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Friday, October 3, 2008

Interview - Benji Radach Prepares For Ninja Rua

Courtesy of Joe "Momma" (okay, I took "creative" liberties with that one) Burns:

I recently caught up with Benji Radach before his big fight on Exlite XC’s card on Saturday night against Murilo “Ninja” Rua. Benji discussed how he got his power in his hands and his feelings on his fight with Ninja.

JB: It is well documented about your past injuries. Tell us how you where mentally able to overcome them?

BR: I think a lot of it is just each person as a person. Some people don’t have it put in their body to keep on going. I just have been through some hard times and I have always kept my eyes on the light at the end of the tunnel. I have always been striving to get better and I always wanted to fight again.

JB: With this bout being free on network television, do you feel that this is the biggest fight in your career?

BR: I would say so. So far just because of the exposure. Along my career I have had tons of big fights but this is going to be awesome because it is going to be seen by so many people. There has been so much publicity for the fight.

JB: Ninja is known for his aggressive Chute Boxe style. How do you feel the best way to counter the Ninja Rua’s style is?

BR: The best way to deal with his style is meeting or beating it with the exact same intensity that he uses.

JB: Are you training at American Top Team for your upcoming fight with Ninja?

BR: No I am training with Team Quest and HB Ultimate. One person I have been training with a lot is Muhammed Lawal. He just had a win over Travis Wiuff at Sengoku.

JB: I know that you and Kimbo Slice have both trained with Bas Rutten. Have you ever trained with Kimbo and if you have, what is he like as a training partner?

BR: He’s a tough guy. One thing he definitely has is the fighting sprit. The guy never gives up and trains hard. The guy is always coming forward even though he is young in the sport. Kimbo knows this and he is training the for things he knows he is weak on and getting better.

JB: Do you think Kimbo’s image hurts MMA’s image?

BR: No, I don’t think so. I think the MMA image is kind of street. You got to be a fighter before you become a fighter. You have to have that inner fighter in you before you step out into that cage. I think it has obviously done well for him. I don’t think it has hurt his image at all. It is hard to say it isn’t an athletic sport and that all mixed martial artists are just street fighters. As a Mixed Martial Artist you have to know so much and prepare for some many different situations.

JB: You have a great wrestling background that includes being the representative for the state of Washington in the US Nationals but you are known for your big knock outs. Where did you develop the power in your hands?

BR: I have always had a hard punch. Back in the day, we used to box at the house all the time. We would have all our friends over at a young age, just beating the piss out of each other. I also had a pretty tough older brother that would hand me beatings so that kind of helped. I started boxing way back then with nothing too technical, but I was able to hone it and I had a hard punch even before I started formally training. So I was able to take it up fast once I starting working with a professional boxing coach.

JB: Your last loss was against Matt Horwich by KO. It was only your second loss by KO of your career. Do you think that loss will come into play with your stand up?

BR: No, I don’t think so at all. That is what I like to do when I get in there. I like to trade and throw down and I know I am going to get hit. It was just one of those things where I wasn’t mentally ready for that fight and this one I am. So, it is going to make a big difference.

JB: With this magical ride we call mixed martial arts, where do you see it taking you?

BR: This fight I think is really going to help put me on the map and show that I am one of the best 185 pound fighters in the world. If I can get this win, I will be able to step up the Elite XC rankings and hopefully get a belt shot and I will be happy.

JB: Thanks for the interview, Benji and good luck in the fight on Saturday.

Benji Radach would like to thank Tap Out, Team Quest, American Top Team, Victory Athletics, HB Ultimate and Elite MMA Gym with Bas Rutten.