MIXED MARTIAL ARTS: Still unbeaten, Corvin taking a short break (03/31)

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By Greg Crews



By GREG CREWS gcrews@thenewsenterprise.com ELIZABETHTOWN With an unblemished record and the label as the fastest-rising star in mixed martial arts, Chad Corvin has a bit of leverage. Now, he’s using it to take some time off. “I’ve probably gotten a dozen offers since my last fight to fight somewhere,” said Corvin, a former Central Hardin High School wrestler and football player. “Unless someone makes it worth my while, I’m not fighting anywhere until after I get my (plumbing) license.” That’s right, Corvin’s fighting career is on a brief hiatus while he gets certified to be a plumber. “I like that, Chad’s got a backup plan,” Xtreme Fighting Championship president John Prisco said. “He’s not one of those guys who says, ‘I have to make this work.’ That’s why I didn’t get completely upset when he couldn’t fight (in XFC 8 on April 25).” The 6-foot-5, 250-pound heavyweight is now 11-0 overall and 5-0 since turning pro. All five of Corvin’s professional wins have come by way of knockout in the first round. In fact, none of them have lasted more than 2 minutes. “He’s got a lot of power and he’s a real nice kid,” Prisco said. “I’ll have more of an opinion about Chad when I see him go past the first round.” Corvin’s career and reputation reached a new peak in December, when he defeated South African heavyweight champion Rico Hattingh — knocking him out in 19 seconds and sending him to the hospital after fracturing his nose in four places. It was Corvin’s debut with XFC and was considered a major upset by many. But in his next fight Corvin, 23, proved it was no fluke, defeating the bigger and heavier Scott Barrett in 1 minute, 30 seconds. However, the win wasn’t nearly as satisfying for Corvin. “We went to the mat and he had me on my back. I hit him a few times and when we went back up to our feet he just fell over and started screaming,” Corvin said. “I was real excited and anxious to go in there and to see the guy 1 ½ minutes into the fight blow his knee out, I was a little disappointed.” Prisco was happy to see that reaction. “Chad wants to be tested,” Prisco said. “That was the first time someone got Chad on his back and it was evident early on that it would be a tough fight. … You could see he was disappointed when it was over.” Corvin is used to giving the crowd a little more excitement than that. Though Corvin was a wrestling State runner-up in 2004 as a senior, he prefers to use his anvil-like hands to end fights. “People like the way I fight. People want to see people get hurt,” Corvin said. “It’s like most people who go to a NASCAR race, they want to see a wreck. “I think that’s the main reason for my popularity: The fashion I win in and the way I fight.” Corvin has long been filling local venues like the National Guard Armory with people wanting to see his vicious knock-out blows. But the buzz around Corvin now stretches well beyond Hardin County and even Kentucky for that matter. Online message boards are riddled with people’s opinions of Corvin, while more than 24,000 have watched his fights on youtube.com. “I get on the Internet and see if there are any new articles about me. If people are talking about me, I pay attention somewhat,” Corvin said. “But if someone says something bad about me, I really don’t pay attention.” These days, there’s not much bad that can be said about Corvin. When asked if any fighters have showed interest in fighting Corvin, Prisco replied, “I won’t say there is a lot of interest. Most people don’t want to go anywhere near Chad.” That’s a reputation Corvin would like to keep. That’s why he doesn’t want to try to juggle plumbing classes at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College and training for a fight. Corvin is currently taking classes two days a week until he takes his test next month. That doesn’t exactly mesh with Corvin’s training regimen, which has increased just as his level of competition has. Before fighting Barrett, Corvin’s sponsor Submit MMA sent him to Roseville, Calif., for two weeks of training, which Corvin described as “boot camp.” When Corvin is ready to fight again, he will likely go back to Roseville to once again train with Ultimate Training Center and Niavaroni Kickboxing Inc. With that training, along with the continued training Corvin does under coach Josh Johnson in Elizabethtown, Corvin hopes to continue fighting in bigger and bigger bouts. Corvin said he would someday like to get the chance to fight in a widely viewed television match, perhaps with Ultimate Fighting Championship — the sports biggest stage. “If I keep getting big wins and keep beating credible opponents, they (the UFC) really don’t have a choice but to look at me,” said Corvin, who feels well taken care of by XFC. “If I could make it to the UFC, that would be awesome, but I wouldn’t say that’s really a goal.” As for when Corvin will climb back in the ring, that remains a mystery. One thing that is for sure is that when Corvin comes back, people will be watching. Greg Crews can be reached at 505-1754