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Mike Reilly: ‘We hope one day to get to share the stage with [Fedor]’

Editors NoteMike Reilly is the owner and head instructor of the MMA gym Team Bison, located in St. Paul, Minnesota. Team Bison is home to many of the Twin Cities’ top fighters, including Brett Rogers and Kelly Kobold. Reilly has agreed to join FiveOuncesOfPain.com as an occasional contributor in order to provide our readers with an inside perspective of a respected MMA trainer.

Brett RogersFirst I would like to apologize to the many people who called, wrote, and otherwise tried to reach me for a comment about Brett Rogers facing Fedor. I hate having to give the comment, no comment; but any other statement would not have been appropriate. Now that the situation is passed I would like to make a few things clear:

We never asked to fight Fedor. We are under contract with Strikeforce and happy to be Strikeforce. We have not sought any bouts outside of Strikeforce. We were however approached to fight Fedor by Affliction. Of course we agreed to the fight immediately provided all the details could be worked out among the many parties involved.

I know many fans think this should be like loading a game in their X-box. Push a few buttons and your favorite fighters fight again and again and again. But the real world is just slightly more complicated. There are multiple companies involved with a variety of competing interests. These are real people, with real families, real commitments, responsibilities and frailties.

I know that some people want to make this a story about failure, or greed, or stupidity. As someone who was close to the story I can tell you I saw none of those things. In this story I saw courage, respect, and effort. We want to believe that those things will always be enough to make it work, but sadly even our best efforts still fail.

Understand that is the lesson of the cage. Most of the time when guys step inside the steel they are ready, willing and able to lay it all out on the line. They give their blood, their passion, their heart to win and half the time they come up short. That is just how it goes folks. But I would rather be numbered with those who strive mightily and fail then those sheltered cowards who heckle and hiss from the shadows of the sidelines.

Yes, Affliction the promotion failed. True fans of the sport will mourn it’s passing. Personally I will rejoice in their efforts and give them a great deal of credit for trying something daring, for enriching the lives of fighters and fans. While we never got to step inside their ring (damn close…twice) we were still touched by the respect and professionalism shown by the entire Affliction team and we are proud to number them among our friends.

Finally a word on Fedor. He is the unqualified best in the game. The quintessential fighter. Accepting a fight against him on nine days notice may seem foolish or simply a money move; but it is not. The bottom line is you never know when, or if you will get another chance.

Brett is not in this game to be good, he is not in it to be great; his goal is to be the best. How, as a fighter, could he have turned down the possibility of taking his greatest test? No chance he walks away from that opportunity.

When Fedor mentioned Brett by name as the replacement he wanted we were very honored. There are some who think great champions in this sport should mock their opponents, spit on sponsors and flip off the fans. We are not in that group. Neither is Fedor. We hope one day we get to share the stage with him.

39 COMMENTS
  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    Well-said! Appreciate the insight.

  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    Wow. That was the best promotion eulogy I have ever read!

    The last paragraph kinda pisses me off though. Without getting too deep into it, 3 comments-

    Mir was the one instigating everything and doing more mocking than I have EVER seen done before a bout.
    I like Coors Light better too. So what? That’s like telling me I have to shoot a H&K when I’m a die hard Glock fan
    I don’t think I need to get into why the crown was flipped off.

    Sorry to rant, it just pisses me off when people bitch about things and
    a) They don’t know the whole story, or
    b) They are just trying to get more publicity (see Carwin)

  • fanoftna33 says:

    I love this comment by Reily, It is to bad this fight was called off nut if rogers can put together two or more wins I would bet that somehow the fight with Fedor gets made(if he is not in the ufc)

  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    I don’t know why but the fight with him and Fedor just doesn’t interest me. I know this is going out to left field, but I think a fight with Heath Herring would be more interesting to watch. Either that, or Rogers and either Carwin or Cain. Brett is the type of guy that likes to just stand and bang. I think him on his back would be dismal, to say the least. This is all considering Brett eventually goes to UFC which, from the sounds of it, won’t happen ANY time soon.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    A fight with Herring does sound pretty good. I would like to see him fight Overeem first though. We still havent seen him fight a very technically sound fighter for more than the 20 or so seconds against Arlovski. But after that fight and until he loses I will assum he can handle almost anybody standing.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Does anybody know how long Rogers has been training? I know his first pro fight was in 2006 but how long has he been doing this?

