by Matt Hill – MMAWeekly.com (Photos courtesy of RorySinger.TV)
Rory Singer is a ‘Student’ of the Game

“This training camp was the best one I’ve ever had. I worked on my wrestling and my boxing technique a bunch. I’m looking forward to a great fight.”

One would expect these to be the words of a mixed martial artist preparing for a competition, but why would these words come from the mouth of someone with a B.S. degree in Biological Engineering from the University of Georgia? Who would expect this quote to be from a man who has worked in such capacities as: lab tech, research tech, and research engineer? Who could this person possibly be? And why is there a story about this ‘science guy’ on my favorite fighting website?

I had hoped that you would ask these very questions.

Meet Rory Singer, self-proclaimed “Mixed Martial Artist,” and star of the highly rated TUF Season 3 reality show on Spike TV. While vying for the illustrious six-figure contract, Singer was selected to represent himself as a middleweight on ‘Team Ortiz,’ the team that would eventually dominate a majority of the competition.

Singer found both success and disappointment under the lights of the Octagon in the UFC Training Center. In his first trip into the ring, Rory bested the hard-hitting Solomon Hutcherson by knockout in the first round. Solomon and Rory had been at each other’s throats for a good portion of the time since they arrived at the house, so a fight between them was all but necessary. Singer’s second outing was slightly less memorable, though, and he admitted that he “mentally broke,” and as a result found himself the recipient of a rear naked choke courtesy of the hands (or should I say arms?) of Team Quest fighter (and TUF finalist) Ed ‘Short Fuse’ Herman.

In regards to the Herman fight, Singer said, “Losing in the semifinals to Ed was one of the best learning experiences of my life. I had four months to look back at that fight and figure out why I lost. I lost that fight, not because I was not as skilled as Ed, but because I broke mentally. I promise to never let that happen again. It was a tough lesson, but one I took to heart.”

Singer currently trains at The HardCore Gym in Athens, Georgia, a gym that he co-owns with his brother Adam. Fans may remember first hearing about the gym when it was mentioned by TUF Season 1 alumnus (and UFC light-heavyweight contract winner) Forrest Griffin.

Since the day that Griffin first starred on TUF, The HardCore Gym has continually grown. Singer said, “We credit the success of Season 1 of TUF and of our good friend and former full-time team member, Forrest Griffin, for increasing the interest in training [at our gym].”

Griffin doesn’t train full-time with The HardCore Gym any longer, but he did make an appearance there during Rory’s preparation for Haynes. “Forrest was in town, and he trained with us for a little while,” said Singer. “I also went to Miletich’s camp and trained with them for a week. Training has gone great. I am in great shape.”

Singer knows that each of his fights now are vital for him if he wants to continue competing in the UFC, and he makes sure not to look past any opponent.

“Josh is a tough fighter and I know he has a lot of heart, so I am not looking past my fight with Josh. I have more training experience than Josh does… he may have more fight experience, but I’ve been training longer, and I feel confident that wherever the fight may go; whether it be standing up, wrestling, or on the ground, that I’ve got just a little bit more than Josh does,” said Singer.

Singer and Haynes are friends outside of fighting, but they have each come to terms that for a possible 15 minutes on October 10, friendship will be pushed to the wayside, and all that will matter while in the Octagon will be coming away with a win.

Singer said of his friendship with Haynes, “Josh and I are actually friends outside of the Octagon. He and I spoke to each other before we signed to take this fight, and we both know that this fight is all about business; for now this is our job.”

When asked to predict what he thinks will happen in the fight, Singer said, “I visualize all possible situations. If you think through only certain scenarios, then if something doesn’t go your way you may find yourself in trouble. Anything can happen in a fight, and that is why I visualize finding myself in many different positions.”

Singer is a much taller fighter than Haynes is, and he knows that his recipe for success in this fight lies in using his length to his advantage.

“If the fight goes my way, I am going to use my reach and my ground game to my advantage. I think Josh is probably going to try to test my heart and get through my reach, so I am going to rely on my striking and my jiu-jitsu to win the fight,” said Singer.

It will be interesting to see how these two “friends” come after each other in the Octagon on Tuesday night. Though it is a preliminary bout, with Singer’s high-quality ground game and Josh’s heavy hands, this fight could, at any moment, turn into the ‘fight of the night.’