Chad Mertens – From Independent Fighter to UFC Prospect
Independent fighter ‘Mad’ Chad Mertens’ will be relocating to Martinez, California in hopes of furthering his career of MMA into a UFC future. Mertens’ envisions a bright future in the UFC and is willing to give up everything with value to him in order to get to where he needs to be.
“I’m kind of nervous leaving my friends and family and everybody I know, but I am sure this is the best thing for my future. I want to be the best and work with the best and make it to the top. Fighting is everything to me and I don’t know where I would be without it: it’s my life,“ Mertens’ said.
Mertens is moving to work and train with FightKore MMA to work with famous trainers Rick Reger and James Page.
“FightKore MMA provides a very different atmosphere than many other gyms provide. We keep morals and values flowing throughout the gym, and we give the same amount of attention to all of our fighters no matter the record. They could be winning, losing, rising, or falling. We give the same attention to each individual fighter and we are constantly growing,” coach Rick Reger said.
Mertens’ is clearly working with top of the line trainers as Reger holds a profound background of the light weight world champion, and Page is the welterweight boxing champion. Mertens’ also plans on cross training at Cesar Gracies with the Diaz brothers.
“I’m moving to work with the best of the best. If I plan on going into the UFC I need to be in the right environment [and for me] that’s California. Tons of UFC fighters come out of there, and I want to be surrounded by the MMA environment so that I can keep my focus and do what I’m there to do. It’s not every day that a local fighter gets a chance to work with top of the line athletes.”
“His [Chad] dedication is endless. When he came to the gym we did everything we could to physically and mentally break him down, and he just kept coming back. It was impressive. He has a lot of great things to offer though. He’s got good experience, he trains hard, he’s got a good head on his shoulders and he’s coachable. That’s the best thing an athlete could have”, Reger said.
Leaving everything you know to follow your dreams isn’t the easiest of tasks, especially if you’re leaving a gym that you’ve been with since you started the sport.
“Midtown is a great gym, and I’ve been there since day one of my training. I’m thankful to have had such great training and experience with them. When I am in Oregon I’ll be working with pro boxer Jake Wilson and multi-belt holding champion Corey Wyatt.”
“Chad has a great attitude and a lot of motivation. He loves MMA, and enjoys working hard and enjoys being in the cage. That’s really important when it comes to training. If you don’t enjoy training, you won’t enjoy putting in the work. I’m helping him prepare for his move to California, but his boxing is on point now. Ultimately, with Chad’s passion, he can take himself wherever he wants to go,” coach Jake Wilson said.
According to Mertens’, he is planning on taking some time off before he plans to step in the cage again.
“I want to spend time with FightKore and my trainers to buff up my skills. I’m going to be training 24/7. This isn’t an easy job. I’m only going to be able to see my family for holidays. I’m dedicating all of my time and my future to this right here, right now.”
As Mertens’ branches off from Oregon and the local MMA, he will find out his true worth and where he belongs. Making a move like this is hard, and as a 19 year old fighter, it’s even harder.
“I know I’m leaving everything behind for this, but I would rather do it and fail than go my life not knowing what could have, or would have happened. I will take advantage of this opportunity and I will turn it into success.”
“Chad will have to adjust to the sport at FightKore MMA, but with his qualities, personality, some tough training camps, and some more pushing, he could go pro in about a year,” Reger said.
This Friday, December 14th, Mertens will be facing off against 4-0 fighter Melvin Washington out of 9 Diamonds located in Sacramento, CA. The fight will be hosted at Sierra Casino in Reno, NV, but will be viewable for free at 8:00pm online at gofightlive.tv.com
“I like being the underdog in my fights, because it makes me want to work harder for the win. I feel good going into the fight, I’m confident,” Mertens said.
Mertens’ sponsors include: Close Combat Athletic Gear and Relentless Hustle Clothing, but is looking for a larger amount of sponsors, specifically a supplemental sponsor.
Contacting Chad Mertens: http://www.facebook.com/chad.mertens.7?ref=ts&fref=ts
Contacting Rick Reger: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/RICK.BOOMER.REGER?fref=ts
Contacting Jake Wilson: http://www.facebook.com/jake.wilson.7564?ref=ts&fref=ts