Bellator 185: “Mousasi vs. Shlemenko” comes to Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., this Friday night (Oct. 20, 2017), featuring the promotional debut of Gegard Mousasi (42-6-2) as he takes on former Middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko (56-9, 1 NC) is the Spike TV-televised main event of the evening.
Originally “The Caveman” David Rickels was set to fight “Irish Bad Boy” Brennan Ward at Welterweight on this card, but an injury removed Ward from the show on late notice. Rickels still had a lot to say about his last fight at the same weight at Bellator 171.
“Getting a win in your hometown, nothing feels better than that! And then when you just completely maul a human being, another grown ass man you just MAUL HIM… for three rounds until you knock him out, I mean it was a one sided and it was a great night. I’m just gonna say I drank whiskey and had a good night.”
What does a “Caveman” drink when he decides to have a finger (or two) of whiskey?
“Ahh … well typically I drink Maker’s (Mark), I do love Maker’s, Maker’s and Jameson. Those are my like go to! Have you ever had Angel’s Envy? GOOGLE IT or whatever you gotta do. It’s like the best whiskey I’ve ever had. It’s actually really a bourbon.”
Rickels knows a thing or two about his liquor, but with 24 professional mixed martial arts (MMA) bouts under his belt, he knows even more about fighting. One thing he knows is that his body just won’t cut to 155 pounds anymore.
“Man, I’m tired of destroying my body for nothing really. And not for nothing, I won’t say that, but it takes all the damn fun out of fist fighting a grown man in cage. Like when you had to just eat leaves for eight weeks? Eight to 12 weeks is like usually how long it took me to get my weight down.”
The struggle was so real for Rickels he had to go to ridiculous lengths to keep himself from eating anything off diet during a training camp.
“Man, I bought a safe! Like let me tell you, this is how bad the mind of a man gets when he’s that hungry. I bought a safe that I would put all of the foods into at night so I wouldn’t be able to break into it. That’s like a mental, that’s an eating disorder! I was through with that man. I’m like, ‘Dude I don’t need to treat my body like this!’ Man the only profession in the world where you’re like, ‘Hey we’ll burn 3,000 calories at this workout and then eat two pieces of lettuce.’”
So now that Rickels is off the starvation diet and fighting at a healthier weight, he can channel all of that energy into a great performance when he finally gets his chance to face Ward … or another fighter for that matter if Bellator doesn’t reschedule the match up.
“I think he’s a great opponent. To be honest I feel like he’s kind of the gate keeper at 170. He’s an O.G. of Bellator, too! He’s had some great fights and this and that, man. I kinda feel I’m the same way. Man, it’s just a great match up, really. He likes to come out there and throw down and swing hard. I like to do the same thing. I’m more of a volume striker, volume and pressure, but it makes for a really great bout. There’s just no way it’s gonna be boring.”
In truth there’s one way it could be boring, but Rickels says it would be a huge mistake for Ward to have a cautious conservative fight against him if and when they finally meet.
“His best bet of betting me is like just going out there (and going) fucking bonkers. If he tries to fight me technically I’m gonna whoop his ass. Like just wipe the floor with him. I’m sure his coaches are like ‘Make this shit a dogfight bro.’ And when we do that it’s like ‘Who’s gonna get who?’ Like ‘Who’s gonna catch who?’ At that point like who’s gonna catch who at when?”
For Rickels there’s nothing better than a dogfight. He wants it, he encourages it, he delights in it. If Ward — or anyone for that matter — wants to stand in the pocket and bang he’s more than happy to oblige.
“Man, I love to hit people. I sure do! (*laughing*) And, uh, yeah man, I’ve got some things planned. I’ve got a few tricks that I think will work. I never really draw out some crazy gameplan or anything like that. I’ve just got some moves I’d like to hit and hopefully that’ll make heads hit the floor.”
No matter when or where they meet — or even if his next opponent is someone different altogether — Rickels plans to go out there and put on a show.
“When the cameras hit me it becomes ‘The Caveman Show.’ They need to do logos, logo placement, where Spike TV you put ‘The Caveman Show.’ Do that! And we’re gonna see some greatness. It’s gonna be good man! I’ve always got something planned, I’m always having fun, this is the best job I’ve ever had.”
Whether it’s in the cage or on his way to the cage, Rickels guarantees fight fans will have a fun time.
Complete audio of our interview is embedded above, and complete coverage of “Mousasi vs. Shlemenko” resides here at MMAmania.com all week long.
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