Dana White said that Brett Rogers coming to the UFC would be like a deer in headlights. First off, a deer in headlights would be the smallest deer in the world. That’s the type of deer you can fit in your pocket and impress chicks by placing it on the table while it knocked over their glass of rum and coke in Bambi-like fashion. Neither of those scenarios have happened. It’s not 2009 anymore. The MMA landscape is different, and Bellator recognized this by signing ‘Da Grim’ to an exclusive contract, enabling the former Strikeforce heavyweight fighter to make his debut this Friday at Bellator 71 against Kevin Asplund.
After three arduous years, we finally caught up with Brett Rogers and asked him every question you wanted to know — even the bad stuff. He didn’t let back, and we published everything he told us. We’re not sure if this is the the first time he opened up about his 2011 domestic violence incident, but for the sake of all things awesome, we’re going to assume it is.
[important title=”We’ve been trying to contact you forever…”]”Man it’s been some sh**, it’s been hell these 365 days but I’m back on with a top show, Bellator, and I’m feeling good man.”[/important]
[important title=”Go back to 2008, your agent at the time said that Alistair Overeem had two chances to fight you and that he turned them down, is that true?”]
“Yeah I do remember that situation, Alistair did have chances. It was such a long time ago, but this is how I remember it: we bumped into each other at a fight show and that was when I was trying to figure out who was who and who I should be fighting. Alistair was obviously the champion, the champion out of the East doing it real big over there. I saw him as a great fight to conquer, I wanted to fight the best and I still want to fight the best. At first it was arguments between managers, then the managers and the organizations and then it got to me and him, we had our words. I told Alistair we’re either going to fight now or fight later…so let’s get this going.
When our fight came about, it was an awakening moment for me because I’ve never fought anybody at that level. It showed me that I have things that I need to work on, and I’ve been working on them. There’s been a lot of real-life ‘events’ going on in my life. The way I see it is Bellator is my first fight coming back from…whatever, the BS that’s been going on in my life this past year and time to start moving forward, and hopefully successfully.” [/important]
[important title=”Before you were fighting, you worked at Sam’s Club. Has your life sort of went in reverse the past year?”]
“I’ve been down in the money department. I haven’t fought anyone to earn money…you can kind of guess the bills have been piling up. I went back to Pioneer Press working newspaper routes and a lot of people want to give me sh** for it but when it comes down to it, it keeps me out of trouble. Ever since that event, I’ve been trying to keep it real with people. People want to talk shit, some people want to give me positive words and motivation. This is real life. This isn’t a movie. It is what it is.
Bjorn [Rebney] did not have to put me on Bellator. He could have said ‘Brett, you’re too hot for me to touch right now,’ and not in a positive way. I promised him, I gave him my word that if you put me on, I’m going to fight to the best of my ability.”[/important]
[important title=”Recently Alistair Overeem tested positive for a banned substance, what’s your take on this?”]
“Alistair felt that it was OK to do what he did because it’s allowed in Japan and out in the East. So coming over here in the states he felt he could still do that stuff and get all cocky, but it caught up with him. I knew, I’m not stupid. You can look at this man and tell that he was on something. Everyone knew that was the case and all he needed to do was stay off of them. His confidence would have been a whole lot different in our fight with it than without it.
I’m not knocking him, but someone in his management crew should have told him to leave it alone. It’s on him, so whatever is about to happen to him is about to happen to him.”[/important]
[important title=”What’s your opinion on TRT?”]
“If I say yes to TRT, then I need to be saying ‘yes’ to whatever Alistair is on. It’s an enhancer! I’m all for natural supplements, but some of these enhancers is getting real borderline to the numbers on the steroid charts and if you’re doing something that approaches those numbers, you’re not keeping it real with everyone.
I’ll tell you what, I got my steak and potatoes, my fish and rice and I try to keep it real. I’ll throw a vitamin in my system, just normal stuff that I can get from GNC. Those types of enhancements I’m down with and anyone can talk to me about that.
I’m not down for PED and TRT, because most of it is going to bite you in the ass in the end.”[/important]
[important title=”What went wrong in your fight against Fedor?”]
