Add UFC middleweight Tim Credeur (12-3 MMA, 3-1 UFC) to the list of fighters who'd like to see stomps and knees to a downed opponent back in MMA.
Yes, he knows; they're not going to help the sport get mainstream acceptance. But for a guy with the nickname "Crazy," the techniques are par for the course.
"I want to do some of those old IVC (International Vale Tudo Championships) fights like where they had that net in the bottom of the cage, and Wanderlei (Silva) was just stone jacking people into hockey netting," Credeur recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I've probably got to go to Russia or China or Yugoslavia to do that now."
The 32-year-old Credeur doesn't care whether he's on the giving or receiving end of punishment as long as it's a good fight. He admits he's a little left of center.
"I watch those World War II movies where it's like six days into a death battle, and they're in those dirty trenches, and all the guys in the movie are filthy and shooting at each other, and the enemy's like 10 feet away in another ditch," Credeur said. "I like that. That's the only place in the world where I flourish. That's the only place in the world I excel – under extreme pressures and situations."
Credeur is currently scheduled to face Tom Lawlor (6-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) at UFC 113 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Credeur's battle wish came true in his most recent appearance, a three-round slugfest with Nate Quarry at UFC Fight Night 19 that won "Fight of the Night" honors. Quarry won, but it looked as if he'd been in a car wreck – not the quick knockout "The Rock" has said he had hoped for.
"I disagree with Nate," Credeur said. "A 10-second knockout? If I train and knock a guy out in 10 seconds, I am disappointed.
"I'm glad I won, and I'm sure my wife is glad I won because she'll get some new stuff, but I'm sad and a little bit depressed because I didn't get to have my fight. I want to get dirty. I want it to be arduous, and I want to get beat on a little bit and have to fight through that."
At 18 years old, Credeur got his taste for raw combat when he moved from Lafayette, La., to La Habra, Calif., to join the Navy and work with jiu-jitsu ace Rodrigo Medeiros in the meantime. He was broke, new, and in a very serious environment, driven only to get better.
"I was just a poor kid from Louisiana, and there was no way to [learn to fight]," Credeur said. "There was no gym, there was no MMA, there was nothing. I knew that if I could join the Navy, I could get stationed somewhere near there and try to find people to help me, and that's what I did."
Help came in the harshest way. Credeur trained with guys like Vitor Belfort, Murilo Bustamante, Allan Goes, and Wallid Ismael, day in and day out. He was out of his league. He got his butt kicked every day, and he learned to like it (there's that nickname, again).
"Finding a way to improve my skills after getting completely humiliated every day, I saw a lot in that dedication and sacrifice," Credeur said. "The adversity that I faced in those situations built me into the martial artist I am today."
It's a tradition he carries on back home. At his Gladiator's Academy gym in Lafayette, it's "no holds barred."
"Our gym is ridiculous," Credeur said. "It's is pretty much IVC rules. It gets pretty serious sometimes. We get the [expletive] beat out of us, but we like it."
While Lawlor's stand-up game is much improved – he nearly knocked out Aaron Simpson at UFC Fight Night 20 in January – he's a wrestler by trade and exactly the kind of opponent who will shoot when overwhelmed on his feet. Not a bad opponent to throw knees against on the mat.
"They would come in handy for [Lawlor] if we could do those," Credeur said.
But alas, progress must come first.
"What I think isn't necessarily what's going to build fans and build the UFC," he said. "The stuff I want to do and the stuff that we ought to be able to do so we can keep doing this for a career are probably two very different things."
On the other hand, there will still be opportunities to get crazy.
"Maybe I catch him in some sort of dirty X-guard thing," he said.
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