Interview With Mixed Martial Artist Christian "The Hungarian Nightmare" Wellisch by Ben Tatar of CriticalBench.com
1) Critical Bench: Christian, Full contacting fighting is one of the most dangerous and most gruesome sports in the whole world. We wonder what inspired you to become a fighter?
I wrestled in High School and College. I also did judo and ju jitsu for fun. A dislocated shoulder put an end to my wrestling ambitions, so instead I tried to satisfy my competitive drive through – what else? Full contact fighting. Made sense to me…
2) Critical Bench: Have you ever faced a very funny moment in a fight before? A blooper of sorts?
Once, I shot in for a takedown and noticed – for the first time- that my opponent's toenails were painted bright colors. I was a little surprised and actually let go of his leg. He then knocked some sense into me with a hook, and I forgot all about his toenails, took him down, and got the TKO.
3) Critical Bench: That's a classic story. Besides your own fights, what fights will you remember the most?
Any fight where Bob Sapp gets beat up; Frank Shamrock beating Tito Ortiz, BJ beating Matt Hughes, Couture-Liddel 1 and 2…
4) Critical Bench: Who was your toughest opponent ever?
My toughest battles have always been in training. I trained with the best of the best at American Kickboxing Academy. I've been lucky enough to work with Frank Shamrock, Brian Johnston, Paul Buentello, Bobby Southworth, Mike Swick, Josh Koscheck, Mike Kyle, Don Frye, and the list goes on. At AKA, we usually spar pretty hard, and invariably I got more banged up in a sparring session than in any of my fights. I will also I will never forget the slobber-knocker that I had at the Mohegan Sun...
5) Critical Bench: We all prepare for fights differently. Some people prefer to step into the cage/ring/octagon with a "calm rage" and believe that too much intensity can hinder focus. Others love getting psyched up to the maximum before fighting and letting all loose. What is your inner game plan before fighting?
I put all my focus into concentrating on what I have to do. I don't waste energy on getting 'psyched', instead I try to relax and look at a fight as a sparring session with a paycheck. I try to have a gameplan for any situation, so I never get caught by surprise, and I always try to find an advantage no matter what position I happen to be in.
6) Critical Bench: Tell us about your weight training routine, diet and cardio before a fight? Do you train like a bodybuilder or do you have a specific athletic/explosive/fighting like routine?
Fighters should not train like bodybuilders. The key is power and performance, not massive muscles. I focus on explosive compound movements such as power cleans, and I also train for muscular endurance. Cardio should be done to resemble a fight: timed intervals to simulate the round format.
7) Critical Bench: What was the coolest thing that you ever did while you were training?
I have tapped out some well known top notch fighters, who will remain anonymous…
8) Critical Bench:What fight has been the biggest high of your life and what has been the biggest high in your personal life thus far?
Hmm… My first fight was the biggest high of my life. As far as personal life… that's personal.
9) Critical Bench: Did you have an interesting upbringing with your family?
Hey, I'm Hungarian. We ate a lot!
10) Critical Bench: who do you think is the greatest fighter that ever lived?
That's a tough one. When BJ beat Hughes, I thought he was pound-for-pound the best. Fedor looks pretty much invincible as the PRIDE heavyweight champ. And Frank Shamrock's legacy is difficult to surpass. I can't pick one…
11) Critical Bench: what would you like to tell the beginner who wants to be the next World's Best?
Be prepared to sacrifice a lot for this sport, because it is very demanding – but it can be very rewarding, too. But if you put in the effort, you can achieve your dreams.
12) Critical Bench: What is the best advice that a teacher has given you, and what is the worst advice a teacher has ever given you?
Best advice: Kneebar!
Worst advice: don't stand on the cage!
13) Critical Bench: Who is your biggest mentor?
Lynn Schutz, my trainer at AKA.
14) Critical Bench: What are your future goals?
Finish law school, win a title, open a gym, and start an organization for fighters.
15) Critical Bench: How do you see the future of full contact fighting?
I see more money, more mainstream acceptance, unified rules, and unified championships. Fighters should try to make sure that some of the things that plague pro boxing and other sports do not ruin our sport. Over all, I see a bright future for MMA worldwide.
Critical Bench: Christian, it's been fun interviewing you. Is there anything else you would like to tell everyone reading your interview?
Yes – regardless of what Mike Swick may tell you, I was the first fighter to stand on the cage!