Posts Tagged ‘Chad Robichaux’

MMA Beatdown radio: Chad “Robo” Robichaux, Danny Castillo

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UFC on FOX 3 victor Danny Castillo and Legacy 11 fighter Chad Robichaux join Mike Fester and Alex Donno (of Miami’s 790 The Ticket) on tonight’s MMA Beatdown.

“Robo” Robichaux (11-2) is an 8 time Afghanistan Marine Recon vet.  He talks his upcoming fight, his non-profit organization designed to help veterans cope with PTSD (using BJJ!), and what his future holds.

Danny “Last Call” Castillo, fresh off a unanimous decision victory over John Cholish on the UFC’s third FOX card, checks back in with the crew as well.

The show streams live here at MMADiehards.com at 8:30 p.m. Eastern, 5:30 on the West Coast, which we’ve been told is the Best Coast – though that’s up for debate. Face buried in a pizza? Picking up The Wife’s clothes at the dry cleaners? On a mandatory Tuesday Date Night? Look, we get it. Shiznit happens. You’ve got a life to live outside of little ol’ us at Beatdown Radio – even though we managed to get an entire extra day added onto the calendar for you. So we’ll do ya another favor. We’ll make the show available on demand RIGHT HERE after the completion of the broadcast or as a download at iTunes for the low-low, low-low cost of FREE. (But you’re way, way cooler if you’re here with us live.)

Clay Hantz replaces Jesus Rivera in Legacy Fighting 11 championship headliner

http://mmajunkie.com/news/28486/clay-hantz-replaces-jesus-rivera-in-legacy-fighting-11-championship-headliner.mma

Bellator 65: Zach Makovsky Grapples with MMA History

Bellator bantamweight champ Zach "Fun Size" Makovsky strikes a pose after another victory. (Photo courtesy of Bellator.com)

Zach “Fun Size” Makovsky (Twitter: @ZachFunSize) is a small guy making big waves.

Standing 5′ 4″ and weighing 135 lbs., one could easily mistake the soft-spoken grappler for a pushover. As many Bellator opponents can testify, that’s a huge mistake. Sporting a 14-2 record, Bellator’s reigning bantamweight champion competes at the top of MMA’s food chain.

“You have to be capable of fighting everywhere with everyone even if it’s in a place where you have a disadvantage,” Makovsky told MMADiehards’ Darce Side Radio on Tuesday. “I think that’s a mentality you have to have in every fight. You have to be proficient at everything to truly succeed.”

Makovsky’s never-say-die mentality has made him a major player in Bellator’s bantamweight division. Entering the fight league in June 2010, he soon steamrolled his way through its Season Three tournament. Beating Ed “Wild” West at Bellator 32, Makovsky became the organization’s first bantamweight king. He’s since won two non-title showdowns with Chad “Robo” Robichaux and Ryan Roberts.

“It’s a very unique situation fighting in non-title fights,” Makovsky confessed. “Those non-title fights were still tough fights and good for keeping me active but I prefer that the title be on the line every time.”

Bellator will grant Makovsky his wish with an upcoming title match against 13-2 Eduardo “DuDu” Dantas. Much like Makovsky, Dantas entered Bellator with a bang and won its Season Five tournament for a shot at the champion. The two combatants will clash at Bellator 65 on Friday in Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall.

“Dantas is very well-rounded,” Makovsky admitted. “He presents a lot of different problems in a lot of different areas. He’s definitely a threat on his feet and on the ground.”

Dantas may sound like a daunting foe, Makovsky maintains, but both men fight on equal playing fields. Citing their shared tournament victories, Makovsky argues a successful title win will separate him from pretenders to his crown.

“I almost view this as my first title fight because I realistically haven’t done anything Dantas hasn’t,” he said. “We’ve both won a tournament. I just won one a little bit before his. I’m glad it’s all on the line and I get to fight an awesome guy like Eduardo Dantas.”

If that sounds strange, a glance at Makovsky’s background reveals a born competitor. Wrestling at the NCAA Division I level at Philadelphia’s Drexel University, he went to win one bronze and two gold medals for America’s men’s grappling team at the international level. Years after his first matchup on the mats, Makovsky said wrestling is still where he feels most at home.

“It’s a sport I’ve been involved in since I was six years old,” he said. “It taught me a lot about myself and life. It teaches you a lot about the mentality of competing one-on-one.”

