A smarter Brian Rogers enters his third Bellator middleweight tournament at Bellator 89 tonight from The Bojangles’ Coliseum in Charlotte, NC.
Having come up short twice before, Rogers left his full-time special needs teaching job to focus solely on his fighting career prior to his last fight.
Asked what he’s done to ensure a different outcome this tournament, Rogers said, “Leaving my day job and things like that, trying to be perfect in everything I do to prepare myself. Smarter work, you know what I mean, and taking a look at some of my tendencies and correct things.
“I entered the Bellator tournament the first time with the least amount of experience or anybody and now I’ve had six Bellator fights. It’s nice. I’m becoming a Bellator veteran. It feels good going into it and having the experience. I’m hoping for a better outcome this tournament.”
Rogers takes on Dan Cramer (9-3), an American Top Team trained fighter who has seven fights under his belt in Bellator, but this is his first tournament.
“Most people know him from when he was on The Ultimate Fighter Season 7. He had a tough time in the UFC. He went 1-1 or 2-1. I haven’t really studied those fights because he’s had five or six fights in Bellator, so that’s what I’ve more paid attention to,” said Rogers about his opponent.
“He’s a guy that likes to brawl. He’s going to try to use his wrestling and clinch work. He usually out-grinds people and goes to a decision by just putting them on their back and grinding them. That’s what he’s going to try to do, and I’m going to do my best to make that not happen.”
Rogers is primarily a striker, coming from a karate background, but is prepared if the fight goes to the ground.
“I don’t plan on him putting me on my back. If he does, I plan on getting right back up. Closed guard and open guard submissions are rare,” said Rogers. “I could very well end up on top. I’m going to let my hands go on top and if a submission is there, I’m going grip it.”
Asked if he had a prediction about his upcoming fight with Cramer, Rogers said, “We’ll see what happens. I’m not going to predict a knockout, but if I’m doing the right things, that’s what’s going to happen.”
(Photo courtesy of Bellator MMA)