Interview: Michael ‘Chase’ Corley

Michael ‘Chase’ Corley

Written By: Lance Edwards

A few months back we interviewed Michael about his Muay Thai Challengers appearance. With a couple of interesting fights and the upcoming Muay Thai seminar which Michael, Kru Bob from IV oz, and two of the hottest Muay Thai fighters in the US, Cyrus Washington and the legendary Kevin ‘The Soul Assassin’ Ross; it seemed about time we caught up with him again. For those not familiar with Muay Thai as a sport, they may have seen the famous picture of a tattooed fighter kneeling. That is Ross, who just happens to be at the top of the pile when it comes to US Muay Thai.

TCD: Michael, I heard that you were recalled back to Challengers.

Corley:  That’s right. I was supposed to fight one guy, for the show. The guy I fought before, no-one wanted to fight, so they asked me if I’d fight him again. I can’t tell you what happened, but it will be on TV in Asia in a couple of weeks. Muay Thai is weird when it comes to fighting. One time I fought a guy and knocked him out in the second round. I was then meant to fight this guy and my leg was really busted up. The guy I fought next then just kept kicking me in my busted leg, Muay Thai is a different sport than MMA.

The finale was awesome. There were two or three top local Malay fighters on the show, and three undercard fights as well. I can’t say anything about the finale fight, but it was a great fight. They had commentators in from Australia and the UK, they hung out with us as we were preparing and were looking at our styles. That was pretty cool.

TCD: I believe you also have a fight coming up in South America?

Corley: That’s right, I’m fighting Marco Pique. He’s from Surinam. Surinam is the only Dutch colony in South America, and it’s where fighters like Ernesto Hoost are from. I’m fighting him in his home, where he grew up. It’s a real honor actually. He has close to a hundred fights and has fought everyone from Malipet to Petrosyen. He has a beautiful Dutch style. He’s only a little older than me, but established his career way before I did. I really like him. He’s a friend of mine. In Muay Thai everyone knows you have to fight each other sooner or later, and its normal to fight your friends. He was on Challengers with me. I think there will be a lot of matches coming out of the series. Guys who didn’t fight each other will be matched up, which is great.

TCD: So tell us about the seminar.

Corley: I told people I’m serious about building Muay Thai in Houston. I’m not joking. Kevin Ross and Cyrus Washington are coming, and I wanted to mix in some local flavor with myself and Kru Bob. I thought I couldn’t go wrong. Then I started getting messages and stuff, what about this guy and that guy? There will be more if this goes well and people get behind it. Kevin is the top guy in the US pound for pound, and Cyrus has fought all around the world at a top level. Jiu jitsu guys pay a hundred dollars when a high level guy comes to town. This is thirty bucks for four coaches. You can’t go wrong. I want to get everyone in Houston involved. I don’t want anything negative, that’s why I tried to contact everyone, and everyone is welcome. I’ll take care of the coaches involved, and hopefully the seminar will be a success.

Houston is the fourth largest city in the US, and the Muay Thai just isn’t developed here. MMA is so dominant, even most of the striking coaches have to adapt to MMA. I think the only two pure striking schools are Kru Pong’s and Miichaj.

TCD: How would you like to see Muay Thai grow?

Corley: Mick has done Legacy Muay Thai hybrid shows, and he’s really into it and really supportive of Muay Thai, but the dropout rate is high. For MMA guys doing Muay Thai is like something for them to stay busy. I have a fight coming up in February in Atlanta. They’ve put a number of successful shows on there. If they can do it there, why can’t we? After all we have a big fight community.

I’ve reached out to everyone I can. Guys like Andrew Craig at Team Tooke and Kru Ali. I want to stay here in Houston, it’s where I’m from, and I want to establish Muay Thai here. I won’t be a fighter forever, which means coaching fighters or being involved in promotion. Hopefully this seminar will help. Cyrus and Kevin are excited about coming, they’ve never taught in Texas before.

TCD: What can people expect from the seminar?

Corley: People have asked me that. I think the different guys teaching have different things to offer. Cyrus has good Dutch combos and he’s also adapted taekwondo to Muay Thai really well. Kevin has great flow and combinations. I have a slightly crazy wild style, and Bob has adapted Muay Thai well to MMA.  I think people will get a lot. When you go to a seminar, not everyone you train with has a style that will fit into your game, but with this you can’t go wrong. Someone will appeal to you. This seminar is cheap, and everyone will be able to take away something. I hope it’s a good turnout, I really would like to see the scene build up more here. I’d love to see us having pure Muay Thai cards in Houston, and I think we can do it.

TCD: We wish you good luck with the seminar and the fights, the seminar is an amazing opportunity to train with top guys at an amazing price.

Seminar Info:Location:Gracie Barra, The Woodlands 606 Rayford Road, Spring, TX 77386Date:Saturday, December 3, 2011  from 12pm – 4pmMore information on the seminar HERE.