Come Friday, Makovsky said he’s ready to throw off whatever Dantas attacks with. The grappler said he values the gold he’s won competing in Bellator and is only beginning to lay down his legacy behind it.

“I think I have a good style to match up with Dantas,” Makovsky said. “I think I’m going to be able to take him down when I want. I think I’ll be the fastest guy he’s ever fought. I’m ready and I’m prepared.”

Chad Robichaux vs. Joseph Sandoval slotted for Legacy Fighting 11

http://mmajunkie.com/news/27388/chad-robichaux-vs-joseph-sandoval-slotted-for-legacy-fighting-11-on-hdnet.mma

Chad Robichaux uses BJJ to solider through, help others

Chad Robichaux (photo courtesy of fighterportraits.com)

In the Marines, Chad Robichaux got through eight tours of duty.  He served the United States for over a decade, worked as a Special Operations Force Reconnaissance Marine and then a federal marshal.

The 35-year-old New Orleans native was diagnosed with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which he got through.  Last summer he won his Strikeforce debut and this past fall he went three rounds in a losing effort with Bellator bantamweight champion Zack Makovsky in a losing effort.

He also has a Master of Business Administration from New York Tech and operates two schools in Texas (Gracie Barra Woodlands and Magnolia). The 5’4″ Robichaux has also been fighting outside of his weight class for his entire career.  He’s been there done that, but isn’t close to being done.

When he takes on Jonathan Mackles on Friday, live on HDNet, for Legacy FC7 he starts what he says is a path that will hopefully lead into the UFC as a flyweight.

“I have a career path set. I have some things ahead of me that I want to do,” Robichaux told Tim O’Connor and me on White Belt Radio on the MMA DieHards Radio Network.  “Pretty specifically, the UFC flyweight division and I’ve got two fights already booked before that opportunity will come up.  Johnathan Mackles is the first one, and he’s in my way.  He’s not going to stand in the way of what my goals are.  Come Friday night I’m going to get past him and move on.”

Robichaux (11-1) has been training in martial arts since the age of 5.  His mother and grandmother took him to a karate school in New Orleans, which also offered Japanese jiu-jitsu.  That would eventually snowball into him taking up Brazilian jiu-jitsu, something that would not only make him dangerous in the cage but also help him get over PTSD.

The Carlos Gracie Jr. black belt had his first fight in 1999, which he won by armbar in the first round.  It would become a common theme for Robichaux as he won his first 10 fights by submission.  Brazilian jiu-jitsu is his saving grace in the cage and in his life.

“When I got from my last tour in Afghanistan, I was diagnosed with PTSD,” Robichaux said. “It prevented me from continuing to deploy.  At the time it was just devastating because I didn’t want to stop.  I felt very privileged and blessed to be doing what I was doing.  It was like my whole world was taken from me.  Ironically enough, jiu-jitsu was my therapy.  It was the only thing that would keep me grounded.  I would grapple everyday to keep myself together.  It eventually got me through it and it was a very difficult time for me and my family.”

Jiu-jitsu is Robichaux’s passion and has turned it into his life.  Between his two schools he has over 700 students.  But with jiu-jitsu and MMA he’s been able to take up a greater cause with Soldiers’ Angels, a nonprofit organization that provides aide and comfort to any of the armed forces and their families.

“Knowing what I went through and knowing that the guys are still going through that right now … all these young guys who have these life-altering injuries I feel called and obligated to get out there and help them in anyway I can,” Robichaux said. “The way I found myself to do that is to use MMA as a platform to educate the public that there are charities out there and ways to support these guys and make them like they belong somewhere again.  I’ve been able to do that through Soldiers’ Angels.”

White Belt Radio: Chad Robichaux, Andy Main

LISTEN BELOW:

Every week White Belt Radio focused on some of the nation’s best regional and local shows.  Monday’s show, at the special time of 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT features Chad Robichaux and Andy Main.

Hosted by Tim O’Connor of the The Combat Sports Agency and Mark Daniels of the Boston Herald, the pair frequently talk to some of the brightest up-and-coming fighters around.  O’Connor, a longtime fight fan, is one of the brightest fighter managers in New England.  Daniels is a sports writer and runs the Boston Herald’s “Inside the Octagon” MMA blog.  The two previously hosted “The Mouthpiece MMA Show” on 1510 The Zone out of Boston.

