Strikeforce heavyweight Brett Rogers is one big man. Along with this, he's had to cut weight to get to the heavyweight maximum before every one of his nine victories (all of which came by way of stoppage). In the end, if this undefeated fighter were just big, fighting him wouldn't be so bad. Unfortunately for would-be opponents, Rogers is also a very heavy hitter that showed some takedown defense capabilities in his last fight.
Bad news for all those guys hoping to defeat him with jiu jitsu.
So coming off of his ninth consecutive professional MMA victory, MMAFighting.com's Robert Rousseau got the chance to ask Rogers about his recent battle with Abongo Humphrey, the possibility of fighting Alistair Overeem or Fabricio Werdum, and more. And you won't want to miss his responses.
MMAFighting.com: How are you feeling since the Humphrey fight?
Brett Rogers: You know what, I'm feeling good. No injuries or anything like that. I'm moving on for the next one.
MMAFighting.com: Did that fight go down how you thought it might?
Brett Rogers: Yeah, actually it did. I knew Abongo wasn't going to be somebody just to walk in punch one time and fall down. I definitely respected him as a fighter, you know. As far as everything else goes, the outcome was as expected. I just wasn't expecting it to go into the second round.
MMAFighting.com: You lost a point for hair pulling somewhere in there. What went down to cause that? Was it just that his hair was so long?
Brett Rogers: His hair was long and thick. I have some big fingers, and it's just like a comb, you know? You start using the comb, you're going to pull the hair a little bit, right? It was a bad situation. . .
It's just kind of motivated me even more to knock him out. . .Plenty of situations where a guy in a fight loses a point and it costs him at the end. So I wasn't trying to have that happen.
MMAFighting.com: Do you think those fouls had any impact on the fight or no?
Brett Rogers: Like I said, it just gave me more motivation to knock him out. That's the only thing I can see. Besides that, it really didn't budge me. I knew he was going to see it that way, regardless. He's gonna take the time, like hold on, time out, yo, Abongo, let me get my fingers out of your head. It just happened, and whatever. I still got the knockout, so.
MMAFighting.com: You were with EliteXC, which of course folded. Now you're with an organization that has withstood the test of time and has also made moves to become more mainstream. Does that make you feel more confident in the future?
Brett Rogers: You know, yes it does. I feel that as long as I just win, as long as I keep doing what I need to do as far as sweating, training, you know, I'm going to be a top fighter. Going to be on that top five range. I'm going to do it. It's going to take a little time. But who knows, sometimes you get that fight that kind of pulls you up faster than you expect.
MMAFighting.com: Where are you at with your Strikeforce contract right now? How many fights do you have left on it?
Brett Rogers: Right now, if I'm understanding right, I have two more fights. So hopefully I can win those two and get a larger contract with them, because I know Strikeforce is going to be around for quite some time now. I can't see them flopping. For one, they're very professional. It's not going to get any better than Showtime, possibly CBS in the future, (and) pay per view events. It's only going to get better. The future holds a lot.
MMAFighting.com: There are some tough fighters in the Strikeforce heavyweight division right now. They have Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum, to name two. Any word on who you might be fighting next?
Brett Rogers: You know what, I'm really not sure. But I'm to the point that I don't even care, man. Whatever's going to get me to that next level. Getting closer and closer to getting that belt, that's where I'm staying. I'm in it to win it. I'm not just in it to be around it. Know what I mean?
MMAFighting.com: Yup. Speaking of going to the next level, if you fought Overeem and had a good showing, that would probably put you there. How much do you know about Overeem and how do you think you match up?
Brett Rogers: Honestly, to tell you the truth man, I don't know a lot about this guy. I didn't even know who the hell he was. It's kind of bad to say that. I mean, I know people from out east, but I don't know a lot of guys from out east. I know he's kind of up and down in the weight classes. I usually try to pay attention to the heavyweights, but I know he was more on the lighter end over there. So I wasn't paying attention to him like that. My manager, Mike Reilly, you know he was on the elevator with me and he was like 'Brett, do you know who that was?' And I was like no, I'm guessing he was one of the fighters, right (laughing)? You know, cause he looked like a pretty boy to me. I'm like okay, he's like 'no, that's such and such.' I'm like, oh okay. He's like man, that's the title holder right there. I'm like, oh, okay.
