Tomorrow, Chad “Robo” Robichaux will participate in the biggest fight of his career, facing the Bellator Bantamweight Champion Zach Makovsky in a non-title contest at Bellator 41. At the age of 35, Chad Robichaux holds an impressive Mixed Martial Arts record of 11-0, with 10 Submission victories (eight in round one). Robichaux trains at the Gracie Barra Academy in Houston, Texas, under the patronage of Carlos Gracie Jr. and Vinicius Draculino Magalhaes.
Bellator 41 will take place this Saturday (April 16th) at Cocopah Resort and Casino in Yuma, Arizona. Catchweight (137lbs) bout between Joe Warren and Marcos Galvao will be featured as the co-main event attraction of the night. As always, the event will be aired LIVE on MTV2 at 9p/8c.
Here’s what Chad Robichaux had to say about his fight against Zach Makovsky, military, friendship with Nate Marquardt and much more:
The fight against Zach Makovsky will be a non-title contest. But you’re 11-0 in your career with 8 first round finishes, do you think that after all your resume has what it takes to challenge the Champ for his belt?
Yeah, I mean whether the belt is on the line or not, I’ll still have Zach in the ring against me… so I’ll still get my chance to prove I’m on his level. As far as title shots go, there’s that Bellator structure where you have to win the tournament in order to challenge the Champion for his title. So whether I beat him or not on Saturday, I’ll still have to go through this tournament. Of course I would love to get a chance to fight for the title, but right now I just have to beat the guy who has it. I’ll show everyone I’m a top guy who can compete on this level.
I interviewed Zach one week ago, and I’m really not trying to start anything here, but when speaking about your possible weaknesses, he said that you probably didn’t fight any high quality competition. Do you agree with this statement?
I think he’s definitely fought tougher guys than me. He came into MMA with a strong wrestling pedigree. And he came to MMA a little bit later than me. So I agree, he fought some tougher guys. But on Saturday I’m not fighting his resume, I’m fighting him. So we’ll get a chance to find out who’s better.
Zach Makovsky is well-known for his exceptional wrestling skills. But in light of the fact that you’re so good with your Jiu-Jitsu, do you think that he’ll be forced to stand with you?
Yeah, I do feel like he will be forced to stand with me. At least during the first minutes of the fight, I think he will look to learn about how he does on his feet against me. I think in his position it’s really hard to come up with a solid gameplan, because he just doesn’t know where the fight will take place. If we stay on the feet during all three rounds, I’ll be very comfortable there, and I feel like I can win this fight on me feet. But he’ll be surprised with my wrestling skills. Just because I don’t have a collegiate wrestling background… it means nothing. He’ll be shocked with how good I am.
How do you feel about fighting at the age of 35? Do you feel like your best years are still ahead?
Everyone keeps asking me about it, but actually I’m feeling great. Thirty-five years old is definitely not young, but I’m still not getting rolled over by 20 year olds in my gym. I’m still there. I’m not naïve to think I’m going to continue fighting at 45 years old, but I’m still in a tremendous shape, and ready to get the maximum out of it.
In your training camp for this fight, were you training specifically for a three-round striking war?
I had a phenomenal striking program at our academy, and I’m definitely ready to trade with him. If you watch my last fight at Strikeforce, there was more standing time than on the ground, and I outstruck my opponent. I’m really confident in myself and in my abilities to win this fight in any area.
There was a point in your career where you didn’t fight for four years. What contributed to such a long layoff, and why you eventually decided to return to Mixed Martial Arts competition?
I did eight deployments in Afghanistan, so it was a time of service for my country. So it’s a break that definitely hurt my career, because the sport changed so much during the time I was away. But from other side, when I came back I was a totally different person from all this military experience, so it really helped my focus and overall mental preparation. When you are coming from a battlefield into MMA competition where you have safety and everything, it really lowers the pressure and gives you an opportunity to concentrate on the technical aspect of the sport.
I’m also providing help to the Soldiers Angels campaign at SoldiersAngels.org. It really helps soldiers coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, wounded warriors who need our support.
I know that you’re a good friend of Nate Marquardt. How did your friendship with Marquardt influenced on you as a fighter, and maybe as a person?
Nate was always a role model for me. We spent more than three years training together in Colorado. I think that time of my training defines my style of grappling, from a traditional Jiu-Jitsu guy, to MMA Jiu-Jitsu guy. Nate was a King of Pancrase at that time, and a very skilled guy. So it was a very influential time for me, that kind of showed me how I can compete. And I still carry on with these things today.
Your prediction for this Saturday? KO or Submission?
I don’t know to say if it’s going to be KO or Submission, but it’s definitely going to be a finish. I’m going to put pressure on Zach like he never had before. I saw his fights, and I saw what he faced. He’s not going to pace me like he did his previous opponents. I’m going to be active, and like I said, looking for a finish.
Would you like to thank anyone or mention any sponsors?
I always thank God for giving me the ability to be out there. Of course the military people around the world, Alchemist Management, Kelly Crigger, Ranger Up, Cash for Gold, Card Blue and Save.com. These are my sponsors for this fight.