White Belt Radio runs Monday afternoon’s at 3 p.m. ET/noon PT (unless otherwise noted) on MMADieHards.com and the MMA DieHards Radio Network.

Bellator 41 Weigh-In Results

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Chad Robichaux: The Time is Now

Chad Robichaux (photo courtesy of fighterportraits.com)

He has been training in martial arts since he was just five years old, competition becoming a way of life. But in his MMA career, finding a willing opponent has been tough for Chad Robichaux.

On occasions it’s been because of his undefeated record, other times because of his submission prowess. Then there was his time in the military that took him overseas. Upon his return, fighters just didn’t want to square off with him. Robichaux has always been willing to take a step up in competition, he just couldn’t find an adversary.

That all changes Saturday night.

The undefeated 35-year old jiu-jitsu ace will make his Bellator debut in grand fashion when he takes on bantamweight champ Zack Makovsky in a non-title super fight at Bellator 41. An August 2010 victory over touted prospect Humberto DeLeon at “Strikeforce: Houston” pushed Robichaux’s record to an unblemished 11-0 and endeared him to the Bellator brass, who thought enough to sign him to face the promotion’s first bantamweight champ in Makovsky.

“(Bellator) was interested in signing me and I wanted a tough opponent,” Robichaux said. “They offered Zack in a super fight and it was the perfect matchup. Because of my record I’ve had a hard time getting tough matchups. I get mostly guys looking to make a name for themselves by cutting into my record and trying to knock me off.”

After fighting in regional circuits in the southern United States since 1999, Robichaux got his biggest chance when Strikeforce came to his home town of Houston. He defeated DeLeon by split decision at a catchweight of 130 pounds, and six months later got the call from Bellator. Now he gets the step up in competition he has been seeking in Makovsky. A former EliteXC competitor, Makovsky became Bellator’s inaugural bantamweight champion by winning the season three bantamweight tournament via a trio of unanimous decision victories. The former NCAA Division I wrestler for Drexel University is 12-2 in his MMA career with seven wins by decision and five by submission.

Styles make fights, as the saying goes, and Saturday night’s showdown between Robichaux and Makovsky is ripe with possibilities of how the fight will go based on who can impose their will. Makovsky has been able to use his wrestling skills to bully opponents around the cage and then take them down and work them over. Nine of his fights have made it to the final round with three others ending in the second round. Makovsky has proven he can finish with a submission, but is more than comfortable using his wrestling and cardio for the full 15 minutes.

Robichaux’s career line has been a polar opposite. His split-decision win over DeLeon was the first time he had seen the third round in his career. His prior 10 bouts each ended by submission with just two reaching the second round.

Something has to give.

“The short version of my game plan is just to keep it active,” Robichaux said. “(Makovsky) is a really smart guy and a very talented fighter, and he tries to drag fights out and win by decision. I want to try to put constant pressure on him.

“To me, when I look at the matchup, it’s certainly a contrast of styles. It’s about who can get their game plan going. Can he drag it out, or can I force him?”

Makovsky’s wrestling has been a factor in almost all of his fights as he has been able to take his opponents down at will and then control them on the ground. Robichaux doesn’t fear Makovsky’s biggest strength, however. In fact, if the fight goes to the ground, it falls right into the hands of Robichaux, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under the legendary Carlos Gracie Jr.

“I don’t think he’s had anyone come at him like I will,” Robichaux said. “People have been afraid of his wrestling to the point where they are scared to go after him and they just stall out.

“If he thinks he can take me down, great. If he does, even better. I definitely think I’m the superior grappler. His wrestling is great, but I don’t think it’s stages above mine, and I’m certainly comfortable on my feet.”

Don’t be surprised if the fighters remain standing for a good portion, though. There’s a good chance their grappling will cancel out and they’ll have to trade strikes. If that’s the case, Robichaux is eager to show the striking aspect of his game that is often overlooked because of his great jiu-jitsu.

“That’s what I’m really excited about, people finally getting to see my entire skill set,” Robichaux said. “It’s actually a bit frustrating because in the past organizations classify me as a jiu-jitsu guy and they don’t want to give me an opportunity because of that label. But if you look past my record and watch the fights you would see I knock people down before I submit them. I’ve been striking as long as I’ve been grappling and that’s 30 years.”

