Benji Radach Eyes Opportunity at CBS - EXC
Benji Radach is looking to make his 2008 debut at EliteXC on Oct. 4 against Murilo “Ninja” Rua. A former International Fight League middleweight standout, he has a diversified MMA career and holds an impressive record of 18-4.
Radach went 5-1 in the IFL and seemed to have found a home there. He enjoyed working with the IFL and enjoyed the team atmosphere. “I really liked the IFL,” Radach said in an interview with MMAWeekly Radio. “I liked training on a team for a month before the fight, bleeding and sweating together, then going out to battle together. It was really cool. I really liked it. I was really hoping that they would keep going.”
With the IFL now defunct, Radach was looking for another organization to fight in. When he was presented an offer from EliteXC to fight on the main card in a CBS show, he couldn't resist. “I couldn't pass up the publicity on this one just because it's on live TV. There's a big headliner - Ken (Shamrock) and Kimbo (Slice). The one thing about that fight is that they put people in the seats. They get a lot of people's attention. There will be a lot of people watching that fight so I got the main card. I definitely had to go with it. I couldn't pass that up.”
As much as Radach liked fighting for the IFL, the schedule he was fighting was somewhat rigorous. In 2007, he fought an unbelievable six fights. While fighting is his top priority, six fights was a bit much and may have affected his last performance against Matt Horwich.
“It was a lot of work. It wasn't like we were training half-assed to compete. It was a month to six weeks out training very hard twice a day with Bas. The way he trains is just hardcore,” he explained. “Punching everything as hard as you can. It just breaks your body down after a while. It was my sixth fight. All this training and all this time, I just went into the fight a lot lighter than I usually do. I didn't have the fire I usually have. I can't take it away from Horwich. He's a tough kid and he just keeps on coming, but I definitely would like to fight him again and fight him in a different environment.”
Shortly after his fight with Horwich, Radach suffered a fractured neck. He is now healed for the most part, and is ready to get in there against Ninja. “Everything is good, 100 percent. I still have some issues on the right side of my body because of nerve damage that I had from a herniated disc a long time ago. But it's coming back slowly. As far as injuries, everything is 100 percent. I'm feeling good and I'm hungry for this fight.”
Ninja is a decorated fighter who has excellent striking, as well as an impressive ground game. He is still considered one of the best middleweights in the world and is a formidable opponent for Radach.
“This is a fight that I really wanted,” Radach stated. “I pretty much told myself a while back that I don't care what the circumstances are, I want to fight the best guys because I've seen friends and other fighters go down by taking tune up fights. There are so many top up-and-comers coming up and you don't know who they are. You try to take a tune up fight and you end up fighting someone who's tougher than some of the big namers.”
Now that “Razor” is part of the middleweight mix in EliteXC, he's ready to take on all comers including current middleweight champion Robbie Lawler. “I'll take it as it comes. I'll definitely step up for a title shot. That's what I'm here - to fight for the belt and fight to be the best guy in the world or one of the best guys at my weight class. I'm ready to take those guys on. I have what it takes to beat some of them, so we'll see what happens.”
To develop a game plan for a fighter like Ninja is very difficult. Radach wants to control every part of this fight. “I want to dominate every position in this fight. I want to be solid on my feet, trade with him and if there's any type of clinch, I want to take the clinch my way and dominate the clinch. Then, of course, ground and pound. I don't plan on spending too much time on the ground. He's a swinger and brawler just like me, so it'll be interesting.”