by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
There are as few imposing figures in MMA as Dan “The Bull” Bobish’s. Standing 6’2″ tall and weighing in around 330lbs, Dan is indeed a bull of a man and not someone that is easily stopped once he’s in a groove.

After spending much of this year pro wrestling in Japan, Bobish is due to return to MMA action for only the second time in 2005 when he headlines the upcoming King of the Cage show taking place in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio this Friday, December 16th.

Recently MMA Weekly spoke to Dan about his return fighting and what changes he’s made lately that have already begun to pay dividends and made him feel young again.

“I went back to Japan on Halloween and did some pro wrestling,” said Bobish of his recent activities. “I trained with Coleman while I was over there and I’m going to partially start fighting with Coleman and those guys and join in with Hammer House. Coleman’s going to walk me out this fight (in Cleveland). I’ve been training the last five weeks very hard, the last four weeks I’ve been doing two-a-days for four-to-five times a week. I’ve dropped 20lbs, I’m down to around 330 and I feel really good. When I fought (Eric) Pele for the belt in 2002 I was around 330 and I felt real good then.”

As for how he got involved with Coleman and the famed Hammer House Team, Bobish responded, “Mark and I are always together in Japan and we’ve been talking. He’s with a team that’s known for pride and he sees potential for me if I get my butt in shape. I’ve never been beaten by anybody until I’ve gotten tired; I’ve pretty much dominated everybody until I gassed. I was overweight; I was 350-360lbs, when I fought Igor I was 372lbs. When I fought Mark Hunt last year on Halloween I was 345lbs, now I’m down to 330lbs and it’s a big difference. I’ve got a bunch of good training partners and it’s going to be different now.”

While Bobish will be associated with Hammer House, he will also retain his links to his current fight team. “I’m still with Strong Style Fighting here in Cleveland, so I train with Marcus Marinelli at Progressive Training Center. I’m with Team Strong Style and also Team Hammer House.”

When it comes to how his new training regimen has effected him, Bobish is ecstatic to say it’s made him more maneuverable and that it will allow him to add things to his arsenal that he was not able to do before when he was heavier.

“I’m more agile again,” explained Bobish. “I hope I drop another 15-20lbs and get down around 310-300 and I’m just back to my old self. I have a real good training partner, Stipe Miosic, he was a high-school runner up National Championships, ranked 10th in the nation at Cleveland State Division-1, he’s 6’4″ 240lbs and fast as hell. He’s a real good training partner, we are together every day, training together, wrestling each other and he’s got me feeling young again. Having some quality to wrestle, full-go, and I’ve been working on my boxing and trying to working on a few submissions that will work for me being so big because it’s hard for me to get into certain positions, but we’re working on it.”

Even though he will be adding more submissions to his game, do not expect The Bull to be confused with Minotauro Nogeuira when it comes to BJJ artistry in the heavyweight division. “I doubt I’d do the triangle [laughs], these legs are too big, if I get them around someone’s neck they’ll be dead [laughs].”

Turning his attention to the task at hand this Friday, Bobish says that while he’s fighting a youngster, it’s not a fight he’s going to take lightly, “I’m fighting this kid named Joey Smith. He has two knockouts and one loss by submission, I don’t know much about him other than he’s a young kid that has good hands and it’s a chance for him to beat a veteran. But I think I’ll just go in there and do my job and take him down and pound him until he taps out.”

Dan continued, “When you fight a young guy what happens if you screw up and get caught you look like shit, when you fight a veteran, whoever wins, wins. You fight a new guy he could be a tough match and you never know, down the line he may have more wins and is somebody but you lose to him now nobody knows him and he makes a name off of you. This fight being in my hometown he better bring everything he’s got to beat me.”

Fighting in Cleveland has always been a dream of Bobish’s. Now that he has had the opportunity to bring MMA to his hometown in a big way, its not only been good for the town but for him as well. “It’s been great, the media in Cleveland have been great to me, they’ve promoted both fights and are behind me 100%. The people of Cleveland are behind me, they’re buying tickets and coming out. At the KOTC PPV (in February) we had 8,000 come out, this is a smaller venue but I’m sure it’ll be sold out and I’m hoping we can come back in May. I’ve been fighting since 1996, so now being able to fight in my hometown and home state feels great.”

As for 2006, Bobish has plans for it to be one of his most active and rewarding years in the sport. “I’m hoping to have five to seven fights, I want to fight and I’m ready to fight. My pro wrestling contract is over in Japan, I spent the last three years pro wrestling every other month, month and a half, I was over for a week to three weeks. My contract was over October 27th, and while I’ll still pro wrestle here and there to make a little money on the side, I want to get back into the fight game and start competing with the best guys in the world and beating them.”

“I want to fight the best out there, whoever will put me in position for the top rankings or a title shot. I’d like to rematch with Hunt or maybe get involved with the Heavyweight Grand Prix. Maybe that’s why they are holding my last fight is for the Heavyweight GP, that would be great,” further commented Dan.

Bobish concluded the interview by saying, “We’ve got a bunch of seasoned guy on this card and I’m the main event but come out to watch the other guys too. Rex Holman from Ohio State who was the National Champion from 1993 is fighting; a couple new guys and some UFC veterans are fighting so it’s going to be pretty wild. I just can’t wait to get back in the cage, I’ve missed it, I love getting in front of the crowd when it’s for real. Pro wrestling is great, but MMA is the way to go, there’s no other better adrenaline rush than getting in the cage and having two big guys beating on each other until one guy gives up, there’s nothing like it.”

King of the Cage: Raging Bull
Friday, Dec. 16, 8 pm * Agora Theater, Cleveland, Ohio

Main event
Joey Smith vs. Dan Bobish (Super hwt.)

Feature bouts
LaVerne Clark vs. Jake Ellenberger (170)
Ron Fields vs. Terry Martin (215)
Derek Keasley vs. Jeff Cox (170)
Brendan Seguin vs. Trevor Garrett (185)

Main card
Josh Martin vs. Sesshoumaru Tamashii (185)
Mike Russo vs. Jimmy Boyd (170)
Matt Masterson vs. Rex Holman (205)
Jerry Spiegel vs. Sean Salman (205)

Dominic Quarazzo vs. Loren Bradley (205)
Leremey Johnson vs. Rob Kerwin (205)
Josh Schockman vs. Keith McIntosh (Hwt.)