In preparation for facing Robichaux it is obviously a good idea to work on jiu-jitsu, but if that is the only area a fighter focuses on against him they are going to be vulnerable to his “secondary” arsenal.

“The way Zack trained for me, I think he may have not had the clear picture of who I am and might not have been training accurately for me,” Robichaux said. “I’m going to throw some things out there that he doesn’t expect. He’s a pretty composed dude, but I’m going to shock him in some areas.”

Robichaux is also eager to take his game to the next level after what he deemed to be a bit of a disappointing victory against DeLeon. Robichaux normally wouldn’t have fought at 130 pounds because it is a difficult weight cut for him, but saying no to a bout in Strikeforce just wasn’t an option.

“It was a good performance but it wasn’t my best, and mentally I almost took it as a loss.”

It was the first time Robichaux had not finished his opponent, and he was frustrated to see his streak broken. But on the positive side (besides it being a victory) was that Robichaux picked up the experience of fighting for a full 15 minutes.

“I do it in the gym all the time, but if you don’t have that experience in a fight you’re always going to wonder in the back of your mind if you can do it,” Robichaux said. “At the end of the last fight I was just getting started and I felt great, so it helps to know I can go out there and still perform if it goes the distance.”

Another advantage Robichaux has is the perspective he has in a fight. He has served as a member of the United States Marine Corps, Special Operations Force Reconnaissance Marine and as a Federal Agent. There isn’t anything in a fight that is going to scare him and there isn’t much that can throw him off his game mentally.

“MMA is a sport and the consequences aren’t as high as some of the things I’ve done in my life in the military,” Robichaux said. “I’ve had a lot of life experience and that has poised me and made me really downplay the seriousness of something like a fight. I think I’ve always had that composure because I’ve been competing so long, but the military training definitely helped.”

It’s safe to say Saturday’s fight with Makovsky is the biggest of Robichaux’s career. A win over the bantamweight champ would obviously throw him right into the title picture. For the longtime martial arts competitor who is finally getting his big chance, this is his time to announce himself to the MMA world.

“For me (a win) would just validate me and everything I claim, that I’m at the top level and that I belong there,” Robichaux said. “I know I’m not getting the belt if I win but I don’t care. I just want to show I can compete and win, and not only win but clearly show that my skills are on that level.”

Zack Makovsky: Bellator champ can compete with Cruz, Faber

Zach Makovsky (r) (Bellator photo)

Finding a home with Bellator Fighting Championships in the aftermath of Elite XC’s closure, Zack Makovsky has used his opportunity with the Chicago-based promotion to springboard into a standing amongst the elites at 135 pounds.

Winning the outfit’s inaugural bantamweight championship in the fall of last year, “Fun Size” successfully emerged from a four-tier tournament to be crowned the new champion, having demonstrated technical, submission and endurance capabilities worthy of a title holder along the way.

Joining hosts Joe Rizzo and Jeremy Fullerton on Rear Naked Choke Radio on the MMA DieHards Radio Network cageside at Bellator 39, Makovsky discussed his humble background training out of Philadelphia, the ups and downs of the tournament format Bellator features so strongly and the ever-present dilemmas associated with weight-cutting. Beforehand however, the fighter with a record of 12-2 spoke of his championship status and how, as a face of the promotion, he measures up against bantamweights in other organizations, including the duo of Urijah Faber and UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz.

“It’s hard to say. I honestly feel I can compete against any 135-pounder in the world,” Makovsky said on the show. “I would love a chance to fight those guys, they obviously get the most recognition because they’re in the UFC and people automatically assume they’re the best. I’m not saying they’re not — Cruz has been looking unbelievable as of late — but it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s nobody else out there. Until there’s cross-promotions and you can have one real unified champion, you never know. It’s left up to all the fans of the sport to decide. I try not to worry about it, I just sit back and fight the people put in front of me and let everything else take care of itself.”

While the idea of cross-promotion outside of Zuffa remains non-negotiable following the company’s recent acquisition of Strikeforce, Bellator’s tournament style of fight booking does lend itself to assuring the most deserving competitor is recognized for their efforts. Makovsky reiterated this notion, citing the advantages of such rigorous competition in spite of its compacted schedule.

