Mike “The Marine” Richman (18-5) has been a force to be reckoned with in his move down to bantamweight, taking two consecutive first round KO victories. Coming off of an impressive performance against Nam Phan, Richman now faces former Bellator bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas. We got the chance to ask Richman about his Bellator 137 gameplan ahead of Friday’s matchup.
SF: What do you make of the production behind your last fight in Bellator 131? Did you like the walkout ramps and LED display?
Richman: I loved it, I thought it was awesome. I didn’t know that they were going to have the helicopter with the lights and the marine stuff and play right into my music. I was wondering what the deal was because normally they ask for your fight music the week of the fight but this time they emailed me and asked like a month out. Then as I’m getting ready to go out and fight they had the whole marine intro and then dropped into “Back In Black.” I was like oh s*** that’s f******* b*****! It fired me up even more. I was ready to go out there and destroy things. I thought that was pretty cool just from my experience. I wish they would do it for every card but not every venue can handle the big setup.
SF: Walk us through your fight with Nam Phan stylistically. Did you expect him to come out so aggressively?
Richman: He’s the type of guy to have a high punch output per round. He likes to throw a lot of pitter-patter punches and a lot of setup punches. I knew I would be able to keep him at bay and look for my heavy shot. I knew he was going to come at me, but I don’t always know that going in. It was much different than when I fought Ed West. I just knew it was a good matchup and I had a good gameplan for it. Did I expect to hurt him and finish him that early? I don’t think you expect that in 46 seconds, especially someone regarded as tough as nails with a great chin. I knew all my punches were accurate and I hit hard so that’s not uncommon for that to happen.
SF: How are you preparing to fight Eduardo Dantas?
Richman: As far as training is concerned it’s kind of like business as usual. I’m going in there and training how I normally train throughout the week. I’m not overly confident, I’m just going out there and really sharpening my skills and looking to just elevate what I’m great at and look to exploit my greatness and perform. If I go out there and just perform to the best of my abilities I think my skills were prevail over his.
SF: What has your experience been like in Bellator? Where do you see the promotion going overall?
Richman: The exposure is great, they have more and more commercials that they’re doing. Now they have the Friday Night Lights Out so there’s a lot more commercials for Premier Boxing Champions, Glory and exposure for Bellator. I see this continuing to rise and to gain more casual fans. I think it’s a good thing, I think it’s headed in an upward direction. They’re signing new talent, new prospects nobody’s seen and well known veterans. I think it’s going to continue to grow and become something great and soon people won’t say “Oh, you train UFC? Oh you fight UFC?” They’ll understand Bellator and the UFC. Hopefully it will get to that point where people will know the promotion that we fight for.
SF: Between PBC and Glory, do you see yourself crossing over to either promotion?
Richman: I would love to do boxing for PBC and I would love to compete in Glory as well. I’m a prize fighter at heart I love competing. As far as PBC goes, maybe they would set it aside for the TV portion because if you look at the past couple of fights PBC’s on Spike and CBS, they are top level. They’re legit dudes that fought on PPV, Showtime and HBO. It’s hard for me to see them setting aside another bout to see some MMA guy in there. I mean I have only two boxing matches on my record, some guys don’t have any. I don’t know if that will happen but I think it’d be more likely to see an MMA guy in Glory making one of their TV portions. They tend to show more fights than PBC if that makes sense.
SF: It will be interesting to see how that develops. There’s certainly pros and cons to the idea.
Richman: It’s all about timing. It could allow for a way to supplement in between your fights in your main organization. Obviously they want you to only fight so many times a year to avoid injuries. For example, my very first fight where I beat Horodecki I took a pro boxing match a few months later and then I wanted to do another pro boxing bout. I got turned down because I had a featherweight tournament coming up so they wanted to make sure I was healthy for those. Those are kind of the business decisions to see if the timing is right and everything plays out right. I think there will be more crossovers, I think we’ll see Paul Daley in Glory eventually and I think it will be fun. I just take it one fight at a time.
SF: What is your typical post-fight celebration?
Richman: Well, my West Coast tradition has been to hit up an In-N-Out and get a 4X4 animal style burger with fries and a chocolate shake. When I’m home I like to relax, eat some doughnuts, eat some nasty food for a day or two and relax with my family. Just enjoy some of the foods I haven’t been able to have in the past couple months.
See Mike Richman take on former Bellator bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas at Bellator 137 on Friday on Spike TV at 9/8C.