Tuesday, June 17, 2008

An Interview with Brett "the Grim" Rogers

There aren’t a lot of 6-foot-5, 265 pound people on the planet. Brett “The Grimm” Rogers, currently of Team Bison in Minnesota, is one of them. There also aren’t many 7-0 MMA fighters of that size.

Thus, you’d think that Rogers might be a little full of himself. However, you’d be wrong.

Yes, Rogers is confident, as he should be after scoring a knockout victory over Jon Murphy at the inaugural EliteXC- CBS Saturday Night of Fights. Sure, he’s been calling Kimbo Slice out. Still, what comes across about Brett Rogers when you really sit down and talk with him is that he is not conceited; he’s convinced. Along with this, he won’t tell you he’s the “top dog” out there right now. He also won’t tell you that he’s an ‘A’ level grappler yet.

What he will tell you is that he is working very hard toward achieving those things and more. He wants to reach the top of the heap, folks.

And lucky for fans, Rogers recently took the time to talk with MMAFighting.com’s Robert Rousseau about Kimbo Slice, the early years, and more.

MMAFighting.com: Congratulations on your recent victory over Jon Murphy.

Brett Rogers: Hey, thanks man.

MMAFighting.com: Did it go down like you thought it would?

Brett Rogers: Yeah, a little bit. I didn’t expect it to be so quick. But I definitely was expecting that ‘W’, you know what I’m saying?

MMAFighting.com: How did it feel fighting on such a historic card? Were there any nerves or were you pretty calm coming in?

Brett Rogers: You know what, I was almost pretty calm. I was trying to tell myself— ‘calm down; don’t get overexcited.’—because once you let your nerves get to you, anything can happen.

MMAFighting.com: Definitely. You know, one thing I don’t know a lot about—something I think our fans would be interested in—is to know more about your fighting background. Can you tell me a little bit about how you came to be a fighter?

Brett Rogers: You know what? (You) sort of have to come back to the neighborhood that I was raised in. I’m from Chicago. I’m living in Minnesota now, but back in the day south side, west side Chicago wasn’t no joke. As a youngin, you got to grow up a little faster than normal (there) especially when you’re out on the streets. . . Coming up here, I’m still in the bad neighborhoods and the neighbors— (I) didn’t get along with them (either)— and I felt that I needed to get into something. Otherwise I’m going to be in somebody’s jail. . .

I used to watch it (MMA) and I’d look at guys and be like, ‘you know what, that guy’s a punk; I’ll fight him.’ You know what I’m saying? A lot of other guys would say the same.

It went down from there. (Met) one of my MMA managers, Mike Reilly, and got up and went to his gym. It went from there, you know?

MMAFighting.com: Obviously, you’ve received a ton of questions on Kimbo and James Thompson and your thoughts on their fight. My question would be more about the chances that you’ll be seeing Kimbo in a cage shortly. Any word at all at this point on if you’ll be the next guy in line for him yet or no?

Brett Rogers: There’s a lot of talk saying that we’re going to be fighting in October. I still haven’t signed anything yet; that’s all I can say.

MMAFighting.com: He’s received some criticism for his ground skills. Forgetting that, how do you think you match up with him in a striking sense?

Brett Rogers: In a striking sense, I feel that me and him can go toe to toe. I’m going to test him with everything, just because of some (of the) words that he said. . . One thing that really ticked me off, he lied about the tapping issue (in the James Thompson fight). I know for a fact he did (tap) and he said he didn’t. So, I may have to show it to the world. You know— yeah, Kimbo does tap.

So if I get him in that situation, I am going to definitely try to break him off a little something— something.

MMAFighting.com: You talked about seeing MMA, how it got you interested, and how it was also a way for you to get out of what could have been a bad situation for you. Were there any MMA fighters that you may have looked up to in the past, or anyone that kind of influenced you to get involved in MMA?

Brett Rogers: Oh, man. . . I was a big UFC fan. . . I was ecstatic to see Tank Abbott; I like Rampage. A lot of top fighters. Mostly (it was) the light heavyweights that primarily caught my attention. . . Rampage, Chuck Liddell.

MMAFighting.com: Guys who like to hit a little bit. Have you met Rampage at all?

Brett Rogers: No. I’m pretty sure I’m going to get the chance to see him.

MMAFighting.com: What are your MMA goals at this point? What are you looking to do in the end?

Brett Rogers: In MMA, I’m just trying to stop off at the top. If not topping it, once I’m finished (I want to) at least be that guy that everybody can respect, fighter to fighter, and say you know what— ‘Brett wasn’t no joke, he came in, he played hard and is deserved as any (to be) in the MMA world.’

MMAFighting.com: Forgetting Kimbo, are there any fighters that you’d like to mix it up with in your weight class, whether they’re in EliteXC or not? Is there a guy that you’d really like to get in a ring or cage with?

Brett Rogers: Right now, as I’m growing as a fighter, I feel like this—I do want to fight only the best from here on out. I haven’t really tested myself. . . Just looking at Elite—Rodriguez or Silva, those guys I have respect for in the heavyweight department because they’re well rounded. Anybody that is well rounded and can put it together, I’m definitely trying to fight so I can put myself on that pedestal as a fighter. As a top ten fighter, you know what I mean?

MMAFighting.com: Sure. I don’t know a lot about Team Bison. How is it training there?

Brett Rogers: The training is good. We definitely crawled and then walked. It started out in a garage and now we have a gym on Arcade in St. Paul, Minnesota. . . We get in and we work hard and then we leave. I try to get in the gym at least three times a day, now that it’s full time. My main goal right now is to get bigger, stronger, more conditioned, (and) technique—crisp. Especially for this next fight because I want him to look at me (and just think) damn.

MMAFighting.com: In the last couple of fights I haven’t gotten a chance to see your ground skills. What are your ground skills like?

Brett Rogers: Ground skills? I give myself a B or somewhere in there. I’m not going to say, A— tops (or) top dog— because that would be a big lie. I got jiu jitsu skills; I have a little wrestling skills. I’m real good with the defensive sparring on both. So I mean, obviously I’ve got to put the offense together. I feel comfortable. If somebody were to get me to the ground and lock me there then I could work from the ground. But I prefer, obviously, to stand and strike.

MMAFighting.com: Last question for you—anything you’d like to say to the fans out there?

Brett Rogers: To the fans out there, just keep looking out for me and watching my skills grow. I’m not trying to talk like I’m top dog or the number one heavyweight in the world. Just keep looking out for me. You’ll see that I’m that guy wants to be champ in whatever organization I’m in. I’m in Elite right now, but who knows down the line— I might be in UFC or somewhere else. You know, WEC doesn’t have a heavyweight department so I’m pretty sure they might need that down the line. Just keep a look out for me. You see me on the streets— say ‘what’s up?’

If you look up my info on MMAAgents.com or Brunettes—(by the way) I’ve also got a website DaGrim.com— without a doubt leave me a letter and I’ll get back at you.

Before I leave I also want to say thanks to my sponsors—Big Black, thanks for representing and holding me down, I appreciate the help. . . OTM, my mouthguard sponsors— Pure Power mouth guards— I appreciate all the help. Without the sponsors, I wouldn’t be nothing.



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