Chad “Robo” Robichaux is a veteran of Bellator FC, Strikeforce and various regional promotions across the United States. One glaring omission – and one he hopes to change – is a stint in the UFC.
The Woodland, Texas, native is a former Marine who has received numerous medals, including the prestigious Medal of Valor. Robichaux has used his story to author a best-selling book, and spends time doing various speaking engagements across the country talking to veterans, church audiences, and the like.
Lately, despite a glowing 19-2 professional record, this bantamweight Brazilian jiu-jitsu wizard has been spending more time on the speaking circuit than fighting. In fact, Robichaux hasn’t been in the cage since May 2012, when he defeated former UFC fighter Joseph Sandoval via first-round choke.
According to Robo, the time off has been unwanted to say the least.
“I haven’t been as active as I’d like to have been,” Robichaux told MMAWeekly.com. “It’s really hard at 19-2 – especially with my finish record – to get guys to fight me in those smaller level shows.”
For the 37-year-old Texan, a call-up to the big leagues solves that problem – overnight, if need be.
“I was in the UFC, then they’d be forced to fight me.
“I’m always waiting for that call so, yeah, it’s been frustrating. I want to get in there and I want to compete. I’m always in shape. If the UFC calls and says, ‘Hey, can you be here Friday?’ I’m always ready to take it, I feel.”
After amassing a 17-0 record since debuting in 1999, Robichaux met Humberto Deleon at Strikeforce: Houston in 2010. On that night Robichaux defeated Deleon via split-decision, marking the first time he had a fight go to the scorecards.
Since debuting in Strikeforce and moving to 18-0, Robichaux has lost two of his last three fights. In this game, however, losses come with the territory. At 19-2, Robichaux holds an impressive career record, with 18 of those wins coming by way of stoppage.
The BJJ black belt has fought for a litany of top-level shows and smaller shows alike. And at this point in his career, Robichaux believes it’s about time to put the air-plane-hangar-circuit shows to rest.
“I could be shooting myself in the foot by not taking the smaller fights, but that’s something that I feel like, in my career, I’ve already fought all those small fights. I want to fight the best guys,” stated the 37-year-old.
“I don’t have the desire to beat up on young up-and-coming guys. I want to fight with guys that I can contend with. If I spend all that time getting ready for a fight, I want to go in there with someone who is going to get the best out of me.”
Robichaux feels so strongly about procuring a path to the Octagon, that he even parted ways with his management in hopes of finding new representation that could handle his needs at this point in his career. The thought of ‘shooting himself in the foot ‘ is interesting, as with each fight he doesn’t take, time ticks away on his 14-year career.
He says it’s not “UFC or bust,” but it’s all about finding the best path to the Octagon.
“Your manager can be a great friend,” he said. “But sometimes things don’t work out on the business end. So, I parted ways with my current management and I’ve gotten a new manager that really believes I should be in the UFC. We’re hoping it pans out and I get a contract with the UFC and get in there with who I belong; the best in the world.
“For me, and this may be arrogant sounding, but I believe the only guys I belong with – with my level to compete at – are in the UFC. That’s where I really feel like I need to be.
“I’ve fought in Bellator, I’ve fought in Strikeforce, and the only thing I feel is left is to fight in the UFC. I really feel like there is nobody on their roster that is out of my league. I have to make sure that all paths lead to that. I can’t just be taking fights to fight, now.”
Sure, Robichaux is 37 years old, and that never looks good to a company who is in the business of building stars. Robichaux, however, is a special case of talent and backstory. With the UFC’s propensity to hire former fighters for community roles after their careers end, you’d be hard pressed to find a more qualified candidate than the worldly 135-pounder.
The criticism about age is bound to flood Robo’s eardrums wherever and whenever his next fight may be, but that’s not something this “seasoned” vet is worried about. In fact, he likes it this way.
“The biggest thing I get criticized about is my age, but at 37, I feel the most athletic I ever have in my life,” he proclaimed. “I’m the most skilled I’ve ever been in my life. I feel like I’m in my complete prime right now. I always say that if a 25-year-old me fought the 37-year-old me, the 37-year-old would whip that 25-year-old’s butt.”
This always gets brought up when discussing older fighters, but with the ageless MMA icon Randy Couture recently turning 50, it’s hard not to look at the fact that Couture was 37 in 2000 – years before he became a household name.
Age aside, sometimes you just can’t tell a fighter when to hang it up. And with a glowing record and pedigree to his credit, Robichaux is trying for one final push to greatness.
Time will tell if he is, in fact, shooting himself in the foot.
Be sure to Like MMAWeekly.com on Facebook and Follow @MMAWeeklycom on Twitter.