Saturday April 7th the Red Bears will take on the TigerSharks and the Lions will go up against the Silverbacks at 7:30pm at The Mark of the Quad Cities. Three fighters, Ben Rothwell (Silverbacks), John Gunderson (Lions), and Brad Blackburn (Tigersharks) gave their opinions today on their preparations for their fights.
John Gunderson, the lightweight fighter for the Lions, discussed his upcoming fight against Bart Palaszewski, who is considered one of the top lightweights in the IFL. “I’m the one who has to prove myself really, Bart’s already proven himself in the IFL. He’s already a star; I’m a guy who’s trying to be a star.”
Gunderson expressed his preference for knockouts over submission victories in discussing his win over Razorclaws fighter Josh Odom, saying, “Even though I got the submission of the night, and [won] the trip to Jamaica, I still wasn’t happy… I felt like I let everyone down that was watching.”
Brad Blackburn, the Tigersharks’ 170 pounder, knows that he needs to perform in his upcoming bout against the Red Bears’ Mark Miller. Miller recently beat Delson Heleno, but Blackburn admits he doesn’t really know much about his opponent. “All I know is he’s a well-rounded fighter, and he’s gonna be in shape… I’m just gonna have to feel this one out and make it my fight… when that bell rings he’s not gonna come at me with anything I haven’t seen before.”
After the Silverbacks’ loss to the Anacondas earlier this year, Coach Pat Miletich pushed the Silverbacks hard in camp. In preparation for his bout against Roy “Big Country” Nelson, Ben Rothwell stated that it’s been “the hardest training I’ve done in the 3 years I’ve been here”. Rothwell went on to discuss his opponent, saying that Nelson is an “accomplished grappler, tricky on the ground… he wants to get this fight on the ground, that’s just the way it is.”
“Everybody knows my strengths,” continued Rothwell, “I’ve got good takedown defense, and if I don’t have to go to the ground, then I’m not going to, so it’s up to him to get the fight to the ground, because that’s where he’s going to want it. If he wants to throw his hands then that’s fine too, I’m out to get the KO, there’s nothing new with me.”
The Silverbacks’ Ben Rothwell (HW)