Mcbryde Mats: Duke, first off, welcome and thank you for taking the time to speak to McBryde Mats and your fans. We’re very excited with the latest collaboration between Roufusport and McBryde Mats and look forward to building a bright future in the MMA industry with you and your team.
Duke Roufus: Thanks, great to be here. The custom McBryde Mats setup we received were beyond anything we ever expected, we’re really happy with it and all the guys say they’re the best mats they’ve ever trained on.
(MM) We’re pleased you guys love them, they look great! Well, without further ado, let’s jump into the questions if that’s good with you?
(DR) Sure, let’s do it!
(MM) Duke, you’re a living legend in the world of kickboxing, how did you get into martial arts and why did you choose kickboxing as your art for your competitive career?
(DR) My father pushed me into it from a young age, i actually had my first fight when i was five years old. I stepped up my martial arts activities after my semi-pro football career came to an end, but my dad really is my inspiration.
(MM) You achieved a lot in your kickboxing career, what’s your most outstanding memory?
(DR) Wow, this is a tough question, there’s been so many amazing highlights over the years. I think one that really stands out was my win over the Greek Australian, Grant Barker, in 1999 to defend the IKF Pro Muay Thai Rules World Super Heavyweight Title
(MM) Do you ever watch your old fights?
(DR) Occasionally, yeah, but it gets me upset because I am so much better strategically and technically as a fighter now, but that’s how things go over time, you learn from your mistakes and improve as a fighter.
(MM) Do you ever think about competing again?
(DR) Sometimes, but it’s not going to happen, I have a young daughter that’s the light of my life now, competing just isn’t something I think about anymore, my last fight was at 38 years old and I’ve had a 20 year long career,.
I’m happy coaching now and I feel my commitment to martial arts is greater than ever.
(MM) What does the average day for Duke Roufus look like?
(DR) I get up at 6:30 am to have my daughter in school by 7. I’ll then come home and do a light workout, eat, do some errands or paperwork and then pick up my daughter from school at 1pm. for lunch, that’s our families main meal of the day, our dinner if you want to look at it like that. Then its off to the gym at 1:30 for some professional class training. I’ll still teach regular classes during the day and get in some personal jiu-jitsu training in the early evening. Other than that its just working with the team and the athletes all day long. Wash, rinse repeat.
(MM) You’ve been prepping CM Punk for his upcoming UFC debut, he caught a back injury in training,
how did that happen?
(DR) Just years of wear and tear brought it on. People don’t realize that these guys spend a lot of time in the ring and practicing, like 300 days a year performing infront of people and that takes its toll over time, he had a couple of nagging injuries that caught up to him, but hes lucky to have the UFC provide him with the best surgeons and he’ll be back in training when he’s fit and ready.
(MM) When he’s recovered and ready, how do you think he will perform in the UFC?
(DR) I’m really excited to see how he’s going to perform in the octagon, I think he’s a super committed guy and really focused and in my book that’s the formula for great success.
(MM) What does an average training session with CM Punk look like?
(DR) He’ll work with the team on his striking and wrestling and receive some more private sessions for pad work and jiu jitsu, he’s really committed to the training and he was doing well right up to the injury, so I’m sure he’ll be right back in it as soon as he’s fit again
(MM) How important is the mental preparation for your fighters & what techniques do you use to increase their preparedness?
(DR) I believe being mentally prepared is the most important part of the game. This is an area my dad really pushed on me and my brother growing up and I think it’s what helped him to the state wrestling title and it also played a huge role in my career as well. Fighting is about instinct and if you are mentally prepared you will react under fire.
(MM) Where do you think MMA is going as a sport? do you like the direction it’s taking?
(DR) Yeah, I think its growing at an incredible rate, its getting bigger and more widespread with everyday that passes, just watching the Michael Bisping fight with Anderson Silva, you can see how big it’s going global as well. Nowadays we have it in almost every country across the world, from strongholds like Brazil to the Philippines. I mean, the top stars get huge media exposure, its beyond my wildest dreams.
(MM) Where do you think the UFC & combat sports as a whole will be in the next 20 years?
(DR) On par with every major sport on the planet, as I mentioned, its just growing so quickly it amazes me. The global footprint is just getting bigger and bigger and its exciting to watch as a coach and a fan of the sport.
(MM) Thanks for your time Duke, good luck to you & your team, any shout outs before we sign off?
(DR) Pleasure, I just want to say before we close this off, that I would not be where I am today in the world of MMA without the help & support I have received from my family, my coaches and my athletes, they are the life-blood of Roufusport and my own life. Everyday I think of how grateful I am to have them in my life. Take care.
McBryde Mats are the official sponsors of all sports surfaces at Roufusport MMA Academy. Duke worked with our CEO, Clayton McBryde, to develop a custom installation for Roufusport that features all logos and graphics hand painted onto the mats with McBryde mats proprietary artwork process, ensuring they can stand up to the toughest abuse of Dukes ‘RouTangClan’ & never wear off, still looking like new years later.
For a custom installation, just like Duke’s at Roufusport, contact us today for a custom quote & join #TeamMcbryde!