Editorial Gulf Coast

Chris Crosby: Soul Fighter’s Quick Rising Star

South Louisiana has always been a producer of top level MMA talent. One of those on the rise MMA talents is the Baton Rouge area’s Chris Crosby. Working his way up through the amateur lightweight ranks, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt has started off his professional career 2-0, both of those victories being first round finishes. Where did it all start for one of Louisiana’s top upcoming professionals? What drives Crosby to be the best at what he does?

The Beginnings

As with many young fighters, the UFC was a major influence on Crosby. “I first got into MMA/ Jiu Jitsu in 2007 when a friend showed me some UFC 1 videos. We then spent the next 3 months practicing techniques in his backyard out of a Ken Shamrock instructional book,” Crosby stated. ” At the time, I thought I was a month away from getting in the cage. After enrolling in a real Jiu Jitsu gym, I not only realized how much I had to learn, but how much I enjoyed training and competing in Jiu Jitsu. 12 years later, I have a full time career in jiu jitsu and just beginning to fight MMA.”

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Crosby getting his hand raised in victory at Bayou FC 37 in May 2019.

In order to be successful in this sport, you need an amazing support system. Crosby has just that. There are many people in his life who have helped him excel in this sport and reach the level he is at. “There’s so many that have helped me along the way, but I’ll try to name a few. Erick Raposo, Josh Mancuso, and the whole Soul Fighters team for developing my jiu jitsu to where it is now. Josh Booty has also been in my corner for every fight. He has a lot of fight experience , and has been instrumental in bridging the gap between competition Jiu Jitsu and MMA for me. He’s also been there to tape hands, help with weight cuts, and everything in between,” Crosby stated. He also did not forget to mention the most important person of all. “One person that I have to give a ton to credit to is my wife Ashlyn. She wasn’t terribly enthused about me fighting when I first started, but now she’s my biggest supporter and is cheering at every event.”

Expanding the Skill-Set

Anyone who has seen Crosby in action since his debut in late 2018 has noticed the evolving quality of his standup game. A brown belt in Jiu-Jitsu obviously made the ground game Crosby’s bread and butter. Throughout his five amateur bouts and two professional bouts, Crosby’s striking has become a more integral part of his game plan. “I felt like I was improving in all of my amateur fights, even the losses. I know I’m a little bit older to start an MMA career (33), so I didn’t have the luxury of a long amateur career. I feel like that clock is always ticking in the back of my mind. That’s also probably why I’ve had seven fights in a year,” Crosby stated.

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Crosby (right) loading up for a kick in his professional debut at Pride and Honor

“My training has pretty much stayed the same, with a couple extra sessions of MMA or kickboxing per week. I was already very active competing in Jiu-Jitsu before I started fighting, so I’m accustomed to training every day. One thing that is different is I’ve been monitoring my weight much more closely since I’ve turned pro,” Crosby said. “I’ve dropped to a lighter weight class, but i feel more dangerous against those opponents, especially in the striking.”

A Bright Future

Crosby has remained very active since taking his debut amateur bout a year ago. In twelve months he has taken on seven bouts to earn a collective record of 5-2. All five of those victories came in the first round and both of his defeats have came via decision. The thing about those losses is they have came to one person, Chris JeanBatiste. JeanBatiste will possibly make a professional jump in 2020 and this could serve to be an amazing trilogy.

I have nothing but respect for Chris. He had an excellent game plan for our fights and I wasn’t able to get the finish in either. He’s not just my only loss, but he’s the only opponent to get out of the first round with me up to this point,” Crosby stated. “As much as losing stings, that’s not a fight I’m actively seeking out, especially in a local show. We’ve already done it twice. If we meet again on a big promotion, I think we’d both like that fight.” Regardless of what the future holds for Crosby, you can count on a continued evolution in the all around MMA game of Crosby.

 

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