By TXMMA Staff
“Black Spartan” overcame tumultuous childhood to chase dreams through MMA
HOUSTON, TX, March 10, 2014 – Some of you may already be familiar with Rashid Abdullah. Known also as “The Black Spartan,” the Urbana, Illinois native has taken several fights in Houston over the past year. First he fought Travis Tooke at Fury FC 1. A well-known instructor and heavy favorite heading into that fight, many expected Travis to win. What they didn’t expect was that it would come down to a split decision but Abdullah came to fight. More recently Rashid would return to face Charlie Ontiveros on short notice at Legacy FC 27. Again he was a big underdog but he persevered, winning by third round TKO after Charlie succumbed to a rib injury. Not one to rest on his laurels, Rashid Abdullah will step into the cage here in Texas for the third time on March 14th. He’ll again be the underdog when he takes on Alex Morono at the Texas City Throwdown but he doesn’t care. He’s been fighting as an underdog for his whole life.
Read on and learn more about his intriguing story here.
TXMMA Interview – Rashid Abdullah (Old School Combat Gym)
TXMMA – Thanks for taking the time to talk to us. Before we get to the MMA talk, tell our fans a little bit about yourself. Who are you, how did you get into the game, and what’s life like outside of competition?
Rashid Abdullah – A little bit about me, I’m just an individual out of 6 billion people trying to make a positive impact in this world. All my life I’ve had ups and downs, mostly downs. I grew up in group homes and met some great people along the way through my trials and tribulations. Melissa Webster is one of them; she was the head of the last group home I was in. That was a little over a decade ago. As a kid in these group homes in and out of jail i asked myself why is this happening to me. As a young adult I found myself seeking revenge on the world due to these troubles i had as a child. Then September 27, 2013 came around. I turned 28 and realized seeking revenge for the things I went through isn’t doing anything for the kid inside me or the many children going through hard times. Many people like me have a number that describes us. 13.5, 12 juries, one judge, with half a chance. So with my half of a chance I choose to fight. I fight for the kids, the kid inside of me, but most of all I fight for a better day. I fight for the dream chasers.
TXMMA – You’ve fought 3 out of your last 4 bouts here in Texas. Are you here to stay? What was your background before this?
Rashid Abdullah – Yes I’m here to stay. I knew I had to start fresh so the negativity of past wouldn’t haunt my positivity for my present and future. I’m from the Midwest where the corn fields go on for miles, where wrestling is the dominant aspect of MMA. Between group homes I found myself participating karate, boxing, and wrestling. I once trained at the Midwest’s best kept secret, Destruction MMA. I found it through Joe Warden, this is where i found out I had a good chance in this fight game.
TXMMA – One of the cool things we’ve seen from you so far was the sportsmanship you displayed in your last fight against Charlie Ontiveros. What can you tell us about that fight?
Rashid Abdullah – I took that fight on a ten day notice. I didn’t take this fight because I thought I could win, I took it for the challenge. In Charlie I saw a fighter who moved like me but better, so I knew at this point i wasn’t going to be able to beat him with my game plan alone. Then I decided to listen and truly trust a man. I found myself at old school combat gym and went back to the basics. Gene Moreno was the biggest part of my success in this particular fight.
TXMMA – You’ve also fought Travis Tooke and Marty Usman. Out of all those guys who did you learn the most from and who are you training with now to improve even further?
Rashid Abdullah – Those guys are what you would call two of my losses, I say they were lessons. In the Travis fight I found out you can lose due to an inch. A simple takedown took everything from me. You should acknowledge a man’s select skill and the color of his belt but when the cage locks and it’s just you, your opponent and the referee you should no longer respect it. No disrespect to Travis.
TXMMA – How would you describe your style as a fighter?
Rashid Abdullah – I am a fighter who will do whatever it takes. I am The Black Spartan, the one and only. No more going to decision or leaving it up to the judges, i have found myself losing sleep over it. I will be going home victorious or leaving on my shield.
TXMMA – What do you know about Alex Morono?
Rashid Abdullah – The truth of it all is you can try to learn about your opponent via Facebook, the internet, or old fight footage but that’s not him. That’s not who I will be going against in that cage. All I know is we both lost sleep due to a decision on November 1, 2013 in Humble Texas.
TXMMA – What can fans expect from you with this performance?
Rashid Abdullah – Like I said I’m The Black Spartan, one of us is going out on my shield. I believe I will win this fight by digging deeper to succeed than he will. There is nothing else to say, we both signed our name on that dotted line.
TXMMA – What else would you like to accomplish? Any other goals for the near future?
Rashid Abdullah – My biggest goal right is to find good sponsorship opportunities and the support I need from fans so I will be able to chase Legacy’s welterweight title.
TXMMA – Any last words for the fans? For anyone else?
Rashid Abdullah – I want to give a shout out to Valencia King my one and only mama and Frednando Abdullah. To my brothers. To Gene Moreno my head trainer. To Joe Warden and Todd Angel for all their help in the beginning of my career. To the new love of my life Ashley Richard. To some of our sponsors Glove Game, Club Yakom, Swaggacity.com, and Bite Me Mouthguards. To all my fans, especially my biggest fans Max Dattillo, my best friend Riley Douthit, Kevin Kade, my little big brother Omar Abdullah, Dallas Paskell, Morgan Ohiari, and most of all the kid inside me. Thank you all, and thank you Mike for giving me this interview. I will see you all March 14!