  • fanoftna33 says:

    I really would like to see Rogers fight on aug 15 , but a superfight announcement between him and Fedor is coming soon, hopefully.

  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    Hopefully not. There are much better fights out there for him right now that he would match up with styleisticlly. He needs to take on Werdum first

  • edub says:

    Anyone standing fan?

    I dunno about all that. Ill give him his props he knocked out arlovski but im not ready to jump on Bretts bandwagon just yet.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Almost anyone edud, Arlovski is a great stand up fighter with soild technique. Rogers handled his so easily though. Until I see him lose I am not going to doubt the guy anymore.

  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    I’ll doubt him till the cows come home. Yeah, he fought Arlovski and KO’d him, but Arlovski hasn’t exactly been the same since Fedor nailed him either. On the ground he would be the epitome of fish out of water. He’ll be around for a long time, no doubt, but more like a #8-10

  • fanoftna33 says:

    We dont know how he fights on the ground, nobody has been able to take him down, hopefully he has some skill. It would be great if he can fight from the ground, but looking at his fights it does seem like a good idea for him to work the sprawl. I think a great fight for Rogers would be Ben Rothwell. Now that would be crazy.

  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    Crazy as hell, yes. Considering 13 of his 33 wins are by submission, I wouldn’t give Rogers anything other than a puncher’s chance. His subs weren’t exactly your run of the mill arm bars either. I’m talking Kimuras, arm triangle, keylock… This guy has skill.

    Don’t ask me what the hell happened against Arlovski…..

    The only time I ever liked Brett was when he called out Kimbo. There, I admit it

  • fanoftna33 says:

    that was cool, I would still like to see that fight. Even with the loss Rothwell did not look all that bad vs Arlovski. The guy was way tougher than I thought.

  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    No doubt about that! I didn’t expect either to go to round 3. Big difference though between a ring and a cage….

  • Mike Reilly says:

    I’m not sure why people assume Brett has no ground. Clearly he has wrestling – otherwise he would have been taken down – People with garbage wrestling get taken down. Brett is a good enough grappler to have a choice as to where he wants the fight to be – he chooses to be on the feet. Some people can make very odd assumptions.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    We dont know how he fights on the ground, nobody has been able to take him down. That was a previous post of mine. He has faced a few good wrestlers and they cannot take him down. I think rogers is getting more fans all the time, but when he has a fight where he shows a complete game and wins that will be the time when he makes even the cynical belive.

  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    Well, the only thing I can suggest is talk to Dana and get him in there. He’s going to have to make the jump someday. He shows MUCH potential. He will develop much more, and much faster under the UFC banner

  • fanoftna33 says:

    I would rather see a fight between dos santos vs rogers right now and give cro cop the loser of coture vs nogueira.

  • Patrickk says:

    Hahaha! Gotta love the cheap shot in there toward Brock Lesnar. I understand why he would make a comment like that. I don’t believe a champ should act that way either. But then when you look at it from a business perspective; controversy sells!

    But fights sell themselves on styles alone Brock. And whether you’re a big name or not, you can be replaced. The UFC can and will move on without you if they have to, so don’t blow it. Just fight like you’re supposed to do and keep the drama for the WWE dude.

