled with him a few times when he had come down to the academy, and when he got his UFC contract and everything, I was one of the first guys he called. He basically asked me if I could be one of his full time work out partners, so after that I quit my job and started training full time.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com:Do you feel like training with Brock has really helped you elevate your game over the last couple of years?
Chris Tuchscherer: Oh man, just tremendously. It has made me way better. It has helped me really step up my game because I never had big guys to train with. Plus, when we’re in training camp there’s a bunch of other guys that come through so I have a lot of different people to learn from.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com:Does holding your own in the gym with someone like Brock let you know that you could probably hang with just about anyone in the heavyweight division?
Chris Tuchscherer: Oh yeah. I look at it like ‘Who am I going to go up against that’s as strong and athletic as Brock?’. I mean, he’s just an amazing athlete. I mean, worse case scenario, if I ran up against another Brock Lesnar, I’d be used to it, you know what I’m saying [laughs]. It showed in my last fight with Brandon Lee Hinkle when I just really had my way with him.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com:So what does the future hold for Chris Tuchscherer in mixed martial arts?
Chris Tuchscherer: I want to make it big. I want to prove to the world exactly who Chris Tuchscherer is. I want to make a name for myself and continue to back it up. Being from North Dakota, it’s kind of hard for me to get exposure where I’m at. I think I’m kind of a sleeper out there. I haven’t really gotten the exposure yet but hopefully things will start paying off here soon. I’ve been training for five years now and I think it’s my time.