Another fighter I had the chance to speak to after the recent ICF: Sacrifice event was one of the FightTicker.com Submission of the Night recipients, Mark "The Future" Crawn. In what many people thought was going to be a three-round battle between Crawn and Jason Cocagne, Crawn stopped the action early with a guillotine at 1:16 of Round 1. Crawn took some time to speak with me after the fight about how he felt going into the fight as well as his plans to challenge for the ICF's amateur 205 title.
FightTicker.com: Mark Crawn, recipient of one of the FightTicker.com Submission of the Night awards with a guillotine win over Jason Cocagne – how were you feeling going into the fight?
Crawn: Actually, this time making the cut [to 185] was a little tough, I put on a bit of muscle and I had to work to get it off prior to the fight. I got hydrated up and recovered real well so I was good to go.
FightTicker.com: Obviously, Cocagne is a hard striker and while you’re a hard striker yourself, you’re a BJJ guy at the core – when you took him down, was that part of the plan or was that just how the fight developed?
Crawn: Me and Jason [Cocagne] are really good friends and we talk about every fight, and I knew his style and I knew what he was going to do so I sat back in the back with Jorge Gurgel and we kind of made out a gameplan and it worked exactly like we planned, to the tee. I just did exactly what he [Gurgel] told me, the guillotine was there and I’d rather choke somebody I’m friends with than punch them in the face.
FightTicker.com: Are you thinking about going back to 205?
Crawn: I’m planning on going back to 205. Steve [Stanton] has talked about giving me a title shot at 205 on August 22nd at U.S. Bank Arena and I feel like I could be a real good contender for that. I’m trying to fight in Columbus on the 4th of July [for the ICF], because that’s a big Navy town, but I’d also like to fight on June 19th in Indiana [for the ICF]. I’m willing to fight any time, any place.
FightTicker.com: You had some strong people in your corner tonight, both Jorge Gurgel and George Oiler, to name a couple – what was your training camp like before the fight?
Crawn: I’ve been in training camp since January, even after I fought Keith [Cunagin], I didn’t take any time off at all, been training my butt off three times a day if I can, taking off Saturdays and Sundays. I just plan for every aspect of fighting, I work on the ground, I work on my hands, I listen to my coaches and whatever they say, I do.
FightTicker.com: You walked out tonight with a Fight For Life USA custom shirt and shorts (pictured above). Tell me a little bit about your association with them.
Crawn: I got connected with Brent Thompson [Fight For Life USA co-founder] and I wanted to basically represent something better than just fighting or being tough – I’m more interested in doing something with a company that helps out with cancer awareness, to give people a chance. It’s important to me to do something to give back.
FightTicker.com: Is there anyone else you need to thank or give a shout-out to?
Crawn: My sponsors, the Navy, and Revgear, and my black belt jiu jitsu coach down at Beckley MMA, Brian Anderson. I want to give a shout-out to my wife, tell her thanks for her support and thank God, because he makes all this possible.
Crawn is an exciting fighter and either the 185 or 205 division could hold some good things for him. If he does challenge Kevin Barton for the 205 title in August, Crawn's BJJ could prove an interesting match-up for Barton's solid wrestling skills.