Written By: AJ Hoffman
One of Houston’s hometown boys is taking the big step up to the national scene this weekend, as Chad “Robo” Robichaux (11-0) fights on the main event of Bellator 41 this Saturday, April 16th on MTV2.
Robichaux will take on current Bellator Bantamweight Champion Zach “Fun Size” Makovsky in a non-title bout. The format of Bellator forces all fighters to win a tournament before being considered a champion. “No one has defeated a reigning Bellator tournament champion,” Robichaux said. “I am really looking forward to being the one who breaks that trend.”
Robichaux has had big fights lined up before that fell through at the last minute, including Manny Tapia. Having things fall apart at the last minute is making this crack at the big time all the sweeter. “It feels really good to finally get the opportunity to compete at this level. I’ve had so many near misses and come close to getting to this level, so I am thrilled that it is finally going to happen.”
His opponent, Makovsky, comes into the fight carrying a 6 fight winning streak. He was a Division 1 wrestler at Drexel University, and had experience in Elite XC and Deep before coming to Bellator. “Zach is one of these guys, because of his wrestling pedigree, walked right into MMA and started competing in big shows,” Robichaux said. “He didn’t go through the small show level, which makes it really easy to find tape on him. He is easy to watch and to learn his style. He is very consistent. He does things very basic and the same every time, but he is very good at them too. I am very fortunate to have several good, southpaw wrestlers in my camp at Gracie Barra, which probably has me more prepared than most.”
Makovsky has had five fights over the course of the last year, while Robichaux has had only three fights in the last six and a half years (several of which were spent doing eight tours in Afghanistan). Robichaux says the time away from competition doesn’t bother him. “I don’t get flustered in competition. I’ve had enough life experience that keeps me poised in competition. I don’t walk into this intimidated or feel like I have cage rust or something like that. Walking out to the cage is no different than going into the gym with my training my partners. When you do the things I did overseas, it makes you realize that this is just a sport. There is a referee, there are rules and I am fighting a 135 lb. guy. What’s the worst that could happen.”
Robichaux has been criticized locally for not taking enough risks with his opponents on his way to the unblemished record. “I fought the fights that were available for me at the time. Most of those fights were a long time ago. Were some of those fights easy for me, hell yeah. I’m not ashamed with how I got to my record. I have fought some tough guys more recently, and obviously now I am fighting Zach. I fought Din Thomas as an amateur in 1997 and lost. I lost twice as an amateur. Since then I have just fought who I have been able to fight.”
As far as this fight, Robo says he is feeling good coming in. “I know everyone says this, but this is really the best I have ever felt at this point of the weight process. I feel strong, and I am very confident because of that. I have had cuts before, where I was just miserable. I feel great now.”
The event will be in Yuma, AZ, and will be held outdoors. Robichaux says the climate won’t effect him. “I’ve fought in the desert before. He is from Philadelphia. If we were fighting in the snow maybe he would have an advantage, but I think this is going to play to my strengths.”
Robichaux also recently signed with Alchemist MMA, headed up by MC Hammer and Lex McMahon. “I just thought they were a really good fit for me. Kelly Crigger of Ranger Up brought me in. He introduced me to Lex, and our visions for where I wanted my career to go matched up. It was a no brainer. Out of 20 guys on the Alchemist roster, I think 15 of them are in the UFC.”
A win over Zach Makovsky would certainly open some eyes. Robichaux making a mark on the national scene would not only be huge for his career, but could potentially open the door for the Houston MMA scene as a whole.