Brian “The Professional Predator” Rogers has had two opponents back out of his main card fight due to injury, but doesn’t have any problem taking Rafael Carvalho for his next victim. After two tough decision losses, he rebounded in Bellator MMA with a flying knee KO victory over opponent Adrian Miles in his latest fight. Brian Rogers is looking to put another KO victory for the win column and be the standout middleweight of Bellator 125.
You were supposed to fight James Irvin, then Brett Cooper, but they’ve both pulled out of Friday due to injuries. Have you had to adjust your game plan for Rafael Carvalho?
Rogers: You know, Irvin, Cooper and Carvalho are all strikers. Due to that fact that they all like to stand, I’ve had the opportunity to at least prepare for that. But it is annoying in that you waste your coach’s time and your time watching film and preparing a game plan, but in the same sense, I’ve been able to develop a number of skills throughout this camp. I prefer to keep things on my feet. I’ve never felt like I’ve needed to take the fight to the ground and prepare for wrestling and jiu-jitsu, but my skills are there if need be.
What are your thoughts on moving up to light heavyweight to go up against a guy like McGeary? Would you ever consider changing weight classes?
Rogers: I haven’t really thought about that. If I was going to bump up to a weight class I’d rather fight a guy like Tito or Bonnar, someone with a big name. McGeary is on the rise, but I don’t think that’s a big money maker fight for me. If I’m gonna go up, it’d have to be a special kind of fight.
You’ve been with Bellator for a while now at 30 years old. Do you think you’ll go all the way into your 40’s like some of these guys?
Rogers: No, I will not be fighting till I’m 40. Hopefully I can fight at high level and make money for years to come. You know, some guys are done at 34, some are done and at 37. It depends on the financial aspect. I’m fortunate enough to have a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree, so when the time comes I’m able to move onto something else. I do feel like I’m on the rebound in my career. I’m glad Bellator’s done away with the tournament format. I’m here for bigger fights and bigger checks and I’m looking for good fights to get back to Schlemenko or whoever has the belt. So I don’t know right now, It depends on the money and the opportunities.
Your background is in teaching special education. Is that something you’d like to resume after your fight career?
Rogers: That’s my background, but through my MMA experience I’ve become much more interested in business, sales, marketing and things of that nature. If something pops up in MMA business that would be great, but if not I’d like to go into other sports business in marketing or sales. Although education is very rewarding, I’d almost rather work a job that allows me to provide for me and my family and then volunteer to work with kids. I’m very blessed and privileged and I don’t plan on stopping any time soon. I think I’m a very fortunate individual.
You made the move to train with Factory X. How has that been so far?
Rogers: The training has been absolutely outstanding, I have a lot of friends there. When I was ready to make a change, it became a logical place to move and go to. I miss my family and friends back home in Ohio a lot, but there’s great training and much better weather here.
Did you get nervous when the cuts to Bellator’s roster started happening when Coker came in as President?
Rogers: No not at all. I think I’m one of the most exciting fighters in the world. If you put up my highlight reel up against a lot of other highlight reels, I think mine stands up nicely. Generally when I fight, it’s must-see TV.
How do you see the experiment that was the Ortiz/Bonnar pre-fight ordeal?
Rogers: I think it’s a double-edged sword. My sources say it wasn’t scripted. Some people say it popped off and they’re happy with it, some people aren’t. As far as good or bad for MMA, I’m an MMA purist. I think it was stupid, I wasn’t a fan. But on the other hand, I think there are more casual than hardcore MMA fans, so it’s putting more eyes on Bellator. It brings more attention to Bellator and the sport, but for the purists and the hardcore fans, I think it’s garbage.
What is your prediction on your fight’s outcome?
Rogers: I’ve gone to the decision positively and negatively in the past, but I would like to finish this fight. I’d like to finish Carvalho. I think that’s how you get bigger fights, that’s how you get title shots. That’s my mission and my goal. My nickname is the predator and predators don’t decision their opponents or victims, they finish them. It makes a much better impression for the future.
We’re not gonna tell you how to fight your fight, but on our behalf we hope to see another flying knee KO on your highlight reel.
Rogers: I appreciate it, I’m planning on making it happen.