HOUSTON, TX, December 8, 2011 – Leading up to HDNet’s Legacy Fighting Championship 9 on December 16, one of the most covered stories pre-fight involves the upcoming fight between notable BJJ Black Belt Frost Murphy and Chris “Chop” Rucker. This all started with Murphy’s announcement here on TXMMA that he would be dedicating this fight (his pro debut) to the HeartGift.org charity, setting a goal to donate $22,000 so that one child could get life-saving charity and donating his own purse and all proceeds related to this fight to that effort. While that’s a noble cause and a worthy gesture indeed, due attention needs to be paid attention to the man that will be opposite Murphy when it’s time to lock that cage next Friday night in Rucker, who’s also quietly committed to donating his purse to his opponent’s charitable cause.
That’s right, Rucker is donating all the money he could make from this fight to his opponent’s cause.
As he told TXMMA.com, Chop isn’t doing this fight for the money. Before the fight with Murphy even came along, he was going to donate his purse to charity in any case. Then this fight came up and it presented the present the perfect opportunity to give to something worthy while allowing him the opportunity to compete. Yet despite all the attention that’s been paid to the HeartGift effort, Chop has been silent. “I’m not really the time to talk about my good deeds,” he says. Yet he’s doing it anyways. There’s something to be said for the kind of person who would go out of his way to help those in need without being prompted and without the desire for attention. On top of all that, he’s undertaken the challenge of taking on one of Texas’ top grapplers – one that’s competed on the world stage – in his own professional debut. Talk about heart and courage indeed.
We had to find out more about Chop Rucker on the way to HDNet Legacy Fighting Championship 9. Read on about what makes him tick, why he decided to take this fight, and more in this TXMMA.com pre-fight interview.
Interview – Chris “Chop” Rucker
First of all, congrats on your upcoming pro debut Chop. How does it feel to be making the leap?
Thank you much mike. You know progress always feels good.
When you reflect back on your amateur career, what were the most memorable moments for you? What were the toughest times, either in training or in fights?
Well the most memorable moment for me was win the referee held my hand up after that first win. It was such a good feeling. As for the toughest times, for me it was about finding the right gym. i moved around to a couple of gyms until I found Paradigm. It was definitely one of the highs in my life to finally feel like I found a home.
How do you feel like you’ve grown as a fighter to get to this point?
I feel like I’ve grown in every aspect of my game. I actually just earned my blue belt under coach Igor Santos, I think my wrestling has tremendously improved, and my hands are even crispier than ever.
Can you share a little bit about your life outside of training? Who is Chop Rucker and what makes him tick?
Well what some people may not know is that I’m a class a licensed barber, hence the name “Chop”. I am also a proud father of two. Other than that, I’m just a regular ole’ guy.
This fight with Frost, the charity aspect has been a big aspect of it. How do you feel about that?
I feel helping others is always good. I’m really not the type to just brag about my good deeds but I feel this is a good thing. I was actually going to donate my purse to the Wounded Warriors Fund before this fight with came up. I really don’t know too much about my opponent’s charity but I’m glad that no matter how this fight goes, everyone will come out a winner.
Are you really donating a portion of your purse to charity? Why did you decide to do that?
I’m actually donating 100% of my purse. I just looked at it as an opportunity to help out. I didn’t want to take away from such a noble gesture you know. I wanted to add to it.
Does the charity aspect distract from your preparations for this fight at all?
Actually, I am more focused because of this.
Moving on to the fight itself, how’s this camp been for you? Who’s helped you prepare?
Camp has been pretty intense. Of course all the great guys at paradigm helped me like I do for them. I’ve also been working with some new coaches: MMA/wrestling coach – Coach Frank; Boxing Coach – James Pritchett, and our new All-American wrestling coach – Coach Grant Johnson. I also want to give a shout out to one of my training partners who have been there for me in and outside of the cage, Jason Friedman; the same with Mike Bronzilla “The H-Town Killa” Mike Bronzoulis. <laughs> He is a real friend, along with the rest of those guys and I want to give them thanks.
What are your thoughts on your opponent? How do you plan on nullifying his strengths and where do you feel you have the advantage?
I think Mr. Murphy is a dangerous opponent and I respect him. You really can’t say what will happen when you step in the cage with a black so my plan is to leave everything in the cage and put on a memorable show.
Any predictions as for how this fight will end?
I do a have prediction – a very entertaining and exciting fight and hopefully with a little blood for all the fans.
What’s next for you after this fight and what are you looking forward to in 2012?
In 2012, I’m looking to solidify myself as a force to be reckoned with in the world of MMA. That’s about it.
Why should fans look forward to watching you fight next Friday night at Legacy or any other time?
Fans should look forward to watching me because I’m hungry… Starving actually! I will put on a show every time. Those who watch me know!
Do you have any last words before the fight?
I just want to give a very special thank you to Paradigm and all of the coaches, fighters, members & staff. i would like to say “I love you” to my children – Bobbie & Mylia. i would like to say thanks to my sponsors: Studio Houston barbershop, Bakdo Entertainment, Grappling Fight team (GF Team), and Headquarters barbershop. I would also like to thank Legacy and the fans. If I forgot anybody else, thank y’all too!
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