EXCLUSIVE | (Part 3) Manny ‘The Mean Bean’ Rodriguez Talks Bellator 96, King Mo vs. Seth Petruzelli, War Machine vs. Blas Avena | Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio
By JAKE CHASTAIN
| This week on Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio our boys invited Alliance MMA coach, Bellator commentator, and former King of the Cage heavyweight champ & mixed martial artist Manny Rodriguez onto the show. During his segment on the show Rodriguez touched on several topics ranging from Bellator’s upcoming summer shows, his coaching role at Alliance MMA, Bellator Champion Michael Chandler’s upcoming title fight being rescheduled, and how Chandler is still going to peak for the fight after getting a new opponent and having the fight pushed back a month. Here are some of the highlights from that interview this past Sunday on BJPenn.com’s Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio:
Manny talked about his thoughts on King Mo’s return at Bellator 96 against Seth Petruzelli following his knock-out loss to Emanuel Newton:
“I think he’s gonna come in hungry. Obviously he’s not happy. Um, and it’s one of those things, you just never know how a guy is going to come back after a knock-out like that. If he’s at all hesitant and tentative striking, Seth [Petruzelli] has the power to sleep him again. So he’s got to, it’s really basic man, he’s got to keep his hands. This isn’t boxing. You got to be worried, especially with a guy like Seth. He kicks hard, he knees hard, he elbows hard. Um, if anything lands and he’s not ready for it he’s going to be, you know, snoozing again. Hopefully not, like I said, I think him vs. Emanuel [Newton] is a great fight again.”
Rodriguez also talked about Jonathan Koppenhaver (War Machine), who hasn’t fought since 2011 because of serving time in prison, becoming a part of the Bellator lineup and what he expects from him in his return to fighting as he faces Blas Avena at Bellator 96 on June 19th:
“I think it’s been a long time coming. He’s had ups and downs with the organization. He is a guy I’ve known vocally for a long time; He is a talented fighter and a really good speaker. He knows how to get a rise out of people. I definitely don’t think the Ben Askren fight is a good fight for him. I just don’t see anyone right now being able to do a whole lot with standing up and I don’t see anyone being able to, you know, be too aggressive on the ground. But he’s got a tough fight. I mean, Blas came in as an underdog in his last fight in Bellator and he slept the guy. So if Jon thinks he’s going to go in there and walk all over Blas Avena, I mean, the kid has something to prove right now too. I know they’ve trained together in the past so it will be interesting to see what happens but, yeah. I haven’t seen Jon fight in quite a while. I mean, I knew he was going to beat Roger [Huerta] but Rogers really undersized and just had too many fights to be competitive in that fight. But against Blas it’s going to be a little bit different. We’ll see what happens.”
Rodriguez then explained what kind of fights he’s excited about other than the upcoming Bellator summer cards:
“I’ve been really interested in the Strikeforce guys and how they compete against the UFC guys. You see a guy like Pat Healey go in there and do what he did to Jim Miller…I was shocked. I thought that was going to be a lot more competitive fight.”
To listen to the entire interview with Manny Rodriguez on Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio click here and for more MMA News regarding Bellator’s upcoming summer events click here.
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