Chicago cop and UFC Heavyweight, Mike Russow is headed into the fight of his life this Saturday at UFC 147 against PRIDE and Strikeforce veteran, Fabricio Werdum–and he knows it.
Since his knockout of Todd Duffee at UFC 114, Russow has successfully added two more wins to his perfect record in the UFC, unbeknownst to many fans. With just four fights in the last 34 months, injuries and obligations as a police officer have hindered the former NCAAA Division I wrestler’s ability to appear in the Octagon.
For this reason, Russow is not surprised by many fans’ bewilderment at his pairing with the well-known Brazilian jiu jitsu specialist, Wedrum.
“I think I’ve been under the radar. It seems like I’ve been averaging one fight a year since I signed with (the UFC) because of injuries. I broke my arm in that Todd Duffee match, had elbow surgery, and so I’ve had some things that didn’t go my way, so I’m pretty excited (right now). I fought in January, and I’m going to be fighting again here, so I’m hoping this year is a big year for me.”
Now 15-1, 1 NC thus far in his MMA career, Russow realizes a win over “Vai Cavalo” could catapult him in the standings and prohibit the Chicago native to focus solely on fighting.
“I would love to be able to just fight full-time, but I’m in one of those situations where it’s kind of tough… I need insurance for my baby, and my wife, and myself, so it’s just one of those things where hopefully I can win this fight, and I think better things may come.”
“Maybe I can take a year leave of absence, and really just focus on it,” added Russow. “That’d be a dream come true. It’s the perfect time; I think everything is going just right. If I can get a win over Werdum, I would definitely look into taking a year off, and just focusing on fighting.”
While Russow’s last fight was in his hometown of Chicago against ADCC champion, John Olav Einemo, the American will be traveling to Werdum’s native Brazil, to meet the decorated grappler in Belo Horizonte.
Though he is admittedly not fond of the hassles of air travel, Russow expects the trip to be a positive experience, and envisions his bout with Werdum going much the same way as his matchup with Einemo.
“I don’t know that I’m looking forward to it, but I definitely think it will be cool going to Brazil, and I definitely want to get the win down there.
“I think it’s gonna be like the last fight: a real hard, grind-it-out fight. I don’t want to get into a wrestling match the whole time; I want to be a little more strategic. I know it’s going to be tough, and I’m going to stay in there until the bell rings or the whistle blows or whatever. I think it’s going to be a tough fight, but I don’t care what I’ve gotta do to get my hand raised.”
Mike Russow and Fabricio Werdum face off this Saturday on the main event of UFC 147: Silva vs. Franklin II on PPV.