M-1Global’s Michael Mazur had the chance to speak with Brett Rogers recently. Rogers discussed his fight with Fedor, his place among the world’s top heavyweight fighters, and his view on the stoppage in the fight that remains his lone defeat.
Michael Mazur: How did you like the Strikeforce / M-1 Global show?
Brett Rogers: Strikeforce is my home. I love that strikeforce is willing to work with other promotions to create super fights. My last two fights with Strikeforce were collaboration events. I believe both organizations show a commitment to putting forward the best possible fights.
MM: You didn’t rush into the battle right away how you used to do in your previous fights. What was your strategy for the Fedor fight? Could you please tell what played out well and what not?
Brett Rogers: I was looking for my openings; I found a few but was not able to finish. I was hoping to get off my right hand more; but he hid from that pretty well.
MM: What are your impressions of Fedor as a person and as a fighter? What weaknesses do you see in his game? Do you consider him the best
Brett Rogers: Well he is certainly the best heavyweight in the world. But he does have weaknesses. We all do – isn’t that what
makes champions great – they win even with weaknesses? They win even though they can be beat? He is not a machine.
MM: Were you at least a bit nervous before the fight against Fedor (including the last day)?
Brett Rogers: We were kept very busy all the time. As you know in America at least I did most of the press for the fight. But I
don’t really get nervous to fight. Fighting is what I love to do; I get excited to fight; I get happy. I would fight everyday if I could. Training is the hard part – Fighting is fun.
MM: What’s next for you now? When do you expect to come back to Strikeforce? Are there any names thrown as your possible opponents?
Who would you personally like to fight next?
Brett Rogers: I want to fight soon, and I want to fight Alistar. I’m 100% healthy and took zero damage in the fight; so I’m ready to go right now. As I said Strikeforce is my home; I love Strikeforce and in my opinion Alistar holding the title belt is an insult to every fighter in this organization, every fan and to Scott Coker. Champions defend their titles. And either Scott strips him and real fighters battle for it; or I will take it off him the hard way.
MM: While being on top of Fedor on the ground you kept ground-and-pounding him. Were you not afraid of his submission skills? Why do you think you couldn’t finish him then? The blows seemed quite dangerous…
Brett Rogers: I was never worried about getting submitted. It was funny – people outside of myself and my trainers were so worried about that; but my Jujitsu is very solid. I felt I was close to getting him on the ground; but hey the guy is really good; he got out of danger.
MM: What, according to you, was your biggest mistake throughout the course of your battle against Fedor?
Brett Rogers: Well honestly was covering the wrong way when I got knocked down; If I had turned the other direction
John would have seen me better and not stopped the fight.
MM: What’s your personal top-5 heavyweight list? Where do you rank yourself among the best heavyweights?
Brett Rogers: Fedor, Me, Werdum, Cain,Barnett
MM: Someone stated boldly that Brock Lesnar, Frank Mir or Cain Velasquez would simply smash you. What’s your reaction to that? What would your strategy be against Brock Lesnar?
Brett Rogers: LOL. I have a great deal of respect for Cain. I understand why Brock does not want to fight him.
I see Cain as a future world champion for sure. The rest of the question is frankly not worth answering. None of those guys will ever fight me.
MM: Are you going to change anything in your training regimen after the fight with Fedor? If yes, what will that be?
Brett Rogers: This is the first time I have ever gotten to train as a pro; to train full time. To be sure we will change a lot of things. My coaches are always finding new ways to make me better.
MM: You were born in Chicago. Who was at the arena ringside supporting you during your latest performance? How many friends and family members were rooting for you that night? How important is their support to you?
Brett Rogers: I always have a lot of fans, team mates, family and friends around. If not at the arena; then cheering me on from home. Their support means the world to me.
MM: Have you watched your fight? Do you still believe the stoppage by Big John was premature now after some time passed? If yes, why?
Brett Rogers: I have. I’m not second guessing Johns call – he has to make that call in a split second and his job is to error on the side of caution. But I was flashed; but never out – I’m defending the punches and was waiting for him to either give space to swing or jump on top and go for a submission. I was still in the fight; So I would have liked to have either been given a chance to fight; or have been finished for real.
MM: After your great performance at Strikeforce / M-1 Global show on November, 7 many people, even fierce Russian Fedor fans recognize youas a legitimate top heavyweight. Any words for your Russian fans?
Brett Rogers: I would like to come to Russia. I would like to Fight Fedor again and fight him in Russia or any of the great Russian fighters. If not fight there then to train there and meet the Russian people
MM: What event of your life has changed you the most?
Brett Rogers: God has blessed me in so many ways; my Grandmother, my wife, I have 3 wonderful children. I discovered a great coach who brought me to this great sport. I really can’t pick just one.
MM: Do you like jokes? Could you tell any funny story that actually happened to you?
Brett Rogers: My coach is more the comedian. One story that I can tell that told me I must now be a celebrity. A homeless women is San Jose walked up to me and said “I know your Brett Rogers and you’re a fighter. Will you go beat up my boyfriend Crazy Kenny?” I declined…lol
MM: You have several tattoo’s on your body. What do they mean?
Brett Rogers: On my chest I have the 4 riders of the apocalypse; but that one is still not finished. The ones I have had the longest are two words; Patience and Success. The two go hand in hand.
Thank you very much and good luck in your future fights!
Editor’s Note: Igor Karaev and Michael Mazur contributed to this interview. And thank you to Mike Reilly and Ethan Boyle for making this interview possible.