Monday, February 25, 2008

Exclusive Interview with Brett Rogers

Originally Posted on
Exclusive: Brett Rogers: Street Certified
By Dave Carpinello

In a PunchDrunkGamer exclusive, Dave Carpinello had a chance to talk with EliteXC Heavyweight newcomer Brett Rodgers about his KO victory over "Colossus", Tank vs. Kimbo, working for EliteXC and how he ended up fighting in a cage instead of on the streets.

PDG: Let's start with your fight this last weekend against James Thompson; how do you feel now and did the fight go as planned?
Brett: I feel good man, the fight went good and there really wasn't any surprises. I was just waiting until I could get my hands on him.

PDG: Were you surprised at all at the way the fight started with James charging at you?
Brett: No, a bunch of my teammates warned me ahead of time about how that guy likes to start fights. He had the look in his eyes when the bell rang that he was going to rush me. I was kind of expecting it.

PDG: With that being only your sixth professional fight; albeit five wins by TKO, what part of your training do you feel that you need improvement on?
Brett: I am trying to focus on the wrestling and jui-jitsu part of the game, basically anything that involves being on the ground. I think that my stand-up game is progressing really good right now but you can't always rely on that, you know what I mean? So it is very important to work on the other aspects especially the wrestling. Besides the wrestling, the jui-jitsu training is going to be very important to work on before my next fight. In the case that I do end up on my back I need to have some kind of defense from the bottom. I am going to work really hard on that so that if I get an opponent that wants to take me down or stand-up and fight it won't matter. From what I have been told so far, my next opponent is very good on the ground. So I need to make sure that I am well-prepared for that match up.

PDG: So can you tell me who your next opponent is going to be?
Brett: No, I really can't because it is between two different fighters and to be honest I can't remember either one of their names. From what I have been told though, both fighters have good ground games. Like I said, I can't remember the names but they are both supposed to be up and coming fighters.

PDG: What about a fight with Kimbo Slice?
Brett: It is only a matter of time until that fight happens. I mean, I give Kimbo my respect for how he brings all of the fans but Looking at him as a fighter I see a lot of holes in his game. I am going to keep those a secret and not put them out on the line. I am always watching every fighter either above me or below me to look for the holes that I can expose in their game if we fight. Most fighters do the same thing every time they fight, so it becomes a habit. As a fighter, you need to find those habits and expose them when you are fighting that opponent. So I am definitely keeping Kimbo on my watch list because that fight is going to happen sooner than later.

PDG: Were you impressed with his victory over Tank Abbott?
Brett: I wasn't surprised by it. I don't think Tank is as good as he was maybe five years ago.

PDG: You know he has only won 1 fight in the last 10 years.
Brett: Yeah, I know a man but five years ago that fight would have at least gone one full round. Unless Kimbo’s striking power is really that hard.........I don't know, I may have you find out the hard way.

PDG: This was your second fight in EliteXC, how has it been working for this organization so far?
Brett: You know what bud?, I am extremely happy working for them. I have had fights in smaller organizations but nothing compares to how I have been treated in the EliteXC. They definitely take care of their guys, that is one thing that I will admit for sure. I got down there for my first fight the day before my managers arrived and EliteXC took care of everything, I mean I didn't know anybody since it was my first fight. Hopefully I can continue to work with them because it is a great organization.

picture courtesy of EliteXC

PDG: So when can the growing Brett Rogers fan base expect to see you fight again?
Brett: It sounds like my next fight will be in either April or May. I am thinking more of like an April date, one more day off and I will be back training full-time. It will be on, back in the gym full time, getting back in shape for my next fight.

PDG: Being relatively new to profession all MMA, how long after a fight until you start training full-time again in preparation for your next fight?
Brett: I like to take off a couple days, relax with the wife and hang out with the family. You know?, because before a fight you kind of back away from your family and concentrate on your preparation and training. So I like to take off a couple of days, spend time with the family, eat a whole bunch of good food and then get back to training. This time I am really going to try and step up my training as far as more gym time, eating right and things like that.

PDG: What is your training schedule like when you are preparing for a fight?
Brett: When I am training full-time, especially now, I am going to have three workouts a day. Morning, afternoon and evening. Then also I am going to be working on my cardio, playing basketball or something of that manner. Always doing something that will benefit me in my next fight. Before I came to EliteXC, I was working at a normal job and then trying to squeeze in my MMA workouts after that. It was really tough but now I have the opportunity to train full time and I am going to take advantage of it.

PDG: Who are some of the fighters that you are training with?
Brett: I am training with Sam Morgan, Rico Washington and a bunch of upcoming fighters from my gym. There is a bunch of other fellas there that help me keep focused. Our team isn’t new, but our location is. We have a new gym and it is working out for the best for all of us. We kind of went from almost the underground to now having everything we need to make it to the next level and be successful. So I feel really comfortable going into any fight.

PDG: How long has Mike Reilly in your coach?
Brett: I have known him for a while and he has been my coach for at least four or five years now. He is a really good man and he knows what he talks. I only wish that I could have known him earlier in his younger days when he could get up and go. He is a cool guy, a great trainer and he has always had a lot of faith in me. Back when I had to work a regular job and had to train and stay in shape................[laughs] which I slacked a little in, he stayed with me.

PDG: A lot of mainstream fans probably never heard of Brett Rogers before you knocked out the “Mega-Punk”; where did you come from and how did you get involved in MMA?
Brett: Life for me has never been peaches and cream. Since I was young, I grew up and lived in bad areas. I am originally from the south side of Chicago, it was not an easy environment to grow up in. I moved up to Minnesota in 1992 and I was still in a bad area around bad folks. You had no choice but to learn to pick things up, I am a patient man but everyone has their breaking point. I started watching the sport and I was thinking to myself that I can do that. In my mind it was better to start training and fight professionally then fight on the streets and end up in jail. Jail is not a place for me or where anyone should end up. If I am going to fight, it had better be for the right reasons and get me paid.

PDG: So you would rather be a paid professional than some street-fighting legend?
Brett: Definitely man, I have always had a lot of respect for professional fighters. I met a guy once that was trying out for the UFC and he gave me a little direction which was much appreciated.

PDG: I have to ask you about your hairstyle; was that professionally done?
Brett: That was to represent the 1% of native in me.

PDG: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Brett: I would like to tell the MMA fans out there that I am going to keep kicking ass and that I will train harder and harder to get better. I will definitely be stronger and I will try to bring a better show every time that I fight for the fans. Watch out for me and you won't be disappointed.



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