The world of professional MMA has a lot of big dogs on big stages. However, the term “big” can carry different meanings in the fight game. Guys like Roy Nelson and Brock Lesnar may have tipped the scales on the weight side, but guys like Stefan Struve and Travis Browne regularly tower over their opponents in height.

For a featherweight fighter, Rick “The Gladiator” Glenn is a big dog. Of the top 10 ranked featherweights in the world, the tallest guys are 5-foot-9 and the shortest is 5-foot-6. Standing at 6-feet tall, Glenn very rarely faces opponents that are in his height range, but he doesn’t exactly walk around at 145 pounds.

“I like to cut around 20 [pounds] about a week out,” said Glenn in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “My body is a little different than most, so it works.”

Height advantage or not, this big dog may pack a quiet bark, but he has a heavy bite, sort of like his own canines.

“They’re both Italian Mastiffs,” Glenn explained. “[Zella] is 100 pounds, and [Zeus] is only five months [old] and he’s almost 80 pounds. He’s a male, so he’s going to get a lot bigger.”

Glenn (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Zeus isn’t the only male getting bigger in the Glenn household. One of Rick’s goals has been to put on more lean mass. Since his last fight was back in March, fans will be sure to see a much more ripped Glenn in his next fight at World Series of Fighting 5 on Saturday night.

“I got a lot stronger and put some more muscle on for this fight,” said Glenn. “That was one of the things I needed to work on. There’s a conditioning coach, Workout Boss, in downtown Milwaukee. I’ve been with him for over a year now.”

Glenn’s next opponent, undefeated Artur Rofi, is in for a collision with a bigger, leaner, meaner fighter than has graced the cage in the past. Is that even possible?

In Glenn’s last five fights, he has finished four of his opponents by knockout with only one bout going to decision. This caps off his 11-fight unbeaten streak. The last person to finish him did so by armbar over four years ago.

Glenn is a Roufusport striking machine and his BJJ game is only getting better. His camp, led by famed patriarch Duke Roufus, has recently added a new weapon to their coaching arsenal.

“We got a new jiu-jitsu instructor, Daniel Wanderley. He’s from the Chicago area, Carlson Gracie Jr.’s gym,” explained Glenn. “He’s helped us out a lot.”

Wanderley is a second-degree BJJ black belt under Carlson Gracie Jr. and has competed at the highest levels of the sport, earning gold, silver and bronze medals between Pan-American, IBJJF and NAGA championships, as well as several other organizations. Needless to say, knockout artist Glenn is only getting more dangerous on the ground, which may turn out to be a necessity against Rofi at WSOF 5.

Rofi is 6-0 as a professional with his last five wins coming by submission in the first or second round. He fights out of Team Bittencourt, which is the Renzo Gracie Academy in Newark, N.J., run by Romulo Bittencourt. Bittencourt is a fourth-degree Gracie BJJ black belt and two-time BJJ champion. So, in the jiu-jitsu arena, both Rofi and Glenn are bringing dangerous training backgrounds into the cage. However, Rofi also brings something rare for the 145-pound division, the same unique quality that Glenn possesses.

“He’s a tall, lanky 145-pound fighter, like me,” Glenn elaborated. “I see it as an advantage for me. Being a taller guy, it’s harder for me to shoot and take [shorter] people down. The best chance for him, if he was to have a game plan, would be to try and work off his back or something.”

While Glenn has faced taller guys in the past, he looks forward to fighting someone closer to his height, because he feels that his attack will be more effective than against some of his smaller opponents.

Yet, one thing’s for certain: he is chomping at the bit to get back in the cage.

Glenn (L) (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

For some reason, unknown to Glenn, WSOF hasn’t had anything for him for nearly six months, even though the promotion has had two events since his crushing disposal of the previously unbeaten Alexandre Pimentel, who was 12-0 before facing Glenn. Regardless of the long layoff, Glenn’s not worried about feeling rusty.

“I was hoping to get on a card a lot sooner, but I’m ready to go,” said the native Iowan. “I’m going in and whooping this guy, and getting on the next card as soon as I can.

“I wanted a couple this summer and that didn’t happen, so I want to be in another one by the end of the year. I don’t know how soon they’re going to have title fights for the featherweight division, but I told them that I’m whooping this guy, and hopefully the next one will be a tournament or a title fight or something. I’m not looking past this guy, but that’s the ultimate plan.”

It’s hard to argue with a guy that has finished 12 of his 13 wins and has only been stopped once. At 13-2 over the last seven years, the 24-year-old has done more than enough to earn as many fights as they can get him. Even a WSOF inaugural title shot should not be out of the question. After all, titles seem to be the status quo around his camp at Roufusport.

At UFC 164, less than two weeks ago, Glenn’s training partner, Anthony Pettis, took a second Zuffa title from Benson Henderson by defeating the former UFC lightweight champ with a first-round submission. One would immediately assume that this second title for Pettis would immediately elevate the attitudes around Roufusport, but Glenn paints a different picture.

“I mean, it hasn’t really hit us that much,” explained Glenn. “We’ve still been training hard, you know. Erik [Koch] got back in there and some other guys, too. There’s a lot of guys fighting coming up soon, too, so we’ve been training hard.”

Nothing says “class act” like “business as usual,” and it sounds like that’s what Duke Roufus’ camp is all about. Even fresh off a big win for the camp, the grind never stops at Milwaukee’s top MMA gym.

As for Glenn, he has his sights set on another big-dog win this Friday night, live from Revel Resort & Casino in Atlantic City, N.J., where the crowd will most definitely be behind Newark’s own Rofi. No matter how much barking the crowd brings to the kennel, “The Gladiator” will not be phased as he pursues a second victory under the WSOF banner, and, hopefully, a shot at the inaugural WSOF featherweight title.

“I’m a hard worker, I’m driven, and I’m not just hungry, I’m starving. I can’t wait to fight.”

Rick would like to thank everyone at Roufusport, including Duke Roufus, Scott Cushman, Ben Askren and Daniel Wanderley. He would also like to thank White Out Promotions, and, of course, his family and his wife, Jenny, who always stand behind him in his promising career. Follow Glenn on Twitter: @GladiatorGlenn

Top Photo: Rick Glenn (top) finishes off his opponent (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)