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Buffaloe adds to martial arts success

South Boston News
Chris Buffaloe getting in the stick-it and move fight plan.
SoVaNow.com / April 15, 2020
Kyokushin Karate U.S. champion and Hollister, N.C. resident Chris Buffaloe added to his list of martial arts accomplishments when he recently defeated Dustin Stanley by unanimous decision in MMA action at Rocket Combat Sports/ Battle at the Hornet’s Nest 3 in Orange.

The fight went all three rounds with Buffaloe taking a 30-27 decision. Buffaloe, whose dad Kenneth is from the Lumbee Nation Tribe and whose mom is of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe, said he’s been around martial arts his entire life, but this was his first career win in MMA fighting using the martial arts style of Muay Thai.

“Well, my dad had trained in Kyokushin Karate and he’s been training in that for I think 50 or 55 years, so [as] I grew up the first time I was exposed to it was my dad,” Buffaloe said. “I kind of grew up around [martial arts], it wasn’t anything special just what I did. And he saw that I took a liking to it, so he helped mentor me through it.”

Buffaloe said what inspired him to take up Muay Thai, the art form used to capture the MMA win, was his interest in how the two forms were similar.

“Kyokushin Karate and Muay Thai are very similar in that there’s full contact and the way they fight are very similar, though there are slight differences,” Buffaloe explained. “So the sport and the fighting aspect of it intrigued me. It’s a different fighting form and ultimately I feel like fighting and training in Muay Thai along with or combined with Kyokushin Karate makes me more of a complete martial artist.”

Buffaloe began training at Kanpichit Super Rhino Muay Thai Gym in Clarksville under the guidance of gym owner Ken Armstrong about a year and a half ago. Buffaloe says finding the gym in Clarksville happened on a whim, one he is thankful for.

“Finding Ken was very fortunate,” Buffaloe said. “My mom and dad went to Virginia on a Sunday just to go sightseeing and happened to stumble upon Clarksville. They had never been there and so they went through Clarksville and as they were leaving happen to spot the gym.

“So my dad went back, and the next time we came back they brought me and I met Ken and everybody and I train there and from there it just took off. I’ve been training there for about a year and a half now.” Buffaloe also teaches Kyokushin Karate at the gym.

Homeschooled from the fifth grade until graduation, Buffaloe said his plan for the fight with MMA opponent Stanley was simple — strike and move.

“We had watched some footage of a previous fight and we noticed that he (Stanley) was very punch oriented, very strong in his punching, but he really didn’t have too much variety in what he could do,” Buffaloe said. “So the basic plan was just stay away, and then use my kicks to set up the punches and just keep it as a fight I could pick my shots in.”

The plan went well as Buffaloe would deliver a shot and then set up for the next attack.

“I was using my speed to move in and connect my hits, and also my footwork and speed to move out,” Buffaloe continued. “So every time he threw a counter, I was already back out moving trying to set up my next attack — basically a stick-and-move fight plan.”

“Out of three rounds the guy only probably put his hands on him twice, maybe three times,” explained Armstrong, Buffaloe’s mentor. “He didn’t really touch Chris.”

Like every other athlete and sport across the globe, Buffaloe has had to deal with the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. Happily, he has had a gym to work out in private during this time of social distancing.

“My dad and I are very fortunate in a time like this that we have a gym next to our house,” Buffaloe noted. ”So I still get to train every day just like it was normal. And I’m so thankful he’s keeping me up to shape. And the training is going as if nothing else happened.”

Like a lot of college students, Buffaloe juggles online classes with his workouts. Buffaloe attends Nash Community College and until recently was primarily an on-campus student.

“Online classes for right now,” Buffaloe said of the current situation. “I’m taking up sports science. Body mechanics and how the body works; better nutrition.

“So with the knowledge you can use it to be a coach, a life coach, or a personal trainer or something like that. I was going on campus Monday through Thursday.”

Buffaloe and Armstrong say that as soon as the all-clear message with COVID-19 comes, he will be looking to compete again.

“After he fought this last fight, promoters have been burning my phone up on Facebook, and my personal phone wanting Chris to fight,” Armstrong said.

Buffaloe says for right now, that’s where his energies are focused — just fighting and seeing if MMA can become a career for him.

“Right now I’m just focused on fighting but that is the goal. However long I can and whatever it takes to get there,” Buffaloe said.





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