Las Vegas, NV — After nearly exiting the promotion earlier this year, heavyweight Chase Sherman walked away from UFC Vegas 58 with a much-needed win, and a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus.
Not a bad result for “The Vanilla Gorilla,” but to hear him tell it following the fight, the opposite outcome wouldn’t have had him down.
“It feels amazing. But honestly, I feel like I would sit here and say the same thing if it didn’t go that way, cause I kind of flipped the script on finding happiness in just the victories,” Sherman (16-10) told media outlets including Cageside Press following the event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. “I said this in the 19 other interviews that I just did, but I’ve enjoyed the process, I’ve enjoyed every moment of being here for fight week. Even if I didn’t get the nod, I left it all out there, and there’s nothing else that I could have done. So if that’s what it would have been, then that’s what it would have been.”
Enjoying fight week doesn’t mean falling in love with weight cuts or media day. Rather, it’s “just being in the moment, being present,” Sherman explained. “Getting back to training every day, and growing as a fighter and a martial artist. And just growing in life in general. There’s so much more than just f*cking wins and losses.”
The fight itself, which saw Sherman finish Jared Vanderaa in the third round, battering him with strikes until he slumped down against the fence, played out more or less as he expected.
“I thought it was going to be a tailor-made fight for me. I felt like in a lot of ways I was looking at myself. A younger version of myself. Not saying that he’s younger than me, but earlier on in my career,” Sherman stated. “Just not afraid to engage you in a firefight, a guy that mixes it up well with the kicks, a guy that’s got a hell of a chin. I see a lot of myself in him. Maybe that’s what it was, I was in there battling myself and conquering a few demons, and I needed this victory. Like I told you all this week, I just needed that little spark.”
Sherman, who has made a career out of taking fights on short notice, is still open to stepping up. There’s a key difference these days, however.
“Now we’re not taking fights on short notice because we need the money, we’re taking fights on short notice because we’re staying ready. And I think that’s important and that’s huge.”
As for what comes next, Sherman didn’t have an opponent in mind, but he does have a location. Or at least locale.
“I want to fight in Texas. I want to fight anywhere south of the Mason-Dixon. From Texas, to Florida. I want to fight in front of a f*cking crowd. It’s been over two years since I fought in front of a crowd.” That’s a feeling that Sherman wants back, with an eye on getting on a PPV event. “I want my spine to tingle when I walk out in that arena.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 58 post-fight press appearance from Chase Sherman above. More coverage from the event can be found below.