If you haven't heard of undefeated bantamweight Chad Robichaux (pronounced Row-bi-show), he's sure you'll remember him after his Bellator super-fight on Saturday night.
"Robo" began training jiu-jitsu and karate when he was just five years old and he proved his prowess in submissions from the onset of his career. He won his first ten fights via submission before finally having to rely on the judges for victory last year on the Strikeforce: "Houston" undercard.
Bellator regularly schedules its champions for non-title fights to help showcase their abilities. While the champions are currently 6-0 against over-matched opposition, Robichaux is ready to break that streak.
"I definitely believe that's been the case in the past. When they took me on, they wanted Zach to have a really tough fight and that's definitely what I plan on bringing to the table. All their champions are tough. Look at Nick Thompson, he's a tough guy who's really experienced but he was still expected to lose against Ben Askren. None of their champions have been beaten in these superfights yet and I plan on being the first one to do it."
Regardless of the outcome of his fight with Makovsky, Robichaux anticipates being a participant in the Bellator bantamweight tournament next season.
The undefeated veteran expects to catch the champion off guard with his skill set.
"I think Zach will be really surprised by my wrestling. I haven't wrestled in Division I college level like he has. He certainly has a higher pedigree of wrestling than me while I have the higher pedigree of jiu-jitsu."
"It's a great style match-up ... I definitely have a strong gameplan that I think is implementable and I'm not certain that he does. I don't know if he has the ability to plan for this fight like I do. In that aspect, I feel I have a real strong advantage."
On top of being a full time fighter, Robichaux runs several Brazilian jiu-jitsu academies. He doesn't have to go far to find world class training partners.
"I'm real blessed. I'm in a position where I don't have to go out and find training partners. I have about 1000 students under me here in Houston between the multiple locations of the Gracie Barra network."
"I have multiple Division I wrestlers, two fourth degree black belts on staff, five black belts total. We have national level competitors in MMA. My boxing coach was 33-1 as a professional. My Muay Thai coach was on the national team. We just have everything available right here so I'm able to train with my team, the guys that know me the best and take care of me. It's a great opportunity not to have to go out on the street and find training partners."
Even with the abundance of talented training partners out there, Robichaux's secret weapon came from an outside source, Minnesota Vikings defensive end, Brian Robison.
"He's like a freak of nature. He belongs 1000 years ago with a battle ax in his hand. I started training with him for the Strikeforce fight [in 2010]. We have the same fitness trainer that trains a lot of NFL players and he had an interest in jiu-jitsu to learn some arm drags and stuff to help him get through the line better. We were looking for a big, athletic guy to try to use top control on me while I worked my escapes. I feel like if I can get up from under him, I'll have no problem getting up from Zach."
Robichaux took a big four year break from competing in MMA while he served in the United States Marine Corps, even seeing time in Afghanistan. Despite his service putting his career on hold, he holds absolutely zero regrets.
"Just as great an opportunity as it is now, just the opportunity to serve my country at the time was a privilege and I'm really happy I got to do that as a part of my life. My service time is kind of a cornerstone of my life, my history and who I am. I would never trade that even if it means my fighting career took a back step. I wouldn't trade it for anything."
In closing, Chad wouldn't make a prediction on who would win his fight this Saturday night, but he did send a message to fans: Expect fireworks.
"This fight is gonna end either really dynamic or it'll be three rounds of non-stop action. I've said this before: I don't see this match in any way possible being a boring fight. Anybody that wants to see two bantamweights come in and scrap, it'll be this one. I'm a big strategist. I try to plan things out and I don't see any way this fight will be boring. It's gonna be good one. I'm excited to be a part of it and I'm excited to watch it."
Chad would like to thank everybody at Gracie Barra for all the support as well as Alchemist Management and Ranger Up. He will be fighting to support the Soldier's Angels charity to help disabled veterans so if you're interested, please check out SoldiersAngels.org and help support them.
For the full audio of Chad's interview, click here.