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The ‘Vanilla Gorilla‘ is Back

Getting more than what you expected is exactly what Sherman delivered last night.

Photo Credit: Jason Vinlove-USA TODAY sports

Chase Sherman has proven that he belongs in the UFC and nowhere else. Undefeated in his amateur career and destroying nine of his first ten professional opponents via first round TKO, Sherman proved his worth and made his UFC debut in August 0f 2016. The heavyweight from Mississippi was paired against Justin Ledet, another fighter making his promotional debut. The two UFC newcomers went on to complete three rounds with the victory ultimately going in Ledet’s favor with a unanimous decision.

The ‘Vanilla Gorilla’ as he is so aptly nicknamed, then faced his toughest opponent to date when he fought Walt Harris who is currently ranked #9 in the UFC heavyweight division according to UFC.com. Sherman was met with punches and knees that put him down in the second round. After facing the adversity of two losses entering the UFC, Sherman went on to win his next two fights with a nasty KO due to elbow strike and a unanimous decision in his favor.

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Following his success, the ‘Vanilla Gorilla’ lost his next three UFC fights before being released from the promotion. In typical Sherman fashion, he continued to fight in a smaller promotion where he absolutely destroyed his opponents, his three victories coming by way of TKO stoppage. Last fighting just over a year ago; Sherman has continued to train and stay in shape. 

As a first responder Chase Sherman dedicates much of his time and energy into helping his community through these tough times we are all facing during the pandemic. That didn’t stop him from staying prepared to go to war when the UFC called him back to battle. Fighting a new UFC hopeful would prove to be the ultimate comeback for the ‘Vanilla Gorilla’.

When asked by ESPN commentator Jon Anik what his time outside of the UFC has been like, Chase Sherman said, “It’s just been hell.” Being released from the UFC is never easy but his record proves that fighters in other promotions can not handle the intensity of the ‘Vanilla Gorilla’. Ike Villanueva learned this the hard way as Sherman welcomed him to the UFC in epic fashion. As the first preliminary fight of UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Teixeira on ESPN+ – MMA fans were treated to an impressive TKO stoppage by way of Sherman. 

The fight started out with both fighters trying to gauge distance and Villanueva landing a couple of solid shots. Sherman started early with leg kicks that notably hurt Villanueva. Both men landed a good combo in the first round with Sherman winning likely taking the round 9 to 10. The ‘Vanilla Gorilla’ did not hold back and came out swinging in the second round. After landing a big knee in the clinch it was all downhill for Villanueva after that. Posted against the fence; Villanueva would succumb to a big elbow that put him on the canvas where Sherman followed up with punches to the head before the referee stopped the match.

When asked by Daniel Cormier about his journey back to the UFC and his feelings about his victory post-fight Chase Sherman had this to say, ”You ever order a 10 piece of wings and get 11?” Getting more than what you expected is exactly what Sherman delivered last night. With this impressive victory yesterday, it is safe to say the ‘Vanilla Gorilla’ is hungry for more UFC opponents in the future.

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