Carl Fisher gets to grip with powerhouse Roger Neff
Carl Fisher : How was your trip over here Roger?
Roger Neff : Pretty good Carl, I got here 3am Monday night; I flew about 8hours from Seattle to Amsterdam and then I was there for about ten hours and then another seven hours to get here, so it was a long trip here.
How did you make it Roger?
Roger Neff : I won the American Heavyweight qualifier in Indiana three weeks and Im in the over 99 weight division and its a packed class let me tell you.
Whats your background Roger?
Roger Neff : Ive been wrestling for about twenty-five, twenty-six years of my life, Greco Roman and freestyle; I also did some Sambo in the early nineties and went to the World Championships, getting involved in the submission there a little bit, but in the last few years I have been getting involved in the submission side of things. Its pretty new to me so well have to see how it goes; Ive been doing NHB fights and have done 12 fights so far.
Do you approach the fighting styles differently Roger?
Roger Neff : The NHB yes; Im not really a stand up fighter, but the American wrestling Im more offensive, Ill take them down and ground and pound from there. Ive won a lot of my fights from TKOs; over here theres no striking so Ill have to use a different strategy going against a lot of the BJJ guys; Ill have to protect a lot of my body parts from armbars and knee bars.
How heavy are you?
Roger Neff : 265-270, depending if Ive eaten a good meal
What are your thoughts on being here Roger?
Roger Neff : First of all its an honour to be invited here and Im really looking forward to it. My good buddy Jeff Monsen has done well here over the last few years and I train with him back in the States; hes about a five-hour drive from my place, and Ive got to know Jeff pretty well. Theres a lot of good guys in my class and Im looking forward to fight and to be part of the group is an honour and I hope to get a lot of experience from being here. I have two guys I train with back home, not really instructors and I work out with North Idaho college wrestling team and we also have Team Idaho. Derek Cleveland helps me out along with Trevor Prangley from South Africa, whos been an Olympic team member for his country, they are very technical guys and have helped me a lot with the submissions.
I heard you used to power lift as well?
Roger Neff : Yeah I did; in 96-97 I held the American record for the bench and the dead lift 275 weightclass I benched 551 and deadlifted 744.
What next after Abu Dhabi Roger?
Roger Neff : Four days after I get home I will be fighting in Arizona for Frank Shamrocks Bushido card and I have been asked to fight in the Iowa Challenge and quite a few other offers throughout the summer.
Tell us about your Greco Roman background Roger
Roger Neff : 1998 and 1992 I made the final Olympic trials and lost to Dennis Koslowski who was the silver and bronze medallist. Back in 1996 I moved to Seattle and started in freestyle and moved up to heavyweight and wrestled in the final Olympic trials and lost to Erikson who also happens to be here in my weight class and I havent seen him in a couple of years so that should be interesting. I met Karelin in the 1987 World championships, but I never wrestled him, but sat on the bleachers watching him wrestle, thinking how big he was just like everyone else did.
Any last words?
Roger Neff : I hope I do well and get a few good wins under my belt; looking forward to it a lot.
Roger Neff : No problem
Written by Carl Fisher - "THE voice of MMA in Europe"
posted at SFUK 21 April 2001
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