Benji Radach has no illusions to how his upcoming bout with fellow middleweight slugger, Scott Smith, will end up going. The fans want a brawl, Smith wants a brawl, and according to Radach, that’s exactly what they’re going to get on April 11th when the two notorious bangers collide at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz.
Radach has never made it a secret as to his intentions in the cage, he’s trying to knock your head off. In this exclusive interview with FiveOuncesPain.com, Radach confirmed that his upcoming Strikeforce debut will be no exception to the rule. He’s coming out swinging for the fences.
The 29 year old former IFL fighter may as well keep the slugfest streak going. His last bout was an all out war waged between himself and Murilo “Ninja” Rua at EliteXC: Heat in October. The fight saw both men dropped in the first round, only for Radach to battle back for the knockout in the second. It was one of the more electrifying MMA contests in recent history.
Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz is going to be stacked to the ceiling with talent, but if there was one fight that had “Fight of the Night” written all over it, it would have to be this one.
Cory Brady for FiveOuncesOfPain.com: What have you been doing to keep busy since your last fight with Ninja?
Benji Radach: I’ve definitely been working a lot. I work full time at LA Boxing. So I’ve just been working a lot during the day and training at night, trying to get ready for this fight.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Have you just been dying to get back in there?
Benji Radach:Well I wasn’t really hurting financially like a lot of the other guys that don’t have other jobs. A bunch of the guys that were stuck in their contracts with EliteXC were hating life, but I had job that kept me afloat.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Outside of the financial side of things, were you hungry to get back in the cage and mix it up again? It seemed like you left on such a high note with your win over Ninja.
Benji Radach: Yes and no. When I work so much, it kind of takes the focus on training away a little. I can’t really focus on training as much as I’d like to, but I’ve just been kind of training for fun and not really for a career. I want to take it to that next level, but I can’t really do it while I’m working full time right now.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com:How are you feeling physically heading into your fight withScott Smith?
Benji Radach: I’m definitely feeling good right now. I’m starting to peak and training has been going really well, so I think things are going to turn out great.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Who are some of the key people that have been helping you to prepare for this one?
Benji Radach:I’ve been training a lot with Mo Lawal, Dan Henderson, and Mayhem Miller. I’ve also been training a lot with the Gazze Academy out in Huntington Beach, California.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com:I remember you telling me about Mo before he made his debut in Sengoku. Is he a good training partner for you?
Benji Radach: Oh yeah. We just scrap, we really beat the tar out of each other. We’re pretty good for each other. I don’t let him get away with things that he gets away with, with other people and he does the same for me.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Just keeping each other honest.
Benji Radach: Exactly, exactly.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: How do you feel you match up with Scott?
Benji Radach:I feel pretty good. You never know until you get in there, but I’m feeling pretty confident about this fight. I wish I could train a little more, and be in a little better shape, but once I get in there, I should be pretty fired up for this one, so it’s going to be good. It’s definitely going to be a different goal in this fight, as far as the strategy goes compared to my last fight. When I fought Murilo “Ninja” Rua my goal was mainly to keep him on his heels so he couldn’t do any damage. In this fight I’m going to be a lot more technical. I think it’s going to be good, I’m feeling really confident.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Do you think your wrestling is going to be one of the major advantages you may have over Scott?
Benji Radach: Yeah, but I really think it’s going to end up being a stand up fight. I don’t really think he’ll be shooting at all. I don’t really think that his wrestling is top notch. I think he wants to slug it out, and that’s his best chance to beat me, to catch me with a big shot.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: What would be the perfect ending to this fight for you?
Benji Radach: I’m always looking for the knockout. A knockout is always the best possible way for me to win. That’s always been my thing, and that can go for Scott as well. It creates an exciting fight and it makes it exciting for the fans to watch it, because somebody is going to get knocked out. This is one of those fights where it could be him catching me the first time, or me catching him the first time it’s just a matter of who captures who.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: If it’s anything like your last fight with Ninja, I think everyone is going to end up very happy.
Benji Radach: Yeah, that fight was really fun. It was a fun fight for me to fight, and a really fun fight for me to watch afterwords. I was just so tired going into the second round because we went at it so hard in the first round. The first round was like a five minute sprint.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com:Is it safe to say that you have your eyes on the Strikeforce 185 pound title right now?
Benji Radach:Yeah, I really do. Cung Le is just an animal so it would be an honor to fight him, but I could deal with him. He’s definitely a top level opponent and it would be a great opportunity to fight him.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com:What do you think about Strikforce’s current middleweight roster and where you fit into it?
Benji Radach:I definitely think that Strikeforce has one of the toughest 185 pound divisions in the world. We have a pretty damn stacked middleweight division. There’s Cung Le, Frank Shamrock, Joey Villesanor, Robbie Lawler, myself, Scott Smith, it’s just stacked. That’s really my goal in fighting, is getting up there and fighting top level guys, and I think there are plenty of guys in Strikeforce to keep me happy, so it’s great.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Is there anyone you would like to thank?
Benji Radach:Yeah, I want to thank TapouT. They helped me out with my last fight, and they’re going to help me out with this one too, which is really cool. I want to thank RockStar Energy Drink, Full Tilt Poker, Dan Lambert, and all the guys at MMAAgents. Also a big thanks to American Top Team, because without them, I wouldn’t be where I am now.