Interview with Chad ‘The Boss’ Leonhardt

Chad ‘The Boss’ Leonhardt first contacted me after he grabbed a copy of the Ultimate MMA Strength and Conditioning Program and he had a few questions about it.

He’s a pro MMA fighter and the head instructor of the Gladiators Academy in Shreveport/Bossier City, an affiliate of UFC Fighter Tim Credeur’s school of the same name, and a super cool dude.

You may have even seen a video of his brutal knockout of Dan Keenan in Bellator IX. If not, watch it here (it’s only 30 sec!):

Chad recently had a fight this past weekend on the Cage Kings: Breaking Point card, which he won in the first round via TKO.

I asked Chad a bunch of questions about lifestyle, MMA, training, and what it’s like to be recognized in the street by strangers.

He answers everything I throw at him and gives some great tips to anyone looking to have their first fight. Check it out:

———————————– START OF INTERVIEW ———————————–

Eric: First, give us some details about how you got started in MMA, what you do for a living (full-time fighter, part-time, etc), and where you’re at right now with respect to who you fight for and your school.

Chad: A buddy of mine started training and told me about it and I joined up 6 months later I had my first ammy fight.

I’m fighting on a full time schedule but I have a full time job also. Right now I’m the head instructor at Gladiators Academy of Shreveport/Bossier City, Tim Credeur’s affiliate school.

 

Eric: So what’s a typical week in the life look like for you with respect to what you train and when?

Chad: I train 6 days a week. I get up every morning and go to the gym then I go to work then the MMA gym then home to the wife and dogs. Mon,Wed,Fri. are actual class with the gym, Tues,Thurs. are open mat with alot of sparring, Sat is also open mat.

 

Eric: Let’s talk about the fight that you’re pretty well known for – the KO of Dan Keenan (video above)… Tell us a bit about that fight and what it’s like to have hundreds of thousands of views of that fight.

Chad: The Bellator fight was a short notice fight, they called and said they had a fighter that was making his pro debut and was a training partner for Clay Guida, at least that’s what I was told. So I was I guess a easy fight (so they thought) for him.

The fight was not even on the main card but they said that they were going to put it on the show for ESPN. It was a little weird when my friends started calling me saying that the fight was all over the internet.

I was surprised about the whole thing, but it was cool to see myself on there. It’s nice but now at every fight people ask me about it and the ring announcer always says something about it. To me it was just another fight!!!

 

Eric: Do you ever get stopped in the street because someone recognizes you? If so – what’s that like?

Chad: People have stopped me and say they saw me on the net. It’s cool and weird at the same time. I look at it like, well I must be doing pretty good at this for people to notice me. It’s kinda motivation for me to keep at it.

 

Eric: You just won your last fight which was on the Cage Kings: Breaking Point card in the first round via TKO. Tell us about the fight and how you felt going into it from both a physical and mental standpoint.

Chad: The fight at cage kings was a little disappointing because my original opponent backed out the sat. before the fight. The guy was 15-8 and was going to be a tough fight, the guy that replaced him was 6-8.

Don’t get me wrong the new guy has my respect for taking the fight on short notice, he was just a little out of his league (not to be cocky just the way it was) he was a lot smaller than me, he weighed in with his boots and cloths at 168 i cut from 197 to 170 and was about 190-195 fight night.

Anyway, I hit him with a right he clinched I landed two knees and did a nice sweep then threw elbows and punches till he tapped out due to punches.

ultimate-coverMentally and physically i was on top of my game. Eric’s program got me so ready it didn’t matter who was in there with me I would have walked through them.

 

Eric: You’ve been following my Ultimate MMA S&C program for a couple months now, so what was your S&C training like before? And what is the difference you feel physically?

Chad: Before Eric I just kinda winged me S&C from a lot of things I had seen and thought might work. A lot of half ass circuits that really hurt me more than they did me good.

Since starting with Eric my cardio has been sick I mean I can do a 5 round fight with UFC caliber guys and hold my own just because I have the cardio to keep it going on the ground or standing.

