| This week the boys over at BJPenn.com’s Late Night Cage Side Radio geared all of the fans up for the August 10th WSOF 4 card, which takes place in Ontario, California. Fighting on the card’s co-main event is 9-1 bantamweight contender, Brandon “Hot Rod” Hempleman. Brandon is currently riding a six fight winning streak and is looking to topple Marlon Moraes on August 10th to extend his streak to 7 consecutive victories. Hempleman talked with hosts Chase Raymond and Kinch about the upcoming fight with Moraes and how he ultimately landed himself in the WSOF promotion. Here are some of the highlights from Hempleman’s interview with BJPenn.com’s Late Night Cage Side Radio:
Hempleman was first asked how training for the upcoming bout on August 10th was going. He replied, “It’s been going great. I’ve been busting my ass in the gym every day, training like a madman.”
He was then asked how excited he was about fighting in the WSOF and being a part of the co-main event attraction. He stated, “I’m way excited. It’s been my dream ever since I started fighting, you know. This is what we do it for.”
Brandon, who fights out of Idaho, was also asked if he was expecting a huge jump up in competition now that he was fighting under the WSOF banner.
“I’ve been fighting tough guys for awhile now,” Hemplemen explained. “I always train with the best of the best around here so, I expect to see some different looks but as far as quality of opposition I think I’ve been up there for awhile.”
He also commented on how he landed the contract with the fastly-growing WSOF promotion. He explained, “I kept getting kinda dicked around really and [my coach] had enough of it and said, ‘hey, I want to help you out,’ and started beating the bushes, trying to get me a fight and get somebody to take notice so he called them up and they jumped on it and I’m thankful every day.”
Hempleman is now fighting on one of the largest platforms of the sport and he explained that he is going to make the most of it in his debut with the promotion. When asked about his approach toward this fight he replied,
“Go out there and make a statement. I’m going to fight just like I train. I mean, I bust my ass in the gym every day. I refuse to let anybody beat me and, especially, I’ll never beat myself about it. So I’m going to go in there and perform to the best of my ability. I live and breathe this every day, so I’ll show the fans.”
Brandon Hempleman has put together a solid body of work in his first 10 professional fights, going 9-1 over that span, but is not taking credit for the co-main event booking of his fight. Instead, he gave credit to his surging opponent, Marlon Moraes. When asked how the signing of the fight unfolded Hemplemen answered,
“We didn’t even know who we were going to fight when I signed. To get the fight initially my strength and conditioning coach and now my manager, Ross Jensen, called them up said hey, give us whoever. We’ll fight anybody, and they had Marlon, I mean, Marlon is on a roll. He beat who was supposed to be their top bantamweight, in my opinion, and then he beat Nam after that so this is going off of his steam here in this spot and I’m trying to steal his thunder.”
Moraes is also riding a nice streak of 4 consecutive wins and is currently 2-0 in the WSOF promotion with wins over Miguel Torres and Tyson Nam. A win for Hempleman over Moraes would definitely shoot him to the top of the WSOF bantamweight contention ladder and when asked if he felt any added pressure for this fight as opposed to any of his past bouts he explained that the pressure was not coming from the fight itself but rather from outside sources.
“There’s always pressure, I mean, I respect the hell out of Marlon, but the pressure from this fight is coming mostly from media and trying to get twitter and Instagram and all of that stuff figured out. Like you said, I’m an Idaho boy. Nobody I know even has a twitter account,” he explained, “that’s been hard for me.”
When asked what concerns him most in this bout against Marlon Moraes he replied,
“Nothing’s concerning, actually. I don’t do this for easy fights. I’m not a lay and pray guy. I don’t want to go lay on him for three rounds. I want to have a war and that’s what most exciting for me is I expect him to be coming forward, I expect him to be throwing hard and I like to stay active too so expect to make highlights out of each other, so I’m just excited more than anything.”