I've been kind of doing my homework on him. Anybody that's going to bump into me. . . I'm going to do my homework. Werdum, Overeem, Buentello, anybody that's coming my way, I'm definitely going to do my homework because I don't need any surprises.
MMAFighting.com: That's funny. The last time I spoke with you, you felt like your ground skills were improving. How strong are your ground skills right now, and how has Mike Reilly helped you in that regard?
Brett Rogers: Man, that's all Mike loves. That's his game right there. He's a ground guy. So anytime I work with him, we're on the ground. Everybody else does the stand up for me. . . I definitely feel comfortable that if I get in that situation (on the ground), I can get out of it with offense or just using strictly defense. I'm going to tell you the truth, I don't like it. That's not my first option, you know what I mean? I love to stand and bang. But if it goes there, I'm just going to be relaxed and deal with it. I can't see a lot of guys catching me because that's all I work with is jiu jitsu guys. If you're constantly working with jiu jitsu guys of a higher rank- black belt and all that- and they're not catching me, so I can't see somebody else with a black belt catching me, either. I tell you what, as soon as you try to lock down something you're going to get bashed with something. As soon as you make an attempt to lock me, I'm going to hurt you. That's what I'm saying dog. I don't know, we'll see. Talking the talk, I'm going to have to walk the walk pretty soon.
MMAFighting.com: Do you think there' s a pretty good chance that you could end up fighting Werdum or Overeem in your next fight?
Brett Rogers: I'm going to go on my hunch and say there's a pretty good chance one of the two.
MMAFighting.com: It's funny, because they're two very different fighters. Overeem would likely want to stand and trade, which is the game that you like, and Werdum is really a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu guy. How much do you know about him?
Brett Rogers: All I know is he loves to stay on the ground. He'll stand up and try to pretend like he want(s) to fight. As soon as someone hit him- light- he's gonna want to take you down. The way that I see it, I think that would be kind of a boring fight in a way. . . If I know for a fact that's his A game down there, I'm not going to want to stay down there and play with him. And I consider myself a 'C' if anything on the ground. So that would be more of a grappling type of fight. He's kind of a smaller dude too. Man, I'm back up to 280. But I would go down there and lay on top of him. I'll lay on top of him and bang with him. But I'm definitely not going to try to play that jiu jitsu game off my back with him.
And with Overeem, with him I think it would be a little more exciting because he wants to stand with me. He's kind of a fast spunky kind of dude, that's what I've been seeing off of his videos. He's a dangerous fighter on the ground (in that) he can fight off of his back, too, so I ain't gonna sleep on him when it comes to that. But he's definitely going to have some problems with the weight. He's gotta pump it up a little bit or I'll lay on his ass, put that weight on him, tire him out.
MMAFighting.com: Anything else you'd like to say to fans? Anything else coming up for you?
Brett Rogers: Put it to you like this, anybody that's out there listening that's gonna try to tangle with me, please believe I'm coming to grab you. I'm not in the game to be around, hang with celebrities and all that there. I'm coming out there to put on a show. I'm definitely first and foremost trying to hurt you. If you don't come in there with your A-game on, might as well sit down, lay down, pretend that you're dead, one of the two. Also, I'm gonna thank Mike Reilly, MMA Agents, Tapout, they've definitely been helping me out. VAS, MRO, thank you much.
MMAFighting.com: Thanks a lot. I really appreciate you taking the time with me again, Brett. Hopefully we get to talk again after some positive things in the future.
Brett Rogers: Alright man.
More quotes from Brett Rogers
On Frank Shamrock's gym: Frank's, his gym kind of helped me with getting down to weight (before the Humphrey fight). He has a very interesting gym, it's very interesting. It looks almost like a church. . . The next thing you know, you go down to the basement and it's just like wow. Everything's out there. Anything and everything that you need, it's there.
On attempting to find a home gym: I've been working with these gyms up here. Still trying to find a home gym. But definitely have three gym options: Strike Fitness, Wolflair, and another one. Really haven't come up with a name with it yet, but it's definitely going to be a nice one. Indoor track (and) everything: cages, rings, you name it, it's going to have it. Gotta get the people in there, get the crew.