So far in his relatively short career, Roufusport welterweight prospect Mike “Biggie” Rhodes has lived up to his team’s lofty reputation by dominating the majority of his fights, en route to a 4-0 record.
“This last year was major for me making the transition to fighting professionally from the amateur ranks,” said Rhodes. “Each performance I feel I got a little better and got a little bit more comfortable.
“I was more reacting and fighting from instinct rather than when sometimes as an amateur you fight out of fear and do things without a reason. This year I think I cut out a lot of those little mistakes you make as an amateur and I progressed and became a pretty good pro.”
Even though he’s controlled the majority of his fights, Rhodes did experience some unexpected discomfort in his win in January against Quartus Stitt.
“I took a couple shots to the groin that were pretty violent, but I was able to recover and was able put my gameplan in play,” Rhodes said. “I was able to pressure him, and my cardio was top notch, and I ended up getting a TKO stoppage because he didn’t come out for the third round.”
Cardio has always been a strong point for Rhodes, which he figures will come in handy when he travels to the mile high altitude of Denver to face Brandon “Ruckus” Thatch in the main event of RFA 7 this Friday live on AXS TV.
“We’re both very good strikers when it comes down to it, both really good grapplers, and I think we’re both very well-rounded in the sport,” said Rhodes.
“I think the way to beat Brandon is to fight smart, to not get into a brawl with him, or let him impose his gameplan. I’m going to make sure to apply pressure smartly and weather the storm because he puts a lot of guys away early.”
Rhodes told MMAWeekly.com that stepping onto Thatch’s turf presents the possibility of a hometown decision should they go the distance. He plans on not letting it get that far.
“Anytime you go into someone else’s hometown and fight in front of their fans and family, every single punch or strike they land is going to be amplified because the crowd is going to ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh,’ and they’re going to make it seem like it’s a lot more than it could be,” said Rhodes.
“In that situation, you have to go out there and be very dominant and make sure that you finish. Unless you’re dominant, you can lose a very close decision in their hometown.”
With the high risk of fighting someone as dangerous as Thatch comes the possibility of great reward should Rhodes perform well, and he knows it.
“I think not only will fighting on national TV and in the main event against a fighter like Brandon Thatch, whether I win handily or lose a close decision, the credibility and notoriety I will get from this fight will help me gain a fan base and will hopefully help me progress my career a lot faster than I would be fighting on the local circuit.”