“I really like the tournament idea,” said Makovsky. “I wish there was a little bit more time between fights.  I fought every three weeks, which was pretty rough. So I fought three times in six weeks, then I had six months off.

“I like the way Bellator doesn’t pick their title fights, they don’t choose who’s going to challenge for the title so they influence who the champion is, you have to win the tournament and earn the right to fight for the title. I think that’s a good philosophy and it brings the best fighters out in the end. Personally, the tournament was very difficult going through all those fights in a row without time to relax. But I think all that experience in such a short space of time really did improve my game and help take it to the next level.”

Arguably the biggest flaw of this model, however, lies with the lengthy process through which a new title contender is named. With potential candidates having to win a tournament of their own before competing for a championship, Makovsky remains active in the interim period competing in non-title bouts such as his upcoming clash with Chad Robichaux at Bellator 41 on Saturday in Yuma, Ariz. Despite remaining champion regardless of the night’s outcome, Makovsky remains adamant that this comfort does not alter his pre-fight preparations.

“I really try not to think about it like that, you know, it’s just another fight and I go out there to fight and fight the best I can,” Makovsky maintained. “The belt’s nice to have and I’m very happy to be the champion, but I’m just trying to become the best I can be. I don’t think I feel any added pressure or less pressure in a non-title fight. I’m just going in there to do what I can do, that’s about it.

“I’ve got a tough guy. He’s undefeated at 11-0. I think 10 of his 11 wins have come by submission. I don’t know how many people he’s fought of a high caliber, whether that necessarily means anything, so we’ll see (what happens).”

Training out of the Philadelphia Fight Factory, the former NCAA Division I wrestler attributed a great deal of the success he has met in his relatively short MMA career to the intimate nature of the camp. In particular, “Fun Size” alluded to coach Stephen Haigh as the driving force behind the academy’s production of world class fighters, including Bellator’s lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez and current No.2-ranked pound-for-pound female mixed martial artist Tara LaRosa.

“We’ve got a lot of guys who are still up and coming in the amateurs, awesome guys, and I think Steve is the perfect guy to lead us and teach us all,” Makovsky acknowledged. “I think he designed his gym like that, not from a business model perspective but instead creating the best team he can. The gym doesn’t make a ton of money, but it’s filled with an awesome group of guys. That’s what was important to him and you can see the results.

“He let me live with him and his wife for over a year for free, so I owe him big time.  He’s the most talented guy I’ve ever dealt with, he handles everyone in the gym in every aspect of the sport. Everybody. He really does.”

Within such a dedicated environment, Makovsky has had no problems making 135 pounds during his time with Bellator. Two weeks before his bout with Robichaux, the champion appeared content with his weight, revealing there were other, more significant assets of his game revolving around speed that detracted from the issue of size that so many mixed martial artists concern themselves with.

“This is actually the heaviest I’ve been in a while now,” Makovsky admitted. “I’m walking around at about 147 (pounds) and its still only 11 or 12 pounds over. It won’t be difficult (to make weight). Usually I don’t get much heavier than that, 145 at the most but I feel good, training is going really well.

“I personally don’t think that cutting weight is that big of an advantage. I’ve been wrestling my whole life and actually cut weight in second grade, so I’ve got kind of sick of cutting it a lot.”

One time he literally got sick.  Extremely sick.

“I had a bad experience in college where I was wrestling at 125 and wasn’t supposed to start over the next two matches, so I let my weight get up,
Makovsky recounted.  “The guy ahead of me got injured and I had to cut 17 pounds in less that 48 hours. I tried to make it, but I ended up in the hospital, my kidneys were only functioning at 50 percent of what they should have been, I had an irregular heartbeat because I was so dehydrated and I had to have all these tests. So I decided I’m not going to push it too much.

“I’ll get as strong as I can for that weight class, but I feel like my strength has never been a factor in any fight I’ve had, even the fights I’ve lost, so I really have no reason to go down. I feel great at the weight I compete at.”

As a bantamweight champion in one of the most prestigious organizations outside of Zuffa’s empire, there are few who could argue with Makovsky’s decision. Through trial and error, hard work and with the help of a close-knit training camp, the 28-year-old has hit his stride in the world of MMA. It remains to be seen, however, whether Bellator’s lengthy tournaments continue to satisfy Makovsky’s competitive desire.

Champ Zach Makovsky meets Chad Robichaux in Bellator 41 non-title fight

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