As Bellator approaches their next middleweight tournament, Brian Rogers is ready to show a new kind of animal that all 185lb fighters should fear.
Rogers has been one punch or one kick away from making it to the tournament finals each of the last two times he’s been in the tournament, but things ultimately didn’t go his way.
As explosive and dangerous as any striker at middleweight, Rogers’ aggressiveness and willingness to throw down with any opponent has also come back to bite him in fights with Alexander Shlemenko and Andreas Spang.
Now the former school teacher is training full time, traveling to work with top teams like Firas Zahabi and his students at Tristar gym in Montreal, and it’s creating a whole new and more dangerous version of Rogers.
“Being full time definitely helped, but I tried to look at myself outside the box and look at myself as a fan and as a coach, and evaluate my performances on film, and be brutally honest with myself about things. I took a look back and decided it would be best to go full time, and just train, and it helped out in my preparation just in my strength and conditioning with my skill, my technique and everything else,” Rogers said after his win over Dominique Steele at Bellator 78.
The new, more controlled aggression allowed Rogers to absolutely batter Steele over the full 15-minutes, but when the finish didn’t come from some deadly combinations landed, the Ohio native didn’t rush in to try to force things as he had done in past fights. Instead, Rogers backed out, reset, and continued his assault on Steele.
The end was result was Rogers first unanimous decision win, and he looks at that as progression in his game and proof that he can go 15-minutes and be just as dominant as he does in a 2-minute knockout.
“I kind of thought that’s how it may go. It’s been kind of a goal of mine to have a unanimous decision win. Not a split decision, not sneak one out, just be in control for 15-minutes and I think that’s what I was able to do tonight,” said Rogers.
“It’s a small notch on the belt for me, now next time I’ll try to get 10-8 rounds on the way.”
Rogers isn’t done evolving just yet either. The win over Steele was a way to get back on track and show off some new tricks.
The real evolution of Brian Rogers will show when he enters the next Bellator middleweight tournament, and all of the 185lb fighters have been served notice as of now that he’s back and more dangerous than never before.
“I’ve got a ground game that no one’s seen yet because they haven’t put me there, and I haven’t needed to put them there,” Rogers said.
“I’m just excited to keep evolving and keep moving forward, kind of a mentality switch overall.”
UNCASSVILLE, Conn. — Bellator up-and-comer A.J. McKee is grateful for the lessons from his dad about how to thrive in and out of the cage.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>
The Bellator roster continues to bloom with the signing of former UFC title challenger Valerie Letourneau.Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC read news >>
Ilima Macfarlane is determined to be part of the inaugural Bellator women's flyweight championship fight. She doesn't know when the belt will be introduced or who her opponent would be, but said she' read news >>
Valerie Letourneau has become the latest UFC veteran to ink a deal with Bellator MMA. read news >>
A fourth championship fight will unfold when Bellator makes its debut in New York City on June 24 as Phil Davis will defend his light heavyweight championship against Ryan Bader.Filed under: Bellator read news >>
Following an injury to Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal, light heavyweight champion Phil Davis will step in and put his belt on the line at Bellator 180. read news >>
0-0. In certain contexts, it's a pretty auspicious pro MMA record. One of those contexts occurs when you see the 0-0 on a pay-per-view card. There aren't many modern fighters this side of CM Punk who read news >>
Bellator MMA today confirmed the main card for its second pay-per-view event while confirming additional bouts for its Spike-televised lead-in, Bellator 180. Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>
The biggest night in Bellator history continues to grow, as the fight promotion on Tuesday firmed up addition bouts for Bellator NYC and Bellator 180. read news >>
Bellator MMA is returning to Oklahoma with a main event pitting Patricky “Pitbull” Freire against Derek Campos. read news >>