Robichaux expects composure, preparation to be greatest advantages
Chad Robichaux‘s non-title bout against Bellator bantamweight champion Zach Makovsky this Saturday at Bellator 41 may be the greatest challenge of his professional career, but competition has been a part of his life for as long as he can remember.
The undefeated mixed martial artist began training in the martial arts at a very early age and has never looked back, consistently gaining more knowledge throughout his career in all aspects of the sport. But he also learned how to properly prepare himself for competition in MMA, and his latest camp appears to be a culmination of that knowledge he has gained, including what he learned about training throughout his time as a military man.
And he will be the first to tell you, just because he has a fight on Saturday, he has trained hard throughout this week.
“It’s going good. It’s going really good,” Robichaux told HeavyMMA.com earlier this week. “Feel great. It’s at that time of training when you just run yourself into the dirt…My boxing coach kind of changed my mind set, just to train all the way through. I’ve been able to perform better, so I just train all the way through Wednesday night for a Saturday fight. His theory, and I kind of adopted it, is that you never see a fighter lose a fight because they are sore, but you see a lot of fighters lose fights because they gas out.”
The theory Robichaux has adopted from his coach has provided success throughout his career. At a perfect 11-0 with eight stoppages certainly backs that case.But the bantamweight follows that theory for the simple reason that he wants to enter the cage as the best form of himself, so he can compete at the highest level of the sport.
The theory is not the only reason he believes that he will put on a top-level performance on Saturday. Rather, his ability to keep his composure and avoid the pressure of the situation is a large factor in how he fights; something he contributes to his time in the military.
“What I feel makes a fighter successful or not is if he can perform the way he performs at his best in training,” Robichaux said. “Because if you can be the greatest martial artist in the world and you can’t do what you do in training because you are so stressed or under pressure, then you’re not a competitive martial artist. You just have a lot of knowledge. So I think I’m just a competitive martial artists because it. I just definitely attribute it to my military background.
“I’ve been in eight tours in Afghanistan and I’ve had my nerves rattled pretty hard. There’s just nothing that’s going to happen in the sport of MMA, which is really just a game with rules and referees and safety parameters. I think (my service in the military) just brings another whole level of composure.”
While the composure Robichaux can claim from his military background may be an advantage found few and far between in this sport, the man who served the United States for a good deal of his life knows he is not the only one with that type of competitive edge.
In fact, it is something he also sees in his opponent, who, at 12-2, has been nothing but dominant in his last six contests, including four wins under the Bellator banner.
But what Robichaux sees as his opponents biggest advantages are not only his composure, but also where he trains and the strategy he brings into the cage. The military veteran does not fear his opponent, but he certainly respects his ability to take home wins with his ability to dictate fights.
“I think his biggest threat that he poses to me is that he is a lot like me. He’s a strategic gamer and he comes from a really good camp. I don’t think he’s done anything short of being prepared to deal with me and my style. I’m definitely going into this fight expecting that he knows a lot about me and has a good strategy and a good gameplan. I don’t see him as a really dominant fighter, but he knows how to win and he’s done it a lot. He’s beat some really good guys. I think his biggest threat is his composure.”
This weekend, Robichaux may not be fighting for a title strap and he may not be headlining a pay-per-view event, but the 11-fight veteran wanted a big-name opponent in Bellator and he certainly got one.
However, his lifelong journey to this moment is why he enters this bout confident in his competitive ability at this level in the sport. With his extraordinary preparation, efficient training camp, and well-roundedness, he plans surprise Makovsky with his striking, dictate the fight, and, ultimately, take home the victory in the biggest fight of his career to prove he belongs at the top in the Bellator 135 lb. division.
“What you don’t see on Sherdog stats is that I knocked most those people on their butt before I submitted them,” Robichaux said. “I have really heavy hands and good striking. I’ve been striking longer than I’ve been doing jiu-jitsu and that’s been over 30 years. People really overlook that about me.
“I think that’s what makes me a dangerous fighter, that I can fight at all levels. It’s going to be action. It’s either going to end really suddenly and dynamically, or it’s going to be three rounds of non-stop action.”