And one of the four remaining heavyweights, Cameron “Dark Shark” Chism-Brungard is ready to continue his undefeated professional record. His journey to the semifinal has seen him overcome obstacles.
Earlier in his career, prior to turning pro, Chism-Brungard tore his ACL. While the injury could have been a career-ender for many, the “Dark Shark” looked within to find the inner strength to come back stronger than ever.
“I was home with my 2nd torn ACL and wondering if I will fight again,” said Chism-Brungard.
“People I thought would always be there for me left. Sponsors dropped me. My friends that I counted on were gone. I wasn’t “Dark Shark.” I was just Cam, the kid from Williamsport.”
But what he found was that as long as he was true to himself, the “Dark Shark” was always within.
Once healthy, the heavyweight semifinalist returned to training and got back into competition. It wasn’t long after that he decided to finish his amateur career and move to the professional ranks.
“I was tired of free bruises. I wanted to make money. I turned pro, and I saw a Facebook post in a group I’m in that’s run by my manager. RUF Nation was looking for a heavyweight,” said Chism-Brungard.
“I jumped at the chance, and everyone around me thought I was crazy as hell. My manager was like, ‘You sure you want to do this?’ My girlfriend ‘You sure you want to do this?’ No one asked if I was ready because they knew I was ready. Fighters fight, and RUF gives me the chance to go fight.”
“A lot of places told me no. They saw something and said yes.”
After betting on himself, he has begun reaping the rewards. Both of his bouts in the “Road To ONE” heavyweight tournament have ended within the first minute. The competition is what drives the “Dark Shark” to be at his best.
Chism-Brungard is not seeking fame and fortune. He wants to keep it real and stay true to his core values.
“I don’t want to be the best. I want to be relatable to others. I want people to remember my name. I want people to see me and know what they are going to get,” said the Williamsport resident.
“Yeah, I want to win, but I don’t have a very big voice. I’m not super popular. I’m the biggest draw on the card, but I have something to say, and I think people want to hear it. And I use fighting as my mic.”
And that is what drives him. The talented heavyweight wants to show the next generation that they can accomplish their goals, and they can look up to him as he competes against the toughest competition available.
But that does not mean he is not there to entertain. Chism-Brungard wants the fans to know they can expect excitement each time he steps onto the canvas.
“What’s better than seeing a guy with his full inner child still intact go into battle. I’m different. I can throw things most people in my weight class only dream of throwing. Have you ever seen a heavyweight throw a showtime kick or cartwheel kick? My style draws eyes because I’m not afraid to take a risk,” said Chism-Brungard.
He will need those flashes of creativity if he hopes to reach the final. At RUF 46, he will meet Tra’Von “Yimaz Wildman” Butler in his semifinal matchup. But getting to this point, and advancing, have never been in doubt for the Pennsylvanian.
“It wasn’t a dream; it was a goal. Dreams are for sleeping, and I wasn’t sleeping. I knew I would get here.”
At RUF 46, he will be wide awake and hoping to open the eyes of the mixed martial arts world.
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