Chris Tuchscherer trains with UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar in the middle of nowhere in Minnesota. But you never know who is going to show up.
Just a few weeks outside of his UFC 116 showdown with Brendan Schaub, Tuchscherer (pronounced TUCK-shur) not only got in his regular training with Lesnar, but also worked out with legend Randy Couture, who stopped in to help the man who took his belt prepare for a defense against Shane Carwin.
” It was awesome; got to train with a legend,” Tuchscherer told hosts Shayna Baszler and Isaac Duncan on Not A Women’s MMA Show on the MMA DieHards Radio Network. “It was quite an honor. It was good.”
“Good” is an understatement to the spartan camp Lesnar and his handlers keep together in rural Alexandria, Minn. It’s all about Big Man MMA, with the human equivalent to cattle going to war on the mats daily.
“We got a house here in Alexandria, the guys in the camp here, and we just hang out, shoot the shit and watch TV, eat food,” Tuchscherer said on the show. “That’s about it. … Probably about 1,500 pounds (of fighters in the house).”
Tuchscherer and Lesnar both are on the same training schedule, which has increased the intensity of the training for the lesser-known of the two. Tuchscherer normally deals with scheduling heavyweight training partners around the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, making calls to make sure everyone will show up and generally doing a lot of ancillary work just to make sure the details of his training are in order.
Not this time.
“This training camp all I did was show up at the gym,” Tuchscherer said. “Marty Morgan, Brock’s coach, has all that stuff mapped out for us. All I did was show up and train my ass off. Being with all those big guys that Brock brings in makes this my best camp ever.”
With a record of 18-2 with one no-contest, Tuchscherer has done all right to this point in his career. He is 1-1 in the UFC, rebounding from a loss to Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 102 to earn a majority decision over Tim Hague at UFC 109 in February.
Training with Lesnar has changed things, including expectations. Tuchscherer can now feel like the fights are the easy part once in the Octagon with something less than the behemoth.
“He does hit hard, that’s for sure,” Tuchscherer said of Lesnar. “I feel myself when we roll and Brock will just kind of tap you with those four-ounce gloves on, I just kind of wonder … I can’t imagine what it feels like when he puts everything into it.”
While Tuchscherer puts plenty of effort into his MMA career inside the cage, he also is working on something to help his present and future in the sport.
His Crowbar MMA promotion came on the North Dakota MMA scene April 24, with TUF 10 alum Zak Jensen knocking out Richard White in 28 seconds to capture the main event in Fargo. Jensen and others will return to the promotion Sept. 11, and Tuchscherer, aptly nicknamed “The Crowbar,” said there is another card slated for Dec. 11.
“Crowbar MMA is a new promotion going on in this area,” said Tuchscherer. “We had our first show April 24th, it went real well. We had good fights, good matchups on the card. We’ll be bringing more fights to the area, in Grand Forks at the (Engelstad Arena), a 12,000-seat arena. Should be pretty good.”
As he schedules alumni from the UFC’s popular reality show while wearing his promoter shoes, Tuchscherer notes that some of the stories about his near-miss from being a cast member might not be completely accurate.
He did not, he says, get awarded a UFC contract for being deemed too good in his TUF tryout.
“That was rumored that it was said. But no one ever told me, ‘You’re too good, just have a contract.’ They just told me there was no one reason why I didn’t make the show and a week later the UFC called and offered me a contract,” he said. “It’s an honor, it’s everything I worked for the last six years. I’m living the dream right now.”
A large part of that dream is being realized because of the daily grind he puts in with Lesnar, who Tuchscherer reports is focused during training sessions and never gets far off the mark.
“He doesn’t get too excited,” Tuchscherer said of the champ. “We have a pretty tight ship over here. We have guys we’ve been working out with a couple of years, so everyone’s on the same page. It gets intense in there, but everybody holds their queues. To me, I look at it as a job. We’re all wrestlers, we’ve all gone down the same road and we’re all friends. It’s pretty cool to train with all these guys.”
And you never know who is going to show up.