Interview: Chuck “Cold Steel” O’ Neil Envisions Blood on the Canvas and His Hand Raised

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Welterweight Chuck “Cold Steel” O’ Neil has trained with some of the biggest names in MMA today, and it shows. Chuck is no stranger to the cameras having most recently taken part in TUF Season 13: Team Lesnar vs. Dos Santos. As a part of Team Lesnar, O’ Neil’s shining moment was his impressive D’arce choke victory over Team Dos Santos Javier Torres as the fight was coming to a close.

After a Unanimous Decision loss to Chris Cope this past June as a part of the TUF 13 Finale, O’ Neil looks to work his way back onto the big stage. It all starts on October 15th when he faces off against Marcus ” The Irish Hand Grenade” Davis in a fight that will serve as the Co-Main Event for the W-1 promotion. In this interview we talk to O’ Neil about a variety of topics including his finishing prowess, his Cold Steel nickname, and of course his upcoming fight opposite Marcus Davis at w-1 Reloaded at the Bank United Arena in Miami.

Having had a taste of fighting for bigger promotions like the UFC and Bellator do you look at W-1 as a pit stop until you make it back onto the bigger stages?

W1 is definitely a solid promotion. I’ve been told they will be broadcasting the main fights on Fox Sports net which is no joke. Ultimately my plan is to make it back to the UFC however I’m blessed with the opportunity to fight for a solid promotion such as W1 while on my road back.

What are the origins of the Cold Steel nickname?

The nickname actually came from my good friend, Josh Adamy, who originally started training with me. I originally wanted my nickname to be the Irish Assassin but Josh liked Cold Steel a lot better and it just stuck.

What was your favorite memory from the TUF 13 house that maybe some of the fans haven’t heard yet?

The best moment of the whole show was after I won my wild card fight against Javier Torres. I was in the locker room waiting to have my post fight interview with the producers and was by myself. Everything was setting in and I had looked up seeing my name on the door on the TUF sign and it was a surreal moment for me. I almost got choked up a little but I toughened up ha.

With 7 out of your 8 victories coming by way of finish has there ever been a situation where you even surprised yourself at the terror you’re capable of inflicting or did you see them all coming?

The first 5 years of my career I was training alongside Joe Lauzon who as we all know is a finisher. He simply goes out and goes after the finish, hard! So it was pretty much the environment I was brought up in so to speak. Another huge component throughout my career is my main training partner and coach Jimmy Quinlan. He is a guy who stays super tight and makes his opponents make mistakes for him to capitalize on which has definitely rubbed off on me over the years. Now with my new camps and coaches in place I’m looking for the finish even more so now than ever before. So to answer your question no the finish is never really a surprise.

Are there any plans to defend your Cage Titans FC Welterweight title in the works that you know of?

All the guys over at Cage Titans are awesome and constantly want me to fight for them. There’s only one guy within the NE area really looking to fight me, named Chip Pollard. Real talented and tough fighter but were both in the mind-set of the fight being silly to happen on the local scene making peanuts to fight each other. So as of now there are no real plans to defend the title. I need to make smart moves in my career and take credible fights looking for meaningful wins and not just fighting for the hell of it.

Marcus Davis has put together a nice little 3 fight win streak for himself over the span of 5 months. How good would it feel to be the guy who crushes a veteran’s dream of getting back into the UFC?

Marcus is the man. Super tough fighter with a ton of experience and heart. I have all the respect in the world for him however come October 15th I’m entering that cage with every intention to win. I’m not going out looking at what this fight will do for Marcus’ career but instead more concerned what this win will do for mine. He’s fought a who’s who of top UFC fighters and has been in every fight. This fight won’t be easy but I’m gonna be ready for a war.

Being Irish and from Massachusetts do you share the same sentiments Dan Hardy did about Marcus Davis being a “Fake Irishman” or a “Plastic Paddy”?

Ha-ha, no that’s all pre fight hype BS. I’d be a hypocrite if I attacked Marcus’ connection to his Irish heritage. I’m not from Ireland; I haven’t even ever been there before. My family has a strong Irish connection throughout both my mom and dad’s sides and it’s my heritage and that’s about it.

When you visualize your fight against on the night of October 15th Marcus Davis how do you see it ending?

Blood from both of us on the canvas and my hand raised. I was once told don’t go out there looking for a specific way to end and win the fight just simply win the fight and the rest of it falls into place. My camp has been great between Mass BJJ, Gracie Barra New Hampshire and my boxing coach Muhammad Brooks. I’ve made the much-needed adjustments since my last fight and I will be ready and that’s all I can ask for!

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give a shout out to before this fight?

Yeah thanks. I’d like to give a big thank you to for reconstructing my body. Nate Ryan from Mass BJJ and John Fain from Gracie Barra NH for bringing me in, making me a part of their team/family and being great coaches. Muhhamad Brooks my boxing coach and as always my main training partner and coach Jimmy Quinlan for all his help along the way!

Be sure to check out Chuck on Twitter over at ChuckONeilMMA for more info on his upcoming fight with Marcus Davis on October 15th. Also keep it locked here at MMAValor where will be providing more W-1: Reloaded coverage leading up to the big night. Many thanks to Chuck O’ Neil for taking the time out to do this interview and as always we look forward to seeing “Cold Steel” in action.

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