Chris Wade had to work a bit harder than expected to defeat Nate Andrews in the co-main event of PFL 2 2019, and he’ll use that as motivation to come out even better next time around.
Uniondale, NY – Chris Wade was a semifinalist last season in PFL, coming up short to eventual champion Natan Schulte in what was a controversial decision. Wade was matched up with submission specialist Nate Andrews to start his 2019 campaign in front of a home crowd on Long Island. While he came away with three points, it wasn’t the performance that Wade wanted.
“I’m happy that it was a better start than last season was. Last season in Chicago we came away with nothing. This season we came away with three points. Whenever I’m here fighting at home, I feel, not pressure, but I just know that a lot people come here to watch and come here to see me and I want to do something spectacular for them that they’ll remember and talk about for a long time. Not being able to get a finish… I’m hard on myself so that’s going to eat at me a little bit.”
As to what exactly bothered him about the decision victory, it came down to utilizing the wrong type of takedown attempts and burning energy in the first round.
“I told my corner I wasted, threw away, a ton of juice trying to take him down of the cage early on. I was thinking I was going to ragdoll him down and I wasn’t able to get him to leave his feet. Especially early on. It just wasn’t a smart tactic for me. He started pushing my head away quite a bit, creating a lot of separation. I wound up fighting myself in way more than I should have. I should have broke loose and went back to striking. Stubbornness. Sometimes the wrestler in me goes, ‘Oh yeah? I can’t take you down? I can take you down here.’ I wound up having to go back to shots. You can’t waste energy like that in a fight. I would have been so much better off just standing and striking and not even trying to put him on the cage. It was just a big mistake. Luckily I didn’t pay for it with a loss.”
Wade expected to run through Andrews, but ended up competing with a much craftier opponent than expected.
“He does that snake thing. He’s got… how many submissions? Seven in a row? We knew he was going to be really crafty and able to sink chokes left and right. So I had people on my back the whole camp. I wasn’t necessarily worried about that part of things. In the beginning, that’s what led me to stay upright more with him. I didn’t want to shoot underneath and get in those choke scenarios. I just regret it because every shot I took after that I scored a takedown. I would have wasted much less juice. Just stick to what works.”
The crowd was roaring for Wade, who hails from Islip, New York, which is about a 40-minute drive to the Nassau Coliseum. Having that support was huge for Wade on fight night.
“I can hear it. Even before the fight, I’m looking left and right and I know somebody. They’re making eye contact with me, starting to get crazy, it’s amping me up. I really think that on a night like tonight where I didn’t feel like I had necessarily everything that I’d have on my best nights, that they kind of willed me through what I felt was a really tough fight with a guy that was relatively unknown to me that was really game for the fight. I didn’t get to see very much on him. But just having that energy in the building knowing my family is here, my friends are here, and I can’t let them down. It just makes me think that I’m not quitting them, I’m winning this fight, 100-percent. It was probably the difference maker.”
Check out the rest of the press conference above, featuring former UFC featherweight Dennis Bermudez chiming in with a question.