Caros Fodor is on the verge of becoming a top lightweight contender in Strikeforce.
Unfortunately, not many people know about it yet.
The talented 28-year old has quickly gone 5-0 in Strikeforce's lightweight division and after an incredible 13-second knockout over fellow contender Justin Wilcox this past December, he should have been knocking on the door for a crack at the belt.
But, his fight was never seen, other than by the paltry 3000 fans who attended the show, because it took place on the under card and wasn't aired during the main card broadcast or even later online.
Undeterred, "The Future" will be battling fellow lightweight prospect Pat Healy, who himself is on a nice run at lightweight this Saturday night (March 3, 2012) at Strikeforce: "Tate vs. Rousey" in Columbus, Ohio.
Fodor spoke with MMAmania.com during a guest appearance on The Verbal Submission this past weekend where he talked about disrespect, preparing for an experienced opponent and how his New Year's Resolutions are holding up in this exclusive interview.
Check it out:
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): First thing's first, you had a teammate compete [this past weekend]. He kind of did okay. His name's Tim Boetsch. He shocked the world a little bit in that third round (against Yushin Okami). i want to know what your thoughts were as you watched the fight, what your reaction was. I don't know whether you were with your team or not, but what was it like when it happened?
Caros Fodor: Oh it was pretty crazy. I was actually in the room when the fight was going on so I had all my buddies on the phone with me and they lost their minds when it happened. I guess he had a really rough first two rounds. I heard all about it so for him to come back like that, I'm so happy for him. That was a huge fight for him because his opponent was ranked so highly and that was a huge win for him and I'm so happy he pulled it off. He deserved it.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You train out of AMC Pankration with Matt Hume. You had teammate Tim Boetsch fighting this past weekend and you've got a teammate Demetrious Johnson fighting on Friday in Australia and you're fighting on Saturday. Was it really helpful to have all those top guys in your camp peaking at the same time in your training?
Caros Fodor: Yeah, absolutely. The fact that all of us were fighting within like two weeks of each other was just perfect because we were all pushing each other. If someone isn't fighting, their motivation isn't 100 percent. They're not willing to spar 100 percent and push themselves so it was great that we were all there preparing at the same time. We actually had two other guys professionally fighting out of our gym at the same time as well so it was great good timing and everyone did really well. Hopefully we can keep getting these win streaks.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): I had one question about your last fight. We discussed it the last time but you were really hoping that the video would come out on Showtime or something and it just never really did. You had an incredible 13 second knockout that happened against Justin Wilcox and that's all we know, that you had a 13 second knockout against Justin Wilcox. No one got to see it other than the people there so is frustrating, you're trying to build yourself as a title contender and people didn't even get to see your most important victory?
Caros Fodor: Yeah, absolutely, yeah, definitely. I never really thought about it until afterwards and now coming into this fight but if I beat Healy on Saturday, and I do get a title shot which I really, really want, the majority of the public has absolutely no idea who I am. This time I think it's supposed to be aired on Showtime Extreme but other than that, no one's ever seen me on the main card so I'm sure a lot of of people will have a lot to say about me getting a title shot if I do get one. It's frustrating but I'm hoping to just keep winning and then get that title shot and if I beat Melendez, then people will know.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): They'll definitely know then, also, you mentioned your fight is on the undercard this weekend and it just feels like you're on an incredible streak, Pat Healy is on a streak. It feels like you guys have the most momentum in the lightweight division, but Strikeforce is putting all their focus on the Josh Thomson versus K.J. Noons fight. Do you feel like you're being overlooked, maybe even disrespected a little bit?
Caros Fodor: That's a tough question (laughs). I guess a little bit, yeah. I couldn't believe that Pat and I weren't on the main card. He's coming off a huge win over Blanco and then me over Wilcox and both of us are looking for a title shot so I was hoping that this would be a number one contender fight and if it is, I can't believe that they didn't want to air it. Listen, the guys that they got on are known for putting on exciting fights so I know where they're coming from so just as long as I get the shot if I beat Healy, then I guess I don't got anything to complain about.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Let's talk about this fight. It's a huge fight for you. Pat Healy, he's a guy that's had success at welterweight and he's now on a pretty nice run since cutting down to lightweight. I know you're a pretty big 155-pounder but this guy is probably the biggest lightweight in Strikeforce, he's huge. Is that an issue that you're heading in, competing at a size disadvantage?
