Mike Rhodes: Eyeing Huge Statement Against Brandon Thatch at RFA 7 Monta Wiley March 20, 2013 UFC Life as an athlete should always center on seizing that moment of opportunity in pursuit to reaching your desired goals. Hoping to ascend to a new plateau in his fight career, Mike “Biggie” Rhodes is looking forward to his next big challenge as he seeks to solidify a name for himself as a top rising star in his upcoming battle at RFA 7. Ever since his arrival to the combat sports world in 2012, Rhodes has stirred up a lot of buzz throughout the Midwest fight scene. With a current undefeated record of 4-0, there’s no denying that the hard work he puts into his craft in preparation for fights has allowed him to walk into the cage confident in his abilities to come out victorious over his opponents. “I am willing to do whatever it takes in training and preparing for a fight, so by the time I get in there I am relaxed and able to execute my game plan because I know the intangibles I have, like always being in great shape and training every skill set, I’m free in the cage,” Rhodes told The MMA Corner in an exclusive interview. Rhodes (L) presses forward (Paul Fladten/Sherdog) Carrying this unblemished record, it would seem that the pressure to keep this streak intact could weigh heavily on a young up-and-coming fighter. However, embedded with a strong positive mindset and a great support system from his team at Roufusport MMA, this minor factor doesn’t affect Rhodes in his journey to greatness. “No pressure at all. I love it and embrace it, in this sport of one-on-one fighting, you’re a spectacle. You have to be comfortable being that guy people want to see fight,” Rhodes admitted. “Why put pressure on yourself? You still have to train hard, eventually get in a cage and fight another man. “I also believe training with some of the best fighters in the world has molded my mindset the way that it is. I have learned how to deal with everything because I have great leaders in the gym that I can follow their example, such as Anthony Pettis, Sergio Pettis, Chico Camus, Erik Koch and coach Duke Roufus.” This molding of perfection, courtesy of all the coaching and training partners at Roufusport, has played an integral part in the success Rhodes has achieved thus far in his fight career. Hoping to continue his winning ways, the standout’s next challenge finds him in the main event slot at RFA 7 against 8-1 Brandon Thatch of the Grudge Training Center. With both competitors equally matched, Rhodes has a clear perception of what it takes to win this fight. Rhodes (Paul Fladten/Sherdog) “I think there is really no edge on either side,” he explained. “It will come down to who makes the first mistake and allows the other person to capitalize and enforce their game plan better. I know I’m ready to fight someone like Thatch and test my abilities. This will be a war.” Focused on his destiny of being at the highest level in this sport coming out with a victory over Thatch would most certainly be a great push in the young career of Mike “Biggie” Rhodes. With a bright future ahead of him no matter what the outcome, Rhodes foresees a great future for himself as he continues down the road in hopes to one day join his fellow teammate Anthony Pettis in the UFC. Mike would like to thank his coach and manager, Duke Roufus, and everyone at Roufusport, Ed Soares and everyone at RFA for this great opportunity. He would also like to thank Eric Triliegi (@newtrition4life), his nutritionist, who always has his diet on point; his sponsors, which will all be displayed on his fight shorts, that have helped him get to this point; his high school wrestling coach, Willie Gadson; Trevor Deutsch, his first-ever sponsor “before I ever had a fight, took a chance on me; thank him”; Twistedfate Tattoos for their support; Eric Thomas, the hip-hop preacher, “for being the guru who motivates me with his words, a true mentality coach, thank you so much again”; and finally his mom, Sandra Harmon, “without her, I wouldn’t be the man I am today.” Top Photo: Mike Rhodes (Paul Fladten/Sherdog) T L Big Jump up in Competition… coming to the mile high to fight their favorite son!? Not sure Biggie knows what he’s getting himself in to. Robby Collins Agreed. A lamb to the slaughter. Jen He knows exactly what he’s getting himself into- get ready for an upset!