EXCLUSIVE | Manny Rodriguez Talks Bellator, Heavyweight Fighting and Holly Holm | Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio
The “Meeen Bean” Manny Rodriguez, former professional fighter and the Spanish color commentator for Bellator FC, joined Fist-Ta-Cuff radio this past Sunday to share his thoughts on a number of topics from the world of mixed martial arts.
Rodriguez began by noting how amazing the first months of fights have been for the promotion:
“I just keep waiting for a boring week, you know, but it just hasn’t happened” Rodriguez said. “I don’t know if it’s just the move to Spike, but guys have always brought it. But for whatever reason, guys are really bringing it now. They’re just throwing caution to the wind, there’s no underdog because guys just don’t believe it. Emanuel Newton was just like, you know ‘Screw all of y’all, I’m going to go beat [“King” Mo Lawal]’, and he did.”
Never shy of words, the “Meeen Bean” also revealed what he believes to be the craziest moment in Bellator so far this season. However, his answer was not an extravagant knockout; or was it?
“You guys are going to hate me,” Rodriguez began, “but I think Holly Holm’s butt jiggling has got to be the craziest thing I’ve seen all season. That thing is insane, I’m not even joking. Its nuts.” Holm, the world’s number one ranked female boxer, made her MMA debut for Bellator this past Thursday with a second-round TKO victory over Katie Merrill.
Rodriguez also spoke candidly about Bellator’s increased attention towards fan interaction and how that has helped the company grow in the past few years, most recently on the heels of the highly regarded Smartphone app launched by Bellator and Spike TV.
“I mean, to be honest with you it’s surreal and nuts to see how far we’ve come in four years,” Rodriguez said of the organization’s growth. “I think every aspect of Bellator has gotten better by leaps and bounds. Sometimes I don’t even realize exactly what it is I do, or where we’re at. It’s typical and natural to us now, but man this is great, to think that there is that kind of fan interaction.”
Rodriguez’s sense of humor never waned despite the close-to-home talks regarding Bellator, the company he’s grown alongside as a commentator. In giving his thoughts on some of his favorite fights to watch, Rodriguez noted that heavyweights were particularly exciting to him.
“The best part about heavyweights, I think, is no heavyweight wants to go 15 minutes. No guy goes in there and goes, ‘Oh man, I really hope I can make it 15 minutes.’ No, they want to get in and out as quick as possible and, you know; go have a pizza and maybe a beer. So they’re going to go out there swinging.”
The “Meeen Bean” noted, however, that he himself was more of a cigar and whiskey guy.
To hear the full-length interview with Manny Rodriguez, including his thoughts on Mark Hunt vs. Stefan Struve, Jon Fitch potentially fighting for Bellator and what the hardest match he’s ever had to call was, listen to Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio on demand.