After an admittedly less than ideal run in MMA, Chip Moraza-Pollard has been able to make headway in a sport he always believed he could when turning to Muay Thai.
Over the course of his first for Muay Thai fights, Moraza-Pollard has gone undefeated and finds himself on the cusp of his first major championship. His success is something Moraza-Pollard always believed he could achieve if given the opportunity.
“It’s a long time coming,” Moraza-Pollard told MMAWeekly.com. “For a long time everyone knows I’ve been doing MMA and not quite satisfied with my MMA career and always felt I could do more in Muay Thai and kickboxing, and now I finally have an opportunity to prove it. That’s what I’ve been doing is proving it.”
While he’s found a new home in Muay Thai, Moraza-Pollard is quick to point out his history in MMA has helped lead to the success he’s found in his new sport.
“I’ve trained in a lot of disciplines, a lot of guys I go up against are strictly Muay Thai fighters and they don’t have that different background,” said Moraza-Pollard. “In MMA you have to worry about different kind of fighters and different kind of attacks, and it’s made me develop my game in different ways than the guys I’ve been fighting against.”
At Lion Fight 37 in Mashantucket, Conn., on July 28, Moraza-Pollard (4-0) goes for his first major Muay Thai championship when he takes on Paul Banasiak (5-0) for the promotion’s cruiserweight title.
“I’ve trained with Paul before, actually,” Moraza-Pollard said. “We’re from affiliated schools. It will be interesting because it’s the first time I’ve fought against someone I’ve trained with in the past.
“He’s very technical and is a good Muay Thai fighter who trained in Thailand. But I feel like my diversity and my background in different styles and my ability to change tactics mid-fight will be a little bit too much. It’s usually too much for most people, and I don’t see this fight being any different.”
While winning a championship will add to Moraza-Pollard’s growing Muay Thai resume, his main focus is first and foremost getting the win.
“I said for a longtime I said I belonged in Muay Thai and kickboxing, and that I could be one of the best guys around if I were doing it, so it’s nice to have that validation and the proof in the physical belt to show everybody,” said Moraza-Pollard. “But as far as the fight goes, it’s just another fight.
“Every fight’s the same. Everybody’s coming out to take your head off, so you have to treat them the same. You can’t get caught up in all that, you have to treat it the same as all the others. Titles are nice when it’s all said and done, but it’s nothing compared to going out there and performing like you’re capable of.”