FightTicker Exclusive: ICF TurfwaR Post-Event Interview With Dan "The Sandman" Christison

After the recent ICF: TurfwaR event, I caught up with Dan Christison to see what he had to say about his 36-second TKO victory over Brion Peoples. Christison can next be seen in action against another UFC vet, Marcio “Pe de Pano” Cruz at the upcoming ICF: Breakout event, April 11th at US Bank Arena.

Much like when I caught up with Christison after his submission victory over Steve Banks at ICF: Redemption, he was more than willing to take some time to talk to me and had some great things to say.

You can find the full interview after the jump.

FightTicker: How did you feel going into the fight?

Dan Christison: Actually, fairly nervous. I didn’t really get too much information on Brion – it was real difficult, everybody spells his name wrong or different, things like that, so I was “Googling” like a thousand different ways trying to do any research on his name and couldn’t find much of anything. Usually with the research you try to find out at least the basics of what the person is going to do, then you cut them off. You give them less and less options until you give them the option you want them to take and then you capitalize on their mistakes, it’s that simple. That’s what I was looking forward to, but not finding any information is actually more terrifying than knowing what your opponent is going to do [Laughs], so I was a big nervous going into this.

FT: You have a fight coming up against Marcio Cruz on April 11th at US Bank Arena – what are you thinking about going into that fight?

Christison: Against Marcio, it’s different because everybody has a different goal and series of moves they want to get to, a point they want to get to where they’re an expert. Obviously with Marcio it’s with his jiu jitsu, but he’s got to get me there. He’s a black in jiu jitsu, I’m a black belt in jiu jitsu. He’s a world champion black belt in jiu jitsu, that’s the difference. As far as that goes, it’s pretty obvious – he wants to get me to the ground and submit me and I don’t want to let him get to his element, I want to get him to an element where I’m superior. Simple as that.

FT: You’ve got your own school now, The Sandbox, and you had a lot of guys from Team Sandbox here tonight – who all are you working with for the Cruz fight?

Christison: I’m working with Jake O’Brien, and I also work with Josh Johnson from Luiz Palhares jiu jitsu – he’s got a school down in Bowling Green [KY] and Elizabethtown [KY]. Phenomenal people to work with and they all are getting me ready.

FT: The April 11th event is going to be a big one, possibly upwards of 6,000 people there – what are you thinking about getting in front of that kind of crowd again?

Christison: It’s pretty much just another day at the office. The weird thing is, like when you go to a football game or any kind of stadium, if you look at the crowd, you can see the people next to you, but you look across the stadium and you just see a wall of people, it doesn’t even look real. It’s the same type of thing. It’s not the first time I’ve fought on the world stage or the national stage, it’s just another day at the office.

FT: Another main event for ICF tonight and another on April 11th – are you going to be working out an exclusive deal with them or do you just enjoy fighting for them so you keep coming back?

Christison: I look at fighting as a long-term thing, it’s not a short-term thing, you can’t go out there and win every fight. But what you do, in your career, is you work on the things you have to work on. So as you mature as a fighter, as you get better, you get to bring all different aspects of martial arts, be it boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, submission wrestling, brining all those components together and being able to flawlessly, seamlessly transition from one to the other without any apparent effort, and as a person let’s say you’re weak in one area. If you build up that one area, it makes everything stronger. So as I progress in my career, I’ve found that at one point in time, I was on the national stage, then I got an injury, and I took the opportunity to step away from the national stage and come back and do the grass-roots shows and build my career back up, working on the things I needed to work on, and now I feel like I have a very well-rounded game. There’s really nowhere I can go where I’m not comfortable.

FT: On the promo video for ICF: Breakout, one of things you said was that every day you ask yourself, “Am I becoming a better martial artist?” Is that your overarching training philosophy?

Christison: Very much so, it’s a training philosophy and a life philosophy. If you were to look at something in nature, like a shark for example, if a shark stops moving, they die. In what we do, we’re sharks, and we have to continually evolve. When you evolve, you live because you evolve around a particular set of circumstances or setbacks – you evolve to become a better fighter, a better person, a better martial artist, whatever you want. But it’s all evolving, you’re not saying at any point in time, “Well, I think I know it all, I have every answer, there’s nothing I have left to learn.” When you feel like you know it all, that’s when you die. When they say the statement, “The pride comes before the fall,” that’s right then and there. As soon as someone believes they know it all, that’s when their fall is imminent.


You can find Christison on Myspace here and his school, The Sandbox, here.


(Originally posted on FightTicker.com)

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