Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cassie Rodish Interview

Photo Credits:
Photos 1-4: Andrea Altman
Photo 5: Joey Hill

After three straight loses, Cassie Rodish has turned her fortunes around and heads into her Invicta fight with Stephanie Frausto on January 5th on a three fight winning streak that includes her most recent win, a first round stoppage of Summer Artherton. Cassie has shown great improvement, which she partially attributes to now being in the right weight class for her. This fight with Frausto features two fighters who seem to more often than not be in exciting fights and this one should be no exception.

Q: You are coming off a win over Summer Artherton, how did you feel about your performance in that fight?
A: My performance at the end was really really good. I started off a little slow, I took a big right cross in the first five seconds and felt stupid but then I got in the game and was able to pull off that rear naked choke in the first round. I had a couple submissions right away, my ground was feeling good, my stand-up was feeling powerful. Even though it was at 115 pounds I was feeling good.

Q: It was your third win in a row after three losses in a row, is there something you attribute the improvement to?
A: First of all, going down in weight has the biggest to do with it. My first pro fight was at 135 against someone who was 5'10", it was ridiculous. At that time I didn't realize MMA was gonna get bigger and I would want to pursue a career, I was just wanting to get in the cage and anyone who came along I said yes. Finally I got to 105-115 and have been able to showcase more of my talents. That weight difference is huge. That has to do with it and the time you put in the gym. Every time I lost, I went in the gym and tried to figure out what I was doing wrong and gradually you get better, there is really not a plateau in this sport.

Q: How big a role does just confidence play?
A: I think now at the weight class I am at, 105, it doesn't seem like everyone has an advantage on me, it is an even playing field. It's either my skills are up to par or not. I don't know if it is confidence, I just feel better. I feel I am a better athlete, been training harder, study the best I can. I know that my cardio is up there, my weight is great, I can be a better athlete.

Q: How excited are you to be back on an Invicta card?
A: I cant even explain it. I was so jealous missing the last two and watching all the women. I am so excited for them but at the same time I was super super jealous. I am just grateful, it is a great program, they treat fighters great and are making waves for women's MMA.

Q: Is this one more special since it is them wanting you as opposed to last time being a late replacement?
A: Yeah! It adds a little more pressure to. Now I have six weeks as compared to nine days, so I should be at my prime, be my best. I kinda like the nine days, just going in there. I hate sitting around and thinking, this six weeks is a long time haha.

Q: How do you feel you match up with Stephanie Frausto?
A: I think really good. She is an all-around fighter. It seems most of my opponents have been really really good at one thing, boxing or judo, she is all-around so that is fun for me cause I just have to look at my game-plan and just be well-rounded, think of everything. I have a few things up my sleeve and am excited to go out there and showcase my skills against someone who is highly skilled and in my weight class.

Q: You both have had some exciting fights, while not one of the most publicized on the card, this fight could be the show-stealer, would you agree?
A: Oh I think so. She has a lot of heart and I know that I have a lot of heart. One of us is going to sleep, whether my knock-out or getting choked out. Either someone is going down really hard or it will be a barn-burner for fifteen minutes.

Q: While you are both good at submissions, you also both have really good submission defense, do you think you both having the knowledge of that defense increases the possibility of this being more stand-up?
A: I don't really know. MMA is different, if it was a Jiu-Jitsu tournament and she was able to defend the submission forever. But now each of us has to defend submissions plus elbows and knees and punches, the whole gamete. So I see it being a little bit of everything, not just a stand-up war, a little of everything.

Q: You have been winning in the first round, but if it goes multiple rounds, safe to say you are confident in your cardio?
A: Oh yeah! My first three fights were that way, fifteen minute stand-up wars and I did fine. When I am in the gym there is no three five minute rounds, it is three hours till complete muscle failure. Fifteen minutes I am fine with.

Q: Where do you have the biggest advantage over her?
A: I am gonna say probably in just, not necessarily mental, but I am much older than her, things don't stress me out as much. I have seen it and done it and been around longer than her, meaning I am old haha. I just think i can stay cool and collective, and that is my biggest advantage.

Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: I would really really like a submission. I feel I keep getting better and better. She has great defense and the second fastest submission in Invicta, that would be great. I would take a knock-out but would like a really slick submission.

Q: She has a big name, this being on Invicta and the big stage, is a win here your big statement fight?
A: Yeah for sure. Not just her name, but I think she is ranked fourth and has beaten people I am interested in fighting. It will help me get my name out there. My first fight didn't do a ton for me, it got my name out there but as far as rankings, taking on someone at her level is huge for me and would solidify that I can hang with the big dogs.

Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: Brett Atchley with Addison Sports Management, Cardio Force, Insanity Wear, VII AD Jewelry Art, Polanti Watches, Split Lip Fight Wear, Brawl Base, Klenchguards, Joe Taverni, all my teammates at Des Moines Jiu-Jitsu and Elite Edge Crossfit 515 and most of all the rock that keeps me grounded, my husband Brad Rodish.

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