MMA Fighter Rodney Moore Talks New Fighters
Recently had the opportunity to sit down and have a chat with Rodney Moore. Head coach at Next Generation Northern Ireland and recently crowned UXC middleweight champion following his win over Alex Reid on March 1st at Underdog Xtreme Championships II. With so much going on between running the gym, building a house and personal life. Rodney has decided to finally hang up the gloves and focus on the next generation of fighters to come out of the Antrim based gym.
“That’s me now, hung the gloves up for definite, Aye, I haven’t time, the gyms far too busy. Got too many other guys, managing them getting them ready for fights. You know it’s flat out its just nuts.”
And what’s the vibe at Next Generation like at the moment?
“It’s buzzing, just one big family. Aye we’ve always had a good vibe man, We all hang out have a bite, go out for bites to eat. It’s just a good vibe man, we’ve always had that. No matter how big or how small. Even when we started out in the early days, we’d meet up once a month. Everyone’s go out on a Sunday. Went out to the cinema, a bite to eat. Stayed strong all the way through. That’s going on twelve years, Aye.”
The Bruce Lee Effect
In what seems to be quite a common thread amongst a lot of fighters, he got into fighting after watching Bruce Lee movies. ‘Since then he was hooked’. Although he had trained in numerous combat sports, it wasn’t until he went to the States and was introduced to Vale Tudo that he decided to make a career of fighting.
“I went to America and I trained at a club over there and these guys were doing this thing called Vale Tudo and I never heard of it in my life before. And I thought I could kinda handle myself till I got there. And basically got my arse handed to me on a plate in a minute flat. So I was hooked and I trained every day, morning noon and night with them guys over there.”
Inquiring as to whether he needs to have any animosity toward his opponents. He was quick to point out his own views on fighting and the respect he holds for his opponents.
“The way I see it, its job, you just have to train hard to try to get the win. You know I’d be very placid in that sort of way. Be the first thing I’d say at the end of every fight. Listen, I hope there are no serious injuries, hope you’re alright. So, it’s always great to get the finish, get the win. I’d try to get it in the most placid type way.
I wouldn’t try to snap someone’s arm off or you know bad intentions. I’d be kinda mellow that side. It doesn’t really get me, all that hyping up, kinda talking before fights. It’s kinda going that way now, the younger, the new breaking through. Everyone I’ve fought I’ve always had respect.”
Fighting in The UFC
Now with his own gym making waves on the global scene. What’s it was like seeing a fighter he has trained in the UFC?
“Aye, Ach it’s unreal, I’d rather see others guys doing well than myself, that type of way. Long overdue. Up north he Norman Parke still doesn’t get half the credibility that he’s entitled to for what he’s done.” “I knew when he came in at the start he just had that grit, he just had that fight in him. I said to him at the start, man, you’ll go places. Definitely got something there, to keep at it.”
And under the guidance of Rodney, that’s exactly what he has done. And with a whole stable of other fighters male and female coming through on the scene, things are shaping up very nicely Next Generation. With such a good vibe and a strong bond in the club, we wanted to find out what it was like watching his students going into battle.
“I’m more nervous actually, cornering for the guys than I’m fighting. Because it’s kinda out of your control and you can’t do anything if they get hurt and I don’t want to see them get hurt, that type of way. So I’d be more nervous cornering than competing or doing anything myself.”
So your career in mixed martial arts has led to a lot of cool stuff?
“Aye, with MMA, been about the world man, that’s what I and Norman were talking about. We’ve been on three or four continents in this year alone with his UFC travellin.”
What Does The Future Hold For Rodney Moore?
“Well 2014 for me. We’re actually gonna run a show of our own in the Waterfront Hall in Belfast on the 30th of August. Irish muscle power, it’s a big fitness expo weekend and they have the whole waterfront hall hired out and we were at the show in the Odyssey. And they came to me after and asked you we be interested in holding an MMA show, the hall free on a Saturday night.
Probably ten amateur fights and 4 pro fights. Probably gonna do this twice a year. One up north and one down south. I’m also trying to organise a white-collar MMA event as well. Apart from that I’m gonna keep training fighters. Just like keeping the young boys off the streets, keeping them sane for a while. So that’s that. Hopefully, get a couple more champions out of it. ”
You can follow Rodney at @imma_gym No bother man 🙂
Image courtesy of Whoa.tv