But more than anything it’s been the mental part that has helped me most. I know my cardio is great so I just get after it knowing my opponent can’t keep up with me and knowing he knows I wont stop coming at him.

 

Eric: There are a bunch of guys who will be reading this who are training for their 1st fight. Looking back on your experiences, do you have any tips that could help them out?

Chad: My first pro fight was bad for me, my guy backed out right before the fight so I took a fight with a guy a weight class above my own and it didn’t go so good.

So for your first fight esp. pro if things change and you don’t feel good about it don’t do it.

As for ammy’s don’t rush it, but remember it doesn’t count it goes away when you turn pro so test yourself, take fights were you will be tested so that when-if you turn pro you know you can do mentally, and most of all HAVE FUN !!!!

I can’t think of a better way to live my life!!!

 

Eric: OK so tell us what’s next for you, and if you’re willing, tell us what your ultimate goal is in your career or where you see yourself in the next 1-2 years.

Chad: Next for me looks like it may be Japan !! My guys are trying to get me some fights out there and its looking good.

My goal is to make it to the UFC and shine, getting there alone is great but I want to be the best I can be so hopefully things will go my way and I can make a living getting into fights WOW what a way to live yeah!!!!!!

———————————– END OF INTERVIEW ———————————–

Thanks goes to Chad for taking the time to answer the questions and share his story and tips for you guys.

What Chad said about being how being in top shape helps with the mental game and how it helps you get more out of training and pickup skills faster is often overlooked – most guys just see what goes on in the fight, but that’s just one night compared to months of training.

You definitely don’t want to look back on your career and think, “If only I’d been in better shape, I would’ve…”

So if you’re not following a solid program designed just for MMA fighters, click here to check out my Ultimate MMA Strength and Conditioning Program.

It’s helped guys like Chad and it’ll help you out too.

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Blake SJeffFranco CrincoliCHAD LEONHARDTWilliam Myers Recent comment authors
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Blake S
Blake S

nice interview eric. helps with the mental aspect more than anything. seeing a guy the same size as me using YOUR program kicking @$$ is sweet! thanks again!

Jeff
Jeff

Great knockout!
I liked the interview, Chad you seem real focused and down-to-earth.
Keep up the good work and KEEP FIGHTING.
-Jeff

Franco Crincoli
Franco Crincoli

Awesome KO Chad. I love to see guys fight who aren’t as massive and are more leaned out. Not just because I’m not massive myself but it just goes to show that size isn’t always key. It’s strength, power, and conditioning. Keep it up and I def. hope to see you in the UFC one day. Good luck.

Question: Where abouts are you planning to fight in Japan (what circuit)?

CHAD LEONHARDT
CHAD LEONHARDT

TRYING TO GET ON DREAM AND SHODUKO (PROB. SPELLED WRONG) BUT ANYTHING WILL WORK !! THANKS CHAD

William Myers
William Myers

Hey I am currently training for mma. i just started about 2 months ago and am working my way through jiu jitsu, karate, and kickboxing classes with my college. with school and my job and limited people to train with what are the main aspects i should focus on in preperation for an ammy fight? Good luck chad nice fight!

CHAD LEONHARDT
CHAD LEONHARDT

William, man you just started unless you have a extensive background in wrestling or boxing etc.. just focus on learning your tech.. are you getting your training from the school or a bjj/mma school ? If from the college, I would say get in a mma school before fighting a ammy fight. but keep training !! focus on bjj and kickboxing more than karate

BrianC
BrianC

Keep up the good work Chad and I’ll be looking out for you in the UFC. Japan is also awesome. Get ready because your trip has just begun.
Remember…we all have unlimited potential, the only limit is the one we set to ourselves.

The same goes out to Eric. Your Strength & Conditioning program is world class. Anyone involved in mma needs it. There’s isn’t much out there right now offering this kind of information, covering all aspects of S&C and simple to follow. Not to mention the members access videos.

Eric

Hey just a reminder – if you guys want to leave a comment or question for Chad, leave it here…

Roberto
Roberto

Wow what a fight….nice interview Eric…..