Hempleman has not lost since May of 2010 when he was submitted by Chanti Johnson. He was asked to recall that fight and what he felt he learned from his first and only loss since:
“It made me get back to the drawing board and really learn how to handle myself. I feel like I lost my composure in the middle of the fight a little bit. I had a lapse in judgment and I still have nightmares about that fight. I feel like if I wasn’t wining the fight it was very close up to that point and then I just kind of f-ed the dog.”
Brandon was then asked to comment on his future goals in the sport. Kinch asked the WSOF bantamweight to give us his goal for five years down the road. He replied, “I see myself being a World Champion. If I didn’t I wouldn’t really have any business fighting up to this point. I’m not doing it for fun, I’m doing it because I want to see how far I can push myself and I’m confident.”
Hempleman was then asked if his ultimate goal was to be in the UFC and if he felt that the WSOF was a springboard for fighters that were trying to reach the next level of MMA.
“Yeah, I guess I’d be wrong to say that that wouldn’t be a goal” he explained, “but my goal is to fight on the biggest stage in front of most people and I don’t necessarily see the Worlds Series as having to be a springboard, like, I’d like to see them grown with us. I think they’re doing an awesome job. I mean, just the fact that we have Ray Sefo as being the head, like, having a fighter as the head is like, that’s pretty great. I feel like he’s going to go to battle for us. I almost made the UFC this year. I was supposed to be on this season of TUF and I got cut last minute while I was in Vegas getting ready for the fight and so that’s when World Series actually picked me up. So I’m really grateful to them for looking past, I have a little bit of an arrest record from when I was younger, they looked past that and took a chance on me and I appreciate what they’re doing for me, a lot.”
Brandon was then asked to go more in depth about his Ultimate Fighter experience.
“I made it all the way through and then they cut me four days before the fight into the house,” he said. When asked if he felt that his arrest record attributed from his being cut from the upcoming season of TUF he stated, “yeah, they knew about it the whole time but I guess the executive at FOX…I mean, the UFC wanted me, the producers wanted me, but the executive at FOX said no. I think it’s because there’s women in the house and I had actually a battery on law enforcement charge. It was a silly, drunk night in Boise.”
“I think it was all perception to the public.”
Hempleman is fighting on a card that has a lot of big names and big fights on it and he talked about what it was like to be a part of something that big.
“I’m so stoked to fight on the same card as Spong. I’m a big fan of Spong,” he said. “It’s a big deal for me.”
He was asked to comment on all the people questioning his fight’s co-main event booking. He answered, “After the fight all those questions will be laid to rest when they see that I belong as co-main and I’m there for a reason.”
A hot topic in the MMA world right now is the amount of money that fighters are paid by their promotion. Many fighters believe they should be getting paid more. Hempleman was asked to give his opinion. He explained, “You’ll get paid what you make them pay you. When the demand, you know, the supply and demand, when we’re worth it, when we have enough fans clamoring to come watch us the paychecks are going to come, the sponsors are going to come. Like, there’s so many facets for fighters to make money that; betting, sponsors, you know, it’s not just the promotion that needs to pay you. So, as a fighter I’m keeping that mindset and trying to come up that way.”
Hempleman was also asked if he was excited about any of the other fights scheduled for the event on August 10th:
“I haven’t even thought about the other one’s really. I mean, I think the other ones are great,” he explained. “I’m definitely way excited to watch Sefo fight. Our boss is going in the trenches with us, that’s great.”
“I think every boss, every judge, every referee should have some sort of fight experience.”
Before the boys in shop ran out of time with Brandon Hempleman they wanted to get his thoughts and prediction for his upcoming fight against Marlon Moraes next weekend. He stated, “I’m going to fight till the death. I mean, I’ll lay it all out on the line. I don’t care what happens, I’m gonna go out there and put on a fight for the fans and I know Marlon is going to do the same so, to be honest with you I expect both of us to be going to the hospital after.”
We would like to thank Brandon for stopping in to talk MMA with our boys Chase and Kinch at BJPenn.com’s Late Night Cage Side Radio and we wish him the best of luck in his upcoming bout opposite Marlon Moraes.