March 05, 2009

Sometimes you've got to go where the action is, especially if it isn't where you're at. It's that simple mantra that has lead fighters to change weight classes in hopes of better fortune.

Such is the case for former pro football player Rex Richards, who after beginning his career over the 300-pound mark has made the decision to move down to the more prosperous heavyweight division after his most recent win.

On Feb. 21 in Odessa, Texas, Richards scored an impressive 19-second knockout of Dale Gill at the Night of Champions 5 event, closing out his super-heavyweight career in style and ushering in a new chapter for his fighting career.

"I actually warmed up a heck of a lot longer than the fight lasted," vexed Richards. "I went out there and landed one (punch) right on the button and the guy was out.

"I'm actually kind of angry about it; I wanted the fight to go longer because I made such a drastic cut in weight. I lost 42 pounds for the fight and didn't get a chance to show the skills off and show how much faster I was and everything -- I won too quick."

With this fight over, now Richards focuses on his continuing his weight drop, which has had unexpectedly positive results so far.

"I feel faster, explosive and losing this weight is going to be a blessing for me in the cage," he stated. "I thought I was going to lose a lot of power, but I'm probably as strong as I used to be and hit a lot harder and faster now."

Eyeing the competition at heavyweight, Richards feels the attributes he brings both natural and learned will help set him up for success against anyone he faces.

"I'm always going to be one of the big heavyweights," he admitted. "I'm not going to be one of those guys that weighs in at 230 or 240. I'm always going to be cutting down from 275 or 280.

"I think I'm going to be one of the devastating few out there that gives guys fits not only because he's talented on the ground and has knockout power, but he's just bigger and more powerful than guys as well."

He is quick to note that his size won't be a hindrance, as it has been with some of the other larger fighters who tend to lumber in the cage. He fully intends on bringing the kind of fights that will make fans eager to follow the heavyweight division.

"My goal is to be the most exciting guy that's out there," he stated. "Just because I've had years of jiu-jitsu and am very talented on the ground, I still like knocking people out."

"I want to be the guy that when I walk out there, everyone knows that fight is going to be intense and it's gonna end as quick as it can. I'm not going to go out there and be a boring fighting -- I plan on finishing every fighter I go up against."

Next up for Richards is a May 2 date with the Shark Fight promotion for a Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation recognized heavyweight championship, and then perhaps on to the biggest stage of MMA to eventually avenge his only loss.

"My goal is to get in the UFC and to get the opportunity that Shane (Carwin) has got now, do well with that opportunity, and then I'd like to see my rematch with Shane when he's holding the UFC belt," he commented.

With the heavyweight division in need of an infusion of exciting talent, Richards could quickly find himself in demand should he continue the path his career has gone so far.

You May Like