Kickboxing instructor, personal trainer, martial artist and professional fighter, Chazz “The Hybrid” Walton wears many hats around the gym. The undefeated prospect is currently riding a wave of momentum in his life and fighting career. One of the school’s most popular instructors, Chazz recently introduced a popular new circuit training class called HybridFit at our Alpharetta location. In addition, he’s training for the biggest match of his young career when he fights in front of a nationally televised audience for Legacy FC on October 16th. I recently spoke to Chazz about the fight, his training and burgeoning career at KnuckleUp Fitness.
When is your next fight and who is your opponent?
It’s on October 16 for Legacy FC and I will be fighting against Josh Millwood. He’s a 145-er who is coming off an injury, so he’s coming up to 155 for this fight. His pro MMA record is 1-1 and I’m 2-0 so we both have the same pro experience.
What’s his fighting style?
He’s kind of a brawler. He has some technique and likes to go to the ground. He tries to smother his opponents, but me being the bigger guy, I don’t plan on letting that happen.
Have you been working on your takedown defense or your movement?
I’m a mixed martial artist so I work on everything. I work on my takedown defense, my striking defense. If I know someone’s going to be coming with a specific approach, then I try to cater to that, but my MMA training camps are pretty well rounded.
Who are your main training partners at KnuckleUp?
Dave Vitkay, Luke Neyland, Gui Curry are my main guys. Luke gives me a good speed, a good pace. Dave gives me a lot of strength to deal with and Gui is about the same size as my opponent. I also train with Nick Sprayberry who recently joined the KnuckleUp team. I’ve been training with guys with similar reach, some stronger and some faster, so no matter what my opponent brings to the table, I’m 100 percent prepared.
Some of those guys are much bigger or more experienced than you. How do you hang in there with them?
Not to discredit them in any way, but I hold my own for sure. It used to be me getting dominated but I’ve been sharpening my skills over time and evolving as a fighter. I’m definitely capable of holding my own against them and I feel against anybody in Georgia—or the world for that matter!
Do you feel that training against bigger guys helps you in an MMA fight against someone your own size? Dave is coming down to 170, but he’s fought at 185 most of his career.
Dave is a grinder. He brings it every time we train and he’ll smother you every second of training if you give him a chance. I know that his style and my opponent’s style are very similar except Dave’s better all around and a lot bigger and a lot stronger, so holding my own with Dave definitely boosts my confidence going into this fight.
You had a little talk with Dana White where he said he kind of has his eye on you now, and that a string of four or five more wins could give you a good shot at The Ultimate Fighter. Do you put that stuff out of your mind or does it create more pressure for you to remain undefeated?
I don’t put it out of my mind because I believe that pressure creates diamonds or it bursts pipes. I feel that I’m destined to be a diamond. I thrive under pressure, I fight better under pressure, I train harder under pressure. In all honesty, the more pressure that’s on me, the better. I’m just trying to become that diamond that I want to be.
Is your wife going to be in your corner again for your upcoming fight?
Of course. She’s always in my corner. She does tons for me when it comes to fight camps and just supporting me in general. She’ll always have a spot in my corner and I feel she deserves that.
As well as training for your upcoming fight at KnuckleUp, you’re also an instructor and personal trainer there. Tell us a little bit more about the classes you teach.
I teach kickboxing and do mainly private lessons geared toward MMA. As in instructor, I’ve come to realize that teaching students proper technique and having to break down movements has made me a better fighter. This is the best I’ve ever been and I attribute that to being able to train full-time and being an instructor of techniques and deconstructed movements. I truly believe that you find success in making other people successful in achieving their goals.
Tell us about the new HybridFit class you’re teaching with Mark.
It’s intense cardio strength and conditioning circuit that includes all the things I do when I’m conditioning for a fight. Mixed martial arts is probably the toughest sport in the world. You have to be in the best shape of almost any athlete out there and make sure your cardio and endurance are good. The class is structured to do that for other people who are interested in taking their workout up a few notches.
Where and how can people take those classes?
The class is currently being offered at KnuckleUp Alpharetta on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 pm. Right now Marc Davis is teaching and helping me out with it as I prepare for my upcoming fight.
Any final shout-outs to those who have helped you during this fight camp?
I definitely want to mention American Top Team Gwinnett, Amir Dotovic and Diego Lima and the guys out there. I come out there and cross-train with them. They’re always welcoming me with open arms so I definitely want to thank them. Johnny Dunn is also back in my corner. I feel he has made me ten times better than before and as long as he’s working with me, I’m going to continue to grow. And my wife, as usual, and CJ and KnuckleUp for giving me a place to sharpen my tools.