by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
After nearly a year and a half of inactivity due to consecutive injuries, Benji “Razor” Radach is finally ready to get back to action. Radach, a UFC veteran, has not fought since June of 2004 when his jaw was broken at the hands of TUF 1’s Chris Leben at a Sportfight event. Since then he’s recovered only to be diagnosed with a serious injury that could have threatened both his career and life.
After having surgery on his neck to fix the problem, Radach is now fully healthy again and he is beginning to take steps towards coming back to fighting. Recently Radach spoke to MMA Weekly shortly before he relocated to Florida to join the American Top Team full-time to begin the road back to glory.
“As far as an injury update my neck is doing fine,” said Radach. “It feels great and I don’t have any pain in it at all.” Benji had hurt his neck wrestling and was told if he did not have surgery to fix the problem, he could have possibly paralyzed himself.
With his neck on the mend, Benji has been concentrating on helping teammates and rebuilding his body back into fighting form. “I’ve been getting everybody ready for their fights and I’ve been working on getting strength back in my chest and my arm. I had some atrophy (a medical condition dealing with the decrease in size and wasting of muscle tissue) and lost a lot of my chest and tricep. It was down to nothing and then I had surgery and slowly but surely it’s coming back.”
Radach continued, “Right now I’m just getting ready to dial everything in. I’ve been weight training, doing MMA, grappling, wrestling, everything I was doing before the injury.”
As for when he will return to the ring, Benji seems optimistic it will be back before mid-2006, “I would say I should fight again by summertime. I completely miss everything about fighting. I would go to shows to corner guys at UFC and Pride and I was pressing like I wanted to be in there fighting myself. Being in Japan for Pride was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen, I didn’t want to fight in anything other than Pride because it’s such a different experience. I just want to come back and be real strong and have non-stop cardio and go all out.”
In order to be able to dedicate himself full-time to fighting, Radach has found it necessary to leave his Washington home and relocate to the headquarters of the ATT in Florida. It’s a move that’s been a while in the making and as Radach puts it, a necessity not only for himself, but the team as well.
“The move has been in the talks for about a half a year now or a little longer. Ricardo Liborio, Dennis (Hallman) and everybody have been saying they want me down there so I visited and found that they want someone to teach their wrestling/MMA class. There are a lot of great BJJ guys there but no real wrestlers, so they needed someone to teach takedowns and defense. I’m going to go down and teach a couple of times a week, clinching, takedowns, the stuff that works for MMA, not just wrestling, the transitions and all that. They’re going to pay me to do that and I’ll be able to train full time and that’s what I want to do to become what I want to be.”
As for his future plans in fighting, Benji explains it is wide open and that it doesn’t matter where he fights, as long as he fights and gets his career back on track. “For sure I’d go to the UFC or Pride if asked, any big company would be great. I’d like a chance to fight on Sportfight again because I want to go back in front of the hometown crowd. I’m just anxious to fight period, I just want to fight and do all the things I wanted to do but could because of full-time work.”
Radach concluded, “I’ve always wanted to do this and make this dream come true. My whole family is against it, quitting my job and moving, but that’s what I’m going to do, I’ going to go over there and completely shoot for a dream. I think in the end they understand the outcome will be good because I’m going to make it happen.”