Sunday, March 24, 2013

Cassie Rodish Interview

Photo Credits:
Photo 1: Esther Lin/Invicta FC
Photos 2-5: Florida Fighter

Since finally getting to fight in her real weight class, Cassie Rodish has been on a role, including her most recent fight, a victory over Stephanie Frausto. The wins have helped Cassie climb the rankings and prove she belongs in there with the best. On April 5th she returns to the Invicta cage when she faces Simona Soukupova with the goal of continuing the roll she has been on.

Q: Your last fight, you beat Stephanie Frausto, overall, how happy were you with your performance?
A: I was alright with it. I got caught in that hip-toss which was frustrating for me. It was one of the things I had been working on in other fights and I just wasn't expecting it. I am glad I came out and it put me in a good mind-set because I was in a little bit of danger for a second and was able to overcome it and conquer. I am kinda glad it happened and I won. There are a couple things I needed to work on after that fight that I am trying to tie up.

Q: She was getting some deserved attention and hype before the fight, so how big was that win for you?
A: It is good for me because it legitimizes me. Before, I had fought people who had names, but I lose so you really don't look at me. Even if they are three round decisions, unless you are winning, no one thinks about you. You are only as good as your last fight. It was good for me to have her name and have a good performance.

Q: The win moved you up in the rankings and you started getting some of that attention, how do you keep that from going to your head?
A: I don't pay attention to any of that, anybodies hype because I have had losses and people can turn on you pretty quick in this business. They like you when you win and if you have one performance that isn't what they want, they might not like you again for awhile. I understand a fight is a fight and everyone has a fifty/fifty chance when they door closes. I do the best I can do and as long as I do me, that is all I can ask for.

Q: You are finally getting fights at the right weight class for you, for people who may not be familiar or understand, how important is that?
A: I think it is very important for you to find your correct weight class. You can't perform to your highest level unless it is a fair competition. When you go up in class, people are stronger, have extra body mass, height and reach is different, it is a really big deal. Even at 115 my performances are kind of lack luster. When I go to 105, you are fighting people your own size. It makes for better fights. When you have lopsided fights like that, those don't make the best of fights.

Q: Knowing how many people want to get on an Invicta card, what does it mean to you to be brought back for a third time?
A: Obviously I am very grateful to Invicta. For me and for everything they have done for women's MMA. They care about the women. It is not always about great ratings and a great show, it is that plus wanting to make sure the fighters are taken care of and comfortable and doing what we need to do to put on those performances. Invicta gets that it is the fighters who make the show, not the show that makes the fighter. They take care of us and in return you see how awesome Invicta is getting. I am just grateful to be on the show.

Q: Originally you were fighting Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc, but now it is Simona Soukupova, was the change early enough for you that it doesn't affect your training?
A: Yeah, it doesn't matter if it was a day before. It's a fight, this is Mixed Martial Arts so I am always training everything. Even though Nicdali was a wrestler and I believe she would want to go to the ground right away, it doesn't mean I wasn't working my stand-up or my takedowns. I am always trying to improve my game. I still need to be me and do what I do as a fighter. I still need to be progressing cause once this fight is over I still have how many fights ahead of me? I am always evolving and always working on Mixed Martial Arts as a whole and not just focusing on one opponent.

Q: How do you feel you match up with her?
A: I think pretty good. She likes to strike, I like to strike. She seems to like to get into brawls, she throws a lot. I don't really know what her takedown and takedown defense is. I don't mind being on the ground, I don't think anyone has seen me at my most dangerous yet, I haven't been put on my back a lot, that is where I am most dangerous. I feel like I could dictate the pace and what she is good at, I am able to be just as good at and implement my game-plan.

Q: Her losses are both by decision. Does that give you any incentive to be the first to stop her or does that not play into your thought process?
A: No, that doesn't play into my thought process. I know she is hard-nosed, she is down to fight. People say she is strong and tough and coming forward, and that is what I am. I think it will be fireworks, two fighters who don't mind hitting and getting hit. I would like an early round but I am ready for three rounds.

Q: You don't get to train much with females, so how helpful has it been to train this camp with people like Barb Honchak and Sarah Maloy?
A: It was huge for me. I think you can sometimes get in a lull at your gym. You know the pace and what will happen. Stepping outside of that you can really push yourself, you can get outside your comfort zone. Everyone rolls different, everyone fights different, so seeing different things is really good for the fight. I got renewed, I got to see awesome women training their butts off. It was cool, it made me excited and amped up.

Q: You have that big stage experience with Invicta, does that give you any advantage, maybe her being nervous?
A: I don't know about that. I think every fight you have nerves and if not, then you don't care enough to be in the cage. She has been around the world, fought other people, she fought Felice Herrig and I am sure it is a media madhouse to fight her. I think we will be equal on that. A fight is a fight, I don't think I will win cause I fought on another Invicta. Cameras and hype doesn't mean anything when you are punching each other.

Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: I would really like to not go three rounds, that is always best. I would like a ref stoppage I guess. I don't think she will get knocked out cause she is tough, but I would like to submit her or get a ref stoppage.

Q: Any idea what you want after this?
A: I wanna keep fighting. I love this pace of training for a fight every couple months. I don't wanna have this waiting a year for a fight. I wanna stay fresh. I feel I am really in a good mental and physical state, I would hate to have to take time off. I would like to be back in the next card or the one after that.

Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: Brett Atchley and Addison Sports Management, my coaches and teammates at Des Moines Jiu-Jitsu, Crossfit 515, Polanti Watches, VII AD, Klench Mouth Guards, Dr. Taverni, Combatives Gear, Fight Soap, Cardio Force, and Throat Punch.

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