They called him “The Bull.”
Dan Bobish certainly fit the profile. A monster of a man standing six-feet-one-inch tall and weighing 330 pounds, he was one of the few fighters who helped define the super heavyweight division in his day.
Now that day is done. Bobish is retired from active competition, having last stepped in the cage three years ago, and while he admits he misses it every day, it’s something he had to do.
“I still think about it,” Bobish says about his active MMA career. “Some days I think I’m only 40 and at 265 and over there aren’t too many guys that can compete with me, but there isn’t too many guys fighting at that weight class either. I still want to fight, but I just can’t do it, so yeah it was very hard.”
A veteran of several organizations including both the UFC and Pride, Bobish didn’t find age working against him, or even a new breed of fighter. When he was injured in his last fight, he faced a major decision in his career and life, and that’s what took him away from MMA, but only as a fighter. He has moved on to a new career.
“I blew my back out when I fought Aleksander Emelianenko, two discs: L3 and L4. So I can’t train anymore,” Bobish said. “I can’t do what I used to do, and I’m not going to have surgery on my back. I refuse. So I want to be involved with the guys and be around the fights.”
What Bobish is doing to stay involved in the sport is turning in his fighter hat and putting on his promoter hat instead. With his second card coming up on Oct. 23, featuring both professional and amateur bouts, Bobish is excited to put his years of fighting back into the sport as a promoter.
“It’s called ‘Raging Bull: Bobish Ultimate Cage Battles.’ I have my own company now,” Bobish stated. “Most promoters never fought before, and they didn’t reach the levels that I reached, that I know of. I’m trying to make this every month or every two months, have a big pro show in the Cleveland area.”
A local product from Ohio, Bobish is proud to continue to spread the roots that brought him his love of MMA, and pass it along to the next generation of fighters.
He also believes that his experience working with different promotions gives him a key that many other organizations may not understand, how to treat the fighters the right way.
“When I made the big shows, Pride and UFC, they took care of you right,” Bobish said.
From the smallest details like making sure the fighters are given all of their needs the night of the fight to hotel accommodations to the production and lighting at the live shows, Bobish believes he’s got the right formula to bring big time MMA to Cleveland.
With his focus on promoting now, Bobish says he still remembers the days in Pride, the UFC, King of the Cage, and other organizations. He’d be lying if he said anything less than it hurts him to not be able to compete again.
“I miss it, I miss the adrenaline rush. I loved that,” said Bobish. “I miss having my hand raised.”
Bobish will live vicariously through the next generation of fighters competing, and he will always be a part of the MMA world. Even though he’s not knocking them out anymore, he’s still planning on making a few jaws drop whenever they see a Dan Bobish production.