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Dan Christison speaks on signing with IFL, cornering Couture

Dan Christison was gracious enough to take time to talk with me on Sunday after being up late at UFC 68 where he was one of the corner men for Randy Couture. Dan recently signed with the IFL and will be fighting for Frank Shamrock's Razorclaws out of San Jose, CA. How did you come by being signed by the IFL and the Razorclaws?

Christison: I actually didn't know it was specifically for the Razorclaws. It was one of the offers that was on the table that my management team was looking over to determine the next step in my career. We decided that it was the best course of action and we went for it. You're an actual member of the team and not an alternate right?

Christison: Yes, I'm an actual member of the team and not an alternate. What does being in the IFL mean for you?

Christison: It's interesting so far. There are several people asking me about that and the whole team concept. First of all, it's an interesting opportunity. I've never looked at it as a team sport. Sure, it is you in there one on one when the match is going on but it's your team that supports and prepares you. They get you ready and that is a huge deal. If they are not up to the task then sometimes that is reflected in your fight. If they really push you then victory is no question. Before you came into the IFL, Ben Rothwell of the Silverbacks was the heavy weight to beat. You have already beaten him once. Where do you think that puts you among the IFL's heavy weights?

Christison: I don't know. I don't look at who I beat in the past like that. I look to the future because there are many times that a fighter will come back and beat another fighter that has beaten him in the past. When you see a rematch the odds are that you are going to see two different fighters. The fighter who doesn't change and remains the same will become stale and can be beaten. Plus, if you have fought them before you know how each other fight and can prepare for them.

Christison: That goes both ways. You know what each other does but it's hard to train for that because you are both doing the same thing and trying to improve at the same time. What are the differences between fighting in a cage and fighting in a ring? Do you have a preference?

Christison: It doesn't matter to me personally. I've never had a problem with fighting in a cage. It is good if you are tired to put your opponent against it where you can hit him then catch your breath before you move on to the next thing. I've fought in a ring before too so it's not that a big deal to me. People say the cage can cause damage to someone but the ropes can do the same thing when you go through them and get tied up. Like I said, I've fought in both and neither is that big of a deal. Since you are divided into a team do you get paid per fight or do you get paid monthly?

Christison: The contract I signed gives me a monthly paycheck in addition to the normal showing payment and winning bonuses. There are several other bonuses built in based on how far the team goes, how many fights I win and a lot of other bonuses that can stack up to make a nice payday over time. I think the biggest thing is the monthly paycheck and I believe we get health insurance. That blows my mind. I've never heard of a fight organization that provides health insurance to its fighters. Wow, I have heard that they really try to take care of their fans and fighters but that is amazing. How often will you train with the team?

Christison: For my first fight I will go out to San Jose about two weeks before the fight then I will go back to Albuquerque. I assume it will be a couple of weeks before each fight. We will work it out and make any needed adjustments to the training schedule. What was it like working with Randy Couture to get him ready for his fight with Tim Sylvia?

Christison: It was a great experience. He is one of the toughest guys that I have ever met. It was a great opportunity and I was thankful and surprised he called. I did my research on Tim and then helped push Randy in the direction he needed to go. I thought it was good exposure to see you on the countdown to UFC 68 show working with Randy.

Christison: I haven't been able to see it yet because we didn't have Spike TV in the hotel room but that is cool. What was it like being in his corner in between rounds?

Christison: Being in his corner was probably one of the best things that has ever happened to me. When a legend in anything, be it business or sports or whatever your one thing is, asks you to be his back-up that is a huge thing. If you have the wrong person in your corner or any number of other factors it can mess with your head and affect your fight. I personally spend a long time researching who I allow to be in my own corner then see if they are available. When Randy asked me, there was no question and I told him I was honored that he asked. Based on the relationship you two developed, do you think you will work with him more in the future?

Christison: I don't know. I'm not looking at it as a one-time thing. I told Randy that I showed up to his training camp as a training partner and left as a friend. If he wants me in his corner again or to help him train to prepare for a fight then I would do it again without question. To me, Randy embodies what a true champion is and what a true champion acts like and does. It is not an act with him. He is the same if the camera is in front of him or not. He doesn't throw around his ego and is just a great guy. Are you still affiliated with Greg Jackson and his team?

Christison: Oh Yeah! I will always be affiliated with Greg Jackson. What are your short and long term fight plans?

Christison: They are about the same. I'm going to review each and every offer that is out there and go over it with my management team and we will determine what action is best for my career. I would love to be able to go back to fighting anyone, anywhere and at anytime. However, that is not the best course of action for your career. It would be great to go back to taking fights whenever I wanted but in reality when your career is on the line you have to look at who and what you are fighting. The bad thing about this sport is that you are not always judged on your career. They look at how your last fight went and what your record is. For instance, they look at my record and they say "you almost have as many loses as you do wins" and they don't look at the caliber of the person you're fighting with. That's what I was going to say. You have fought some tough guys like Dan Severn and Frank Mir and they had to go to a decision with you and couldn't finish you. People need to look at the caliber of the fighter and how you do in the match. There are several people that thought you should have won against Mir.

Christison: I look at that too but a lot of people don't. The reality is there are a lot of tough guys out there. Most people really don't look at it that way. I think you have to look at how well a fighter does even if he loses. Look at Chris Lytle and Matt Hughes from the other night. I think Chris did a great job of defending himself against Matt's ground and pound.

Christison: He did a great job and I was impressed. That's what I'm saying. Was he dominant? No, but he did a great job and he made Matt take him to a decision. I think you have to look at every aspect of the fight even if someone loses.

Christison: I look at it the same way. However, as a career, unfortunately some people don't look at it in an educational way. Sometimes sponsors will do the same thing and look to see if you have a perfect record and if you don't or other things they may say they no longer want to sponsor you. That is why I have to look at a fight as an opportunity to see if I can better myself and prove myself on that night. Of course, that's why I have my manager to be that voice of reason to steer me away from fights I don't need to take at this time like "hey, lets not think Fedor at this time (laughter) let's look at this guy" because I'd be like OK, let's go and see what happens. My manager would say let's take a more professional approach. Who are the sponsors that you would like to thank?

Christison: I'd like to thank Full Contact Fighter. I have a new supplements sponsor that you can see at I also want to thank B&B Chiropractic, Metroplex Rehab and Premier Concrete. Where can people see you on the web?

Christison: I have a myspace account ( and I have a profile at Denaro Sports ( along with all the other fighters that are managed by Denaro Sports. I know you were up late and you're tired. Is there anything else to say to fans before we go?

Christison: Thank you from the bottom of my heart. The support you have shown has been a phenomenal thing to witness and be a part of. I don't get to sit down and talk to all of my fans but I have been able to do so with a few and the support that they have shown has just been phenomenal. I want to thank you and say that I really do take each and every one of those hopes for me to do well and that positive energy to the ring with me.

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