Moraza-Pollard aiming to keep his stunning ascension
A hard road in one combat sport has paved the way to a smooth ride – at least so far – in another for Chip Moraza-Pollard.
After a seven-year run in mixed martial arts and with mounting frustration, Moraza-Pollard made the move to Muay Thai and an immediate jump into Lion Fight. While his striking background had always been based in Muay Thai, Moraza-Pollard’s dramatic rise under the Lion Fight banner has been nothing short of amazing. Less than three years has gone by and the Plymouth, Massachusetts, product has become the Lion Fight world cruiserweight champ, and also holds the same title with Lion Fight’s partner organization, Muay Thai Grand Prix.
“The Surgeon” is aiming to keep his stunning ascension pointed the right direction at Lion Fight 40 by surgically dissecting Lion Fight crown challenger Slava “Scarface” Alexeichik of New Zealand. Their title clash is the main event of the Lion Fight 40 card taking place on Saturday, February 3rd at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut.
Moraza-Pollard, who added the MTGP title with a clear-cut decision victory over Jordan Smith at Lion Fight 39 in London, England, took some time out from training for his second title defense to do a Q&A with LionFight.com.
Q: Did you expect your move to Muay Thai would ever have gone this well especially with two convincing title wins?
A: I told everyone a couple years back while still competing in MMA that if I got the opportunity to show what I could do in a Muay Thai fight, the sky would be the limit. I didn’t exactly plan on winning titles or fighting overseas within the first year, but I knew my skills would speak for themselves and good things would come.
Q: Clearly then, you’d have to say moving to Muay Thai and into the Lion Fight ring has been the best move of your career?
A: Absolutely. I knew it was what I wanted to do all along and was just waiting for the opportunity.
Q: Can we get your thoughts on your last two fights – beating Paul Banasiak to win the vacant Lion Fight world title and then defeating Jordan Smith in his home town of London, England, to claim the MTGP crown?
A: Those were two big wins. Obviously, they were both for titles, but even without the belts on the line, both of those men are great fighters and each presented unique challenges. I learned a lot from each fight, but they are in the past now and it’s time to look forward.
Q: With that in mind, what are your thoughts on the upcoming title defense against Slava Alexeichik?
A: He’s a veteran and a dangerous opponent. He seems to be well-rounded and has heavy hands. I’m looking forward to the challenge.
Q: Anything in particular you are working to improve upon as you get ready for this title fight?
A: I always work to sharpen every facet of my game no matter who I’m facing next. None of my fights will ever be perfect so there’s always something to improve upon, so we’ll see what improvements I’ve made come February 3rd.
Moraza-Pollard’s title fight against Alexeichik tops the bill of Lion Fight 40 with a co-main event featuring a showdown for the Lion Fight world lightweight title as Thai legend Lerdsila battles Alexi Serepisos.
Lion Fight 40 also features the first-ever North American title bout in the organization’s history with Brett Hlavacek taking on Elijah Clarke for the light heavyweight belt. The lineup also features numerous fan favorites including powerful super cruiserweight Steve “Put Em To Sleep” Walker, lightweight thriller “The Don” Julio Pena, and top prospects Mike Triana, Cris Mims, and Brian Bogue.