Rodolfo Marques is on a four fight win streak (MMA) and the veteran is planning on making it five at Hex Fight Series 4 when he fights again in October 2015.
Fight News Australia’s Emma Challands goes toe to toe with the BJJ black belt talking all things MMA in Australia, his dream of competing in the UFC and why he’d like to be Jose Aldo for just one day.
Fight News Australia: For those readers who don’t know your story, tell us a little about your background: how you came to find mixed martial arts, when you decided to make it a career, and how the move from Brazil to Melbourne came about?
Rodolfo Marques: I first started training in Capoeira when I was very young, about 8 years old. I played soccer for a long time but I stopped to start working to help my family. In 2004 I started training BJJ with my friend Thier Tavares and with my master, ex UFC Fighter, Rafael Carino who introduced me to MMA in 2006 when I was a blue belt and I still lived in a small city in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 2008 I moved to the city to start my fight career at Nova União Central gym. I had the opportunity to train with guys like Jose Aldo, Marlon Sandro, Leo Santos , Vitor Shaolin before finally relocating to Melbourne, Australia.
Fight News Australia: How hard was it relocating to Melbourne and culturally adapting to the Australian way of life?
Rodolfo Marques: The move was made easier because of the support of my family that came with me. I feel I can adapt anywhere, anyway, especially here in Melbourne, which is the best city to live.
Fight News Australia: Your recent showing against, New Zealand based, Scott MacGregor at Minotaur 1 went the distance, however you controlled the fight from start to finish to take the win via unanimous decision. How did you see your performance and what improvements can you make going forward?
Rodolfo Marques: I trained a lot in my standing game for this fight, however I am a black belt in BJJ, and have good wrestling, so why not push the fight to my comfort zone? Anyone can punch and kick but in BJJ skill is paramount. It was a tough fight and I left some space in my game.
Fight News Australia: You’ve been exceptionally busy in 2015 with fights at Hex FS, in March and July, Minotaur 1 in mid August and Kings of Kombat, just this past weekend. Most fighters are lucky if they fight twice a year, is there a reason why you’ve decided to go down this route?
Rodolfo Marques: I have tried to work very hard for all shows that have given me fights by giving good exposure to the event via social media, with friends etc. I do a good job for them and this is my point of difference between myself and other fighters; I work hard out of the cage as well as inside. I try to fight very clean and not get injured so I can keep going on my journey.
Fight News Australia: Your last opponent was Kelly Chan at Kings of Kombat, what are your thoughts on how this fight went and why did you decide to take on a purely Muay Thai fight as opposed to an MMA fight?
Rodolfo Marques: MMA fighters are complete fighters so they can compete in any sport whether it is BJJ, boxing, kick boxing etc. My fight at Kings of Kombat was tough, I lost via split decision but I am still very happy because I am an MMA fighter first and I have nothing to prove. I took the fight to provide entertainment and have some fun inside the ring. Following Minotaur 1 I had some little injuries which effected me during the fight with Chan; he is a good fighter and I gave me best when I was there. Full Mauy Thai is not a good style for me but I decided to try it anyway. Now it’s time to rest and keep focusing on my next MMA fights.
Fight News Australia: How are you finding working on your striking with Christian Ennor, who coached Sam Soliman (former IBF World Middleweight champion)?
Rodolfo Marques: Christian was the first trainer that I found here in Melbourne as I was teaching at Extreme MMA in Melbourne and so was he. We created a good relationship that has gone from coach to friend to father figure (laughs). It is great to train with him and I have learnt many things from Sam Soliman through the process as well.
Fight News Australia: Do you believe you can compete at the highest level training here in Australia? And how do you find the overall standard compared to other countries you have experienced?
Rodolfo Marques: For sure I can! In other countries they have big teams like Nova Uniao, Blackzilians, American Top Team etc. however we have great training partners in Australia, friends and people supporting our careers. In the future, we will have strong teams in Australia that will rival all the other big teams around the world.
Fight News Australia: You have set a goal to compete at UFC193 in Melbourne in November. What do you believe you need to do to get a spot on the card?
Rodolfo Marques: So, I’m a dream fighter, a veteran holding a four fight win streak in Australia. I am also the number 1 ranked fighter in pound for pound by in the featherweight and bantamweight divisions by tapology. If I don’t deserve the shot yet, I will keep working on my journey until I get the chance.
Fight News Australia: What do you think the impact of an event like UFC193 will have on the sport of MMA in Australia?
Rodolfo Marques: More jobs and sponsors to grow our sport and the opportunity for people who don’t know the sport well to get a better understanding.
Fight News Australia: You trained with Jose Aldo back in the day, so your prediction may be a bit biased however how do you see his match up with Conor McGregor playing out?
Rodolfo Marques: I don’t think it’s an easy fight but Jose has already proved countless times that he is the complete fighter in that division.
Fight News Australia: Just for fun – if you could be anyone for a day, who would it be?
Rodolfo Marques: For sure Jose Aldo because he will smash McGregor in the cage.
Rodolfo would like to take the opportunity to thank his family, trainers Christian Ennor and Dave Tuinauvai, training partners, friends and the following sponsors: Bullterier Japan & Bossman Combat Sports.
You can find Rodolfo at: