The future is now: MMAmania.com interview exclusive with top Strikeforce lightweight Caros Fodor

Photo via Strikeforce

All it took was 13 seconds for Caros Fodor to blossom from rising prospect to Strikeforce lightweight title contender.

That's how long the AMC Pankration fighter needed to knock out fellow top 155-pound talent Justin Wilcox in a battle of two men who had gone unbeaten in a combined 11 consecutive fights this past Saturday night (December 17, 2011) the final match in the preliminary portion of Strikeforce: "Melendez vs. Masvidal."

For Fodor, it now appears that "The Future" was a rather fortuitous moniker, chosen by his teammates while he was still working his way up but showing great promise in training.

The former marine now holds a distinguished 5-0 record in the Strikeforce lightweight division and with a dearth of top title contenders available, he may have skipped to the front of the line. The Matt Hume-trained fighter spoke with MMAmania.com, discussing his huge victory over Wilcox, his interesting background and plans for his very promising future in this exclusive interview.

See for yourself:

Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): I was listening to several of your prefight interviews and you were expecting this fight to go into the third round, you were hoping to drag this out. Instead, it lasts 13 seconds. What happened?

Caros Fodor: I have no idea. I still haven't seen it. I don't know. I think he shot in for a takedown and I stuffed him and on the way up he was just right in front of me and I was able to land a good shot and put him down. I just remember his head laying forward on the ground and I don't remember what happened up until that point but I remember thinking, "What are you doing down there?" and I just kept hitting him and the ref stopped it. I'm feeling really, really good. It was a huge win and the fashion by which it happened, I just can't even believe everything fell together like that. I'm just so thankful and it's gonna be a great holiday season.

Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You said that if you could have any finish for this fight, you'd prefer a knockout because you'd never had a clean one before. Now that you've gone and done it, what did it feel like?

Caros Fodor: It's definitely the way to fight, man. It's my first one and I've always wanted one but it's so nice to have a win like that and to have not even broken a sweat and get it over with so quick. I think I'm definitely gonna be going for those more often now.

Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You mentioned that you hadn't had a chance to see it yet, I don't think anybody has had a chance to see it yet even though it was this crazy 13 second fight. Does that bother you at all that the fans didn't get to see it? I heard you would have been aired if the Andre Ward boxing fight ended early but that didn't end up happening. Were you frustrated that they couldn't find a moment to slip your fight in there?

Caros Fodor: I"m pretty bummed about that. it would have been a great opportunity to get some publicity out there and a lot of guys have been following me on the Challengers series so it would have been nice especially since it was my best performance of my career, you know? Hopefully they get it up on the Showtime homepage or something I hope.

Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Yeah, it deserves to be seen because it was a really important divisional match-up. You guys were two of the top lightweight prospects coming in.

Caros Fodor: I know. I was pretty shocked. I thought for sure they could at least find a short highlight reel to put it on because it was so quick. It wouldn't have taken any time. Hopefully they get it up soon.

Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): What was the atmosphere like with your team? Matt Hume, all the guys at AMC Pankration were really excited in the lead-up to your fight so what was it like afterwards?

Caros Fodor: Yeah, they were just as shocked as I was. Matt was pretty happy. I saw one of my other coaches too and he was thrilled so it we're really happy and just trying to focus dealing with what Strikeforce has in mind for me and when so it's going good.

Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Speaking of what's next, you've mentioned being ready for that next level and fortune favors the bold. Do you feel your ready for the next lightweight title shot? Is that something you'd gladly grasp if given the opportunity?

Caros Fodor: Absolutely. I'm still pretty young in my career and I plan on being here for a while but I'm ready. If they gave it to me right now, I'd definitely be ready for a fight. I don't think it's too early but I also understand if they want to have me wait too because Gilbert has been at the top for a while and asked for some of the top level contenders even in the UFC so I'm not sure what they're thinking. Either way, I understand but I'd love the opportunity for a title fight. If they give it to me, I'll gladly take it.

Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You also mentioned that if they didn't give it to you, you'd be willing to take one more fight before a shot. If you did take another fight, who would it be? Would it be someone like main card-winning lightweight K.J. Noons or somebody like Pat Healy? There aren't too many at the top of the lightweight heap currently.

Caros Fodor: Yeah, I was thinking Pat Healy of K.J. Noons. That would be the next logical step. Everybody else is kind of either coming off a loss or not quite up there. I'm guessing one of those two.

Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Terrific, and with 13 seconds, I haven't seen it yet but I'm assuming you didn't take any damage. How soon would you be ready to step in there?

Caros Fodor: I'm fine. I'm ready to go. Any time they were ready to do it, I'd be ready. I'm hoping not on the January 7th card, that no one gets injured on that one, but any time after that. March would be a good time. Any time before summer would be awesome.

Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): I'd really like to work a little more of your backstory in here, flesh it out a little because you're a guy that people need to know more about. I know you originally signed up over at AMC Pankration, you started training there to get better at street fights but then you molded into this MMA fighter and you matured a lot. What changed when you were over there?

Caros Fodor: Honestly, I really don't know. The atmosphere and the people all around, the guys at AMC are some of the best from all around. Everyone is a really good person and I just kind of matured myself. I've been there for seven years now. I came out of a dark phase when I came home after the war and it really just changed everything when I started training at AMC. I can't pinpoint exactly what, but I think it was just being around those people, being a part of their lives, living the "professional athlete life" and it was just something that inspired me. I actually almost quit. I lost my first two amateur fights and people in my life were telling me it was a stupid idea and to go in a different direction and I stuck with it to spite them and I'm so glad I did.

Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Wow, I hadn't heard about you almost giving it up. Who were the people telling you it was stupid idea to get into fighting and who were the ones that were supporting you during that time?

Caros Fodor: Well, I don't think my family was too high on it because I got pretty beat up in my first two fights. The sport wasn't nearly as big then as it is now and there weren't a lot of guys doing it. I'm pretty sure everyone wasn't on board and I signed up at the gym with a bunch of the guys who I was going out and street fighting with and it's a rough sport. AMC is a tough place to train so a lot of guys quit and some of the guys who quit were kind of egging me on to do the same. Some old friends were trying to get me out and so was my family, they wanted me out because I was taking some abuse but it just got better after that.

Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): It definitely has gotten better. From watching some of your other interviews and everything, you're one of the most polite guys that I've ever seen, "Yes sir, no sir." Is that from your time in the military or is that just the way you were raised?

Caros Fodor: I think both. I wasn't really raised like that but I just kinda naturally did it. In the military, like the military school when I was 12 years old and it was pretty strict there and then of course the marine corps it was kind of required. If that's the way you treat people, only good things can come from it and I never see the point in being mean to people.

Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You've also got a very rewarding side job, working with special needs kids. You're teammate, Demetrious Johnson, he gave up his full-time job so he could train full-time. Do you ever see yourself getting to a point in your career to where you'd do that or is this job too important?

Caros Fodor: Yeah, I don't think I could give this up. I come from a personal foster life and I am actually a licensed foster parent myself so it's just something I'll do until I'm dead. Unlike Demetrious, he had a tough physical job that was kind of draining him and my job working with the kids isn't physical so we'll be able to do both. It doesn't take too much energy out of my life and it doesn't affect my training so I don't see myself ever giving it up. I see myself doing this for a long time.

Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Lastly, everyone is going to want to know now with the potential of you fighting the champion, Gilbert Melendez. What did you think of his performance against Jorge Masvidal on Saturday night?

Caros Fodor: Gilbert is a great fighter. I love to watch him fight. He stood up with Masvidal and I think he was trying to prove a point. I think he could have probably taken the fight to the ground at any point he wanted to. His wrestling is really good and I think he was proving a point. He beat Masvidal at his own game and I've got to give him respect for that. I think he has a lot more tools that he didn't show that night so I'll need to watch more than that fight if and when I do start studying him if they give me that title fight. I give him respect because he beat Masvidal at striking when he could have just taken him down and wrestled him.

Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): We're heading towards the New Year here. Have you set aside any resolutions or goals? Anything you want to accomplish in 2012?

Caros Fodor: Yeah, I'd like to keep going with the momentum I have. I'd really like to get involved with charities. I'd like to take some of the fight and sponsor money, some of my notoriety, take some of that and use it. There's especially some homeless people in Seattle and I'd like to be one of those guys that can use my publicity for good. Also, I've got this horrible habit. I've chewed tobacco ever since the marines and I'd love to quit doing that so January 1st, I'm gonna go cold turkey.

Caros would like to thank Cobalt Mortgage Company, Toyota of Bellevue and UniVsAll. He'd also like to thank all the fans. They can contact him at CarosFodor.com, his Facebook or his Twitter @CarosFodor.

So what do you think, Maniacs?

Could Fodor be the next title challenger in the thin Strikeforce lightweight division? Or will he have to wait a little bit longer to get his shot?

Sound off!

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