“What went wrong…I was thinking too much and I never fought a guy on that level. I just beat Andre and I felt great about that, still do. Then I got to Fedor, I knew who Fedor was…but I didn’t really know who he was. If I was to fight Fedor today [pauses and laughs], it definitely would have been a different me. That’s all I know.
Living and learning, Fedor is a guy — when it comes to his MMA and tactics, keeping himself safe…I could tell he was a different type of fighter. I cracked him here, cracked him there and he was still standing in front of me.
I felt that I won the first round and in the second, I thought I would have to just take this man down and get him out of here, like what happened against Bigfoot [Silva]. Another side of me said that I needed to keep my combinations and stand with him. I was thinking too much. Next time I would go with the flow and whatever is going to happen is going to happen.
Like I said, I didn’t know too much about him at the time. When I was introduced to Fedor, I knew that he was getting a lot of credit out East and in Pride. I felt this was an outsider coming into the cage and that’s all I needed to know. [I knew that] he liked to box and you got to watch his hips.
It felt like my career shot up so quick and I was moving so fast that I couldn’t really see what was going on and then I got to Fedor and what happened, happened.”[/important]
[important title=”How did your EA Sports MMA deal manifest and how much were you paid?”]
“Well, it was a lot of cash just to stand there and take pictures. My manager had connections, so I bumped into the EA guys, they were real cool and we kind of hit it off like that.
They came out to the gym and took some photos of me, it was kind of weird man for me to just take some stills [photos] and the game exists.
I made a nice little dime off of that. It was cool. I hope I get approached with that same situation with Bellator’s upcoming game.”[/important]
[important title=”On Inside MMA a few years ago you said that you turned down the role of B.A. Baracus in the recent remake of the A-Team movie, is that true?”]”Yeah, that’s true. That is true. I couldn’t see myself doing it at that time because at that time it was in between Alistair and Fedor and I wasn’t about to mess that opportunity up. I also felt my reading wasn’t on par to take on such a big movie role, especially a Mr. T role. I didn’t want to disrespect him.”[/important]
[important title=”Back in 2009 you cut a PSA for dog fighting, do you remember that?”] “Yeah, ‘Knockout Dog Fighting.’ That was me. I still throw that out from time to time, I still let people know in my neighborhood how to prevent animal problems, because some people just don’t know.” [/important]
[important title=”On June 29th 2011 you were arrested and charged with domestic assault in the third degree and the endangerment of a child. I know it’s a subject that you don’t want to get into, but I’m sure my readers will appreciate you if you are 100% honest with them.”]
“That day [long pause], after the fight with Barnett, anytime after a fight we get together with family and friends and we were having a small get-together. We’re still new to the neighborhood out here, new to the suburbs and we were trying to get to know our neighbors. We have one neighbor that’s pretty loud and then another neighbor on the opposite end of us that’s the complete opposite, but real opinionated. She had a problem with my dog because her son came behind my house one day when we weren’t here and out of town, I warned the kid that yeah he’s a nice dog, but he still needs to be trained. He’s a three-year-old so you know it’s in one ear and right out the other but I told the mother and I had signs around my house that said ‘Be careful of the dog.’ He didn’t pay attention to it, so when he opened the gate, my dog did what he was supposed to do and protect the house and check out anybody that’s foreign to him. So the little guy came in my backyard, the dog tackled him I suppose, and nipped him by his nose. I don’t know if he nipped him or scratched him, but somehow the boy was hurt by my dog.
Of course he got to the hospital because my step-mom was around and she called the cops, the cops came out and did what they needed to do…take the dog. The mother [of the kid] had things to say to me, we tried to keep it real and adult-like because there’s no sense in being loud, she knew I was going to take care of it.