  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    This has been debated to death, but I personally have no issue with what brock did. Did you hear the fans? He flips them off…. so what? Did anyone get their feelings hurt?
    He says he likes Coors Light. I understand the ramifications b/c that horse piss bud light is a sponsor, but c’mon…. it was funny. Let’s have a laugh and move on.
    Greasegate died. Let this one too.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Brock is being talked about, in the end that is all he wanted. The sponsers will be ok, the fans will boo even if brock kisses their ass. I think true fans see this guy for the very good fighter and great athleate that he is and casual fans just see a wwe preformer.

  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    A former WWE performer that hits like a F’ing Mack Truck.

  • edub says:

    You hit the nail on the head fan.

  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    Here’s my take, once and for all.

    I believe in sportsmanship and conduct to the fullest. This is probably just me though, and that’s fine:

    When I think heavyweights, I think Brawlers. I think Tank Abbott, the old Tank. For me, I could give a sh!t about touching gloves or saying good game. Heavyweights are the ones that are suppossed to let it all hang out and stand and bang! They should be wheeled into the cage like Hannibal Lecter on a dolly and facemask, and let out like a bull in a rodeo.

    I’m probably the only one that thinks like that, and that’s ok with me. I just never understood all the hurt feelings after 100. Everybody loved Abbott back in the day, before there was a such thing as “skill & technique.” He even made fun of John Matua at UFC 6 after he went into a seizure. To me, that’s what a heavyweight is. Get in there and bang like a couple of Gladiators till the winner is the last one standing.

    Feel free to persecute me now….

  • edub says:

    Thats a little over the top for me. But hey to each his own.

  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    Well, it’s a figure of speech. It’s exagerrated, edub. I’m all for the greatness and martial artist ways in the other classes, but I do like to see the heavyweights just get in there and brawl.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Thats what made a lot of guys popular back in the day, and its also a favorite over in Japan- see the superhulk tourney- brock did not go to far though imo. Remember when B J Penn walked up to a still downed Sean Sherk just to wipe blood from him and lick it off. That is going to far.

  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    That was just plain weird. I can’t stand that guy. AT ALL.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    I get what you are saying though ozz, i expect heavyweights to rely more on brute strength than superior technique. The attitude we see in the cage is generally not the fighters everyday attitude, most of us understand that and accept it.

  • edub says:

    Yea that was pretty classless he did it to Joe too.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    I give him a pass in the steveson fight as he had so much of joes blood on him he couldnt help himself(that was sarcasm edub)

  • I didn’t realize until about a week ago how big Rogers is.

    For some reason, I thought he was a pretty squat guy but the guy is a legit HW.

    I thought Reilly’s last column about Rogers being a top 3 heavyweight was absurb but I am interested to see how Rogers grows and develops.

    Fluke or not, his KO of Arlovski has got this guy a lot of attention. Time to see if it is warranted or not.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    He is one of the guys that would also make a great superheavyweight. The dude is huge, bigger than Lessner huge. thats the old saying of the irrestable force meeting the immonable object- if they were to fight.

  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    He’s not bigger than Lesnar. He’s 2 inches taller, but other than that they are the same. 81 inch reach, the limit of 265, which I’ll bet that Lesnar weighs more on fight night. Lesnar is 10x more athletic too. Have you ever seen someone that big move that fast!!??

  • fanoftna33 says:

    I have never seen anybody lessners size move like that. But dont forget rogers probably cuts a little weight also. Athletically speaking nobody that size should move like Lessner.

  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    I know. It’s almost scary. I was sitting in the TV room of an oil rig for UFC 100, and all during the Promo videos, it had this one spot showing Lesnar spinning a 180 on someone’s back. The whole place just erupted. I can’t think of a better place to watch a UFC card than a Rig. If you’ve never been offshore, and you don’t know the guys, you just wouldn’t understand. It was insane!

  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    That, and when it showed Lesnar punch Herring in the face making him do a backwards somersault!

  • fanoftna33 says:

    The 180 was on mirs back from the first fight, he was so fast it was crazy. I dont know how many of you guys watched him in his wrestling days but he was incredible. So strong and fast like the much smaller guys.

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