by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
(Photos courtesy IFL.tv)
It’s not very often that an athlete can feel both elation and disappointment in the same evening. It’s even more rare for MMA fighters, but such was the case for Benji “Razor” Radach at last week’s IFL Semi-Finals.
At the event, Radach managed to raise his personal record to 4-0 in the promotion, but his team, the Los Angeles Anacondas, failed to advance to the World Team Tournament Finals, suffering a crushing 4-1 defeat at the hands of their rivals, the Quad Cities Silverbacks.
“Well, it kind of sucks, because I thought we should be in the finals,” said Benji of last Thursday’s show. “We didn’t have our whole team fighting, so, it’s just kind of a big bummer that we weren’t able to go on and have the best chance at the rings that we should have.”
Radach continued, “My fight went really well and I ended up with a win, so you’ve got to be happy that way, but unfortunately not with the team.”
With the win, Benji remains undefeated in his IFL comeback, after years of frustrating setbacks due to injury.
“It’s been awesome, more than I could have asked for,” commented Radach on his return. “My first year back after years of layoff and I’m finishing everybody. So, it’s been really, really cool and I’m stoked about it.”
As Benji explains, he’s been accomplishing all this while still not back to full health, making it a scary prospect for future opponents as he continues to heal.
“I think I’m probably at about 85%,” admitted Radach. “That’s just because my nerve injuries in my right side, right tricep and pec [pectoral muscle] has affected other muscles as well. So, it’s not as strong as it used to be, but I think as time goes it will come back.
“I’m gaining my strength back and becoming 100%, and it’s going to come, hopefully, sooner than later. Nerve damage just takes forever to heal up, but until then I’ll keep going in there and just doing what I can,” further stated Benji.
Even with the Anacondas’ elimination from this year’s World Team Tournament, there’s still more IFL action in Radach’s near future. He will be the top seed in the inaugural 185-pound individual Grand Prix in just a couple months.
“I’m in it for sure,” exclaimed Benji. “I’m the Number 1 seed in the tournament, [Brent] Beauparlant is Number 4, and then [Matt] Horwich and Brian Foster are fighting Number 2 and 3 [seeds]. I’m stoked, excited and I want to go in there and win that belt.”
Radach continued, “I’ve been in a lot of organizations, but I’ve never fought long enough in them to get a belt or get a chance to get a belt. So, this is my first chance to get a belt around my waist and I really, really, really want it. I’m just going to go for it, train very hard and make sure I get it.”
Although he’s excited for his own personal prospects, Benji hasn’t lost sight of what the Anacondas were able to accomplish this year, and he’s proud to have been a part of it.
“I think with this team, we had an awesome run at it,” said Radach. “I think we lit a spark in the MMA world and I think we did really well as a team. We could have done a little better, but I’m happy with everybody for their great performances.”
“We grew close as a team, made some good friendships and a lot of other great things along the way, so I can’t complain,” Benji further stated.
The end of the IFL year is still far from off for Radach, however, and he’s focused and determined to take the first title of his career, and implores everyone to keep their eyes on him at the upcoming Grand Prix.
“Just look out for me in the tournament, I’m going to make sure it’s exciting and I’m going to make it exciting and put the belt around my waist,” concluded Benji. “I want to thank Dan Lambert for helping me get back into MMA; Ricardo Liborio and Dennis Hallman for helping me get back into shape for this fight; and Hank Reed, a new guy I’ve got that’s going to help me get some endorsements, so props to him also.”