by Ricardo Mendoza – MMAWeekly.com
On Saturday night, Midwest fighter Chase Beebe gets a second chance at becoming a champion as he moves down from featherweight to bantamweight to take on WEC Bantamweight Champion Eddie Wineland for the title. Beebe is largely unknown by mainstream MMA fans but he hopes to change that come Saturday night. Beebe sat down with MMAWeekly to discuss his MMA career and upcoming title fight.

MMAWeekly: What is your athletic background?

Beebe: I’m a four time state high school wrestling champion and I used to wrestle for Purdue. Other sports that I’ve done before include gymnastics, football and hockey.

MMAWeekly: How did you get started in MMA?

Beebe: I saw it on TV once and I thought it would be something cool to do.

MMAWeekly: Who are you training with?

Beebe: I’ve been training at Gilbert Grappling with Joey Gilbert, the Guida brothers and with my primary training partner Tommy Lee. I also train at a wrestling school with Mike and Clay French since its closer to home.

MMAWeekly: You fought Matt “Sunshine” Fiordirisa at XFO 12 for the XFO Featherweight Championship, even in losing a decision you gained a lot of new fans. Tell us about the fight and how it affected your MMA career.

Beebe: I really learned a lot from that fight. It was a three round war and I did great for the first two rounds but I was totally exhausted for the third round even though I thought my cardio was great. I learned what it took to fight a war and it showed me what I needed to do to become a real fighter.

MMAWeekly: All nine of your wins have come by submission; tell us about your progression as being primarily a wrestler to becoming an MMA fighter.

Beebe: I’ve developed more after wrestling to become better rounded and complete my entire game. I primarily like to get mount on my opponents and start landing strikes, eventually they give up their backs and I lock in a choke.

MMAWeekly: You’re fighting Eddie Wineland at WEC 26 for the WEC Bantamweight Championship, how did the opportunity come to be?

Beebe: My manager Chad Bergmeier helped push hard for me to get this fight a lot. I have been working hard and I knew that the chance would come up someday, that is why I always work to improve my skills.

MMAWeekly: Can you give us your thoughts on the fight?

Beebe: I expect to go out there and bang with him. I’m comfortable with my striking and a lot of punches are going to be thrown from start to finish, it’s going to be an all out war.

MMAWeekly: Wineland is known for his striking and you’re primarily a ground fighter. What kind of training have you been in preparation for the fight?

Beebe: I’ve been working with a really strong Muay Thai coach, who has taught me how to take leg kicks. In exchange for his training, I’ve been teaching him wrestling and submissions. I’ve also been doing a lot of cardio training and I think that it’s ten times better than it was before, so I’m prepared to fight a five-round war if I need to.

MMAWeekly: You’ve fought at 145 pounds for your entire career. Is making 135 pounds going to be a challenge for you?

Beebe: It’s going to be a bit of challenge because I’m not fond of cutting weight but I’ve wrestled for my whole life, so I’m an expert on how to cut weight. This isn’t the worst situation I’ve been in when it comes to cutting weight and I have an entire twenty-four hours to recover from cutting weight, whereas when I wrestled I only had about an hour to get ready.

MMAWeekly: Thanks for talking to us at MMAWeekly; any closing thoughts?

Beebe: I’m sure that you guys won’t be disappointed with the pace of the fight. No matter what happens, it’s going to be an exciting fight from start to finish.