In a current episode of the Couch Warrior Podcast, host Mike welcomed Charalampos Grigoriou, who not too long ago received a contract throughout season 7 of Dana White’s Contender Series after knocking out Cameron Smotherman one minute into the battle. The dialog delved into Grigoriou’s martial arts journey, his emotions on representing Cyprus and Greece, and future plans.
Charalampos Grigoriou: From Karate Champion to Blended Martial Artist
Grigoriou started his martial arts journey on the age of six with karate, the place he rapidly rose to develop into a black belt and a two-time champion in Cyprus and Greece. Nonetheless, after eight years of karate he sought extra motion and speak to, main him to transition to Muay Thai and kickboxing, the place he as soon as once more turned a champion in Cyprus. Ultimately, Grigoriou ventured into MMA, turning into a champion in Cyprus earlier than deciding to pursue his dream within the UFC.
The Evolution of a Fighter
When requested about his transition from hanging arts to MMA, Grigoriou defined his fixed seek for extra motion and blood. “I don’t know, I’m bizarre. It’s what you gotta be to be a fighter proper?”. Regardless of going through preliminary challenges with wrestling, he tailored and developed his grappling abilities over time. He emphasised the significance of overcoming obstacles, and this theme would later resurface in his profession.
Challenges in Cyprus MMA Scene
When requested, Grigoriou make clear the MMA scene in Cyprus, acknowledging its rising recognition however emphasizing the necessity for improved amenities and better ability ranges. He expressed his want to contribute to the event of MMA in Cyprus, maybe by establishing a health club with top-notch coaches to nurture native expertise. For now, he’s the one notable MMA fighter popping out of Cyprus, and feels a variety of strain and pleasure in representing his house nation.
The Transfer to the US and Coaching Struggles
In 2017, Grigoriou made a pivotal determination to maneuver to the USA to raise his coaching. He initially confronted challenges with wrestling however devoted himself to mastering the self-discipline. Coaching at numerous gyms, together with Serra-Longo and Astoria Jiu-Jitsu, Grigoriou’s grappling abilities advanced, which might be anticipated when sparring with high-caliber athletes like Aljo and Marab. Following his transfer to the USA, Grigoriou competed in native promotions corresponding to CFFC and Ring of Fight, finally happening a win streak that punched his ticket for Dana White’s Contender Sequence.
Dana White’s Contender Sequence Name-Up
The interview took an thrilling flip as Grigoriou recalled receiving the decision for Dana White’s Contender Sequence. Assured in his talents, he anticipated the decision after his title win at Fight FC 3 the place he completed Chris Disonell within the fifth spherical through leg kicks. Grigoriou highlighted his dedication to ending the battle within the first spherical, showcasing his hanging prowess regardless of options to make use of his grappling abilities. His decisive victory within the first minute of the primary spherical left little room for Dana White to disclaim him a UFC contract.
Studying from Defeat: Psychological Toughness
Grigoriou opened up about his hardest battle towards Christian Rodriguez, one other present UFC fighter who has been on fairly a run. He attributed that loss to psychological unpreparedness and strain. Taking a break, clearing his thoughts, and returning with a renewed focus helped him overcome psychological obstacles. He emphasised the significance of managing strain, particularly as the only real consultant of Cyprus within the UFC.
The Delight of Cyprus: Group Recognition
Except for his preventing profession, Grigoriou obtained the Cyprus US Chamber of Commerce Award, recognizing his achievements as a younger skilled and his contribution to the Cyprus neighborhood within the US. The fighter expressed immense pleasure in receiving this accolade and spoke usually about representing each Cyprus and Greece in and outdoors of the cage.
Trying Forward: Teammates’ Fights and Private Objectives
The interview wrapped up with Grigoriou sharing his ideas on upcoming fights involving his teammates Aljamain Sterling and Merab Dvalishvili. He expressed confidence in Sterling’s transfer to the featherweight division and wholeheartedly supported Merab in his fight against Cejudo, declaring him the following champion. Grigoriou additionally hinted at an upcoming battle on March sixteenth on the Apex, desperate to proceed his UFC journey. Because the interview, his battle has been introduced towards Chad Anheliger, a battle that needs to be violent from starting to finish.
Dream Fights and Future Aspirations
Because the dialog got here to an finish, Grigoriou revealed his dream battle towards Cody Garbrandt, expressing admiration for the previous champion. He acknowledged the necessity to show himself additional within the UFC earlier than pursuing such matchups and highlighted his respect for veterans within the division.
Charalampos Grigoriou’s journey from a karate prodigy in Cyprus to a rising star within the UFC is one marked by willpower, adaptability, and a dedication to non-public progress. As he continues his pursuit of excellence within the Octagon, followers eagerly anticipate his future bouts and potential matchups with seasoned veterans.