Caros Fodor: Well, me and Pat had dinner, we sat at the same table at the fighter summit last year and he only outweighed me by three pounds so he is a little bit bigger but not enough to the point where he causes me problems. All the guys who I spar with are guys like Tim Boetsch, Mario Miranda. I'm used to much bigger guys trying to muscle me around so I'm not too worried about his size. It's his grinding style which is more of a threat. He uses his size to his advantage but it's his style, he's super tough and he's not going to quit. That's my biggest difficulty with him I think.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): The other biggest difference is his experience. He holds victories over Carlos Condit and he's just had a ton of fights. Is that something you're concerned about, having a big experience disadvantage heading in?
Caros Fodor: Yeah, absolutely. He's coming in with a whole resume of tough fights. He's been to the third round, been hurt, been cut and I've never experienced that. I know that deep down, I've had gym battles and I've been hurt before so I know what it's like and I know I'll handle it fine if he does get the upper hand on me in a couple of rounds. Yeah, he has a lot of experience on me and it will be a test for me to see that if I do lose a couple of rounds, that mentally I can hang in there. At any point, the fight can be over and I definitely see myself winning but I don't see any easy fight at all at any place. I think it's gonna be brutal for both of us.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Who do you think is the stronger grappler? You guys are both tough with submissions. You were more of a submission-focused guy at the beginning of your career and now you're rounding out your game. Who do you think will have the advantage if this fight goes to the ground?
Caros Fodor: I think his wrestling is better than mine, but in terms of catching submission, I think I'm more versed. He likes to go for people's necks. he's got the side-rear naked kind of mix that he does and a couple chokes. He's not big into leg locks or I'm not too worried about him trying to snatch an arm or a triangle or anything like that. I think if I keep him off my neck, I'll be ok. Myself, on the other hand, if you leave an arm out or a leg or your head, I can hit a couple submission. i think his wrestling's better but I think in snatching submissions, I'm better, at least more well-versed.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Matt Hume went to Japan to corner Tim Boetsch. Is he going to be flying down to corner Demetrious Johnson in Australia or is he going to be coming down to Columbus and be in your corner?
Caros Fodor: He is going to be with DJ in Australia. I'll have Trevor Jackson and my sparring partner Brandon Dudley and one of my coaches Nick Gibbons in my corner and they've cornered me before when Matt wasn't able to come so I think I've got a pretty good group with them.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): I want to catch up with you on a couple of things. When we last spoke, it was right before New Years and you had some New Years Resolutions. I want to know how is it going with you quitting chewing tobacco cold turkey?
Caros Fodor: Ughh (sighs) well it was going good until I got the fight and then it started back up again. (laughs) I would say I haven't made much progress on that front.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Oh rats, what about, you said you wanted to be more charitable, saying you wanted to donate to some charities this year. Have you been making any progress in that department either?
Caros Fodor: Absolutely. Just today, me and my friends went down to Seattle and helped several homeless people. That's been a big part of me and I'm not taking that lightly at all. Hopefully, the bigger my name, the more I can use that. That's definitely something I want to get better each time.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): There's actually a storyline in this fight with Pat Healy that people aren't talking about yet. He has someone lined up that's going to donate $1000 to a Parkinson's charity if he beats you in the second and he'd even throw in $500 as well. Does that mess with you at all because you think, "If I win, I'm ruining all this good will that he's trying to do."
Caros Fodor: (laughs) Well if I win, I'll just have to match it. Dang, that's 1500 bucks. I'll have to do something. I'll do something to get close to what he's gonna cost to lose that. I'll do more good with my victory, I guarantee that.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): The mental game is so important, so when you're picturing this upcoming fight with Pat Healy, how do you see victory?
Caros Fodor: I see, honestly right now, it's looking like me taking away and winning points every round and probably winning a decision. I have glimpses of him getting tired and me landing a big shot. I think my stand-up is way better and I think I'm way more dangerous on my feet so if I can get him tired and get those hands to start dropping, I think I can hurt him and get a quick finish but honestly, I see a long drawn-out fight with both of us going at it and me pulling out the decision.
So what do you think, Maniacs?
Do you agree with Fodor that he should get a title shot against Melendez if he can get past Pat Healy on Saturday night? Does his important lightweight tilt deserve main card billing over anything else?
If you'd like to listen to the audio of our interview with Caros, click here (begins at 32:00 mark)