My wife approached her, lady to lady, saying ‘is there anything we can do to help?’ It turned out the little boy had stitches, four to six stitches on his face. She was real sensitive about it, and I understand it was a life or death situation, but she was like ‘F*** you’ even though we could have taken care of the medical costs. It could have gone a lot smoother, but she wanted to be stern, and that right there was pretty stressful. It was stressful in our house and we [my wife] were going back and forward, trying to figure things out. Keep in mind, my wife and I have been together…forever. We’ve been married for eight years, we’ve been together for a good eleven or twelve [years], so it was just normal arguing. Losing the Barnett fight, the stress from the dog incident, the aggressiveness of that day and week… [long pause]
So later that day, we had company, some drinks. The company was new to us, and it got to a point where the ladies were arguing back and forth about the dog situation. I got to the point where I needed to say everything I needed to say to the woman, and I couldn’t do or say anything else. It was whatever for me. My wife was still going back and forth with this woman trying to calm her down and figure out the situation and she wasn’t getting into what my wife was saying. She [the mother] was taking her frustrations out on her [Brett’s wife] and I was taking my frustrations out on her [his wife].
The law [police] came out and said that I said that I wanted to kill the woman [the mother of the kid], I know I talk a lot when I get angry…but that was all bullsh**. I told that to them, the entire story and how the woman was being irrational. My wife had my back on that one, and the cops left. Later that night I felt the party was over for me. I was drinking, I actually had a lot since it was after a fight. I’m not a drinker, but I will drink for a special occasion.
I was done with the scene that night, and then I was awakened by my wife and I’m taking all kinds of heat. I’m being yelled at, I’m being screamed at, doors are being slammed, a whole bunch of craziness is just going on. I didn’t understand why my wife was yelling at me and why we are all of a sudden ‘into it.’
I knew a lot of stuff was in the air, but at this point I was just beyond myself and mad. Furious. Pissed off. Whatever word you want to use. She’s cussing me out, I’m cussing her out and it got to the point where property was starting to get damaged. It was really loud, the neighbors were nervous and scared. A lot of that added up to the equation.
Me and my wife, we were just at a point in life…I just lost my [Strikeforce] contract, I didn’t know what I was going to do. My neighbors were getting on my nerves…my head was just all over the place. My wife was throwing plates and glasses at me…
We just miscommunicated…[Long pause]
It was a hellish moment. I feel bad for putting my hands on my wife because I am not that type of person, you can ask anybody that knows me. That’s just not in my character…but we all know that it happened and I’m still apologizing to this day. I feel really bad that my family had to go through this, we’re all going through this together and I could never say enough ‘sorrys’ to my wife and I’m going to continue to say ‘I’m sorry’ to her. This is the mother of my child, [tears up] this is the mother of my kids. I shouldn’t be this upset towards her. It happened, I put my hands on my wife and it’s just been horrible. Very horrible.
I did my time in jail, I’m on probation until the end of 2013 and I accomplished my anger management class. I passed my chemical dependency test. Now we’re getting along great, our communication is greater because of counseling, we’re still in counseling and we’re just living and learning like everyone else.
Sh** happens, but that sh** ain’t happening again.”[/important]
[important title=”Alright on to Bellator, have you been watch Cole Konrad’s fights since he’s been the heavyweight champion?”]”Yeah I’ve been watching his fights. I’m not really on it yet, but he knows that I’m going to be headhunting for him if everything falls in place. He’s a big guy, but to me he’s a smaller guy. I’m definitely taller. My reach is a little bit longer than him. He’s no punk when it comes to wrestling, I give him that. For now, I’m going to take every fight one at a time but I’m keeping in mind who’s on the top, and he’s holding my title.”[/important]
[important title=”In order to get your title shot you’ll have to go through the Bellator heavyweight tournament, do you think anyone out there besides Cole Konrad poses a true threat to you?”]
“When it comes down to it, Cole Konrad is going to be the tough one to take down. Let’s face it, this man has multiple wrestling acclamations saying that he’s going to hold his ground and take people down whenever.
Eric Prindle can pose problems because of his height and striking. I’m debuting in Bellator this week so by the time I see them, I’ll already be down in California training with Josh Barnett and his crew and in Florida training at American Top Team. They have some big guys out there that I would love to work with. That’s probably where I’m going to go after this [Bellator] fight.
Up to this point I really didn’t care so much about jiu-jitsu because I felt that punches would kill jiu-jitsu. I’m going to work really hard on my jiu-jitsu and really hard on my wrestling. Everything else I feel like I’m comfortable with. Really, I have to look past Cole Konrad if I go to the UFC. People need to stop pretending like that’s not going to be an option.
If you’re at the top then I need to be in that organization. Number one, man. Going forward.”[/important]