Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Buzz gets ready for Bob Sapp

By David West

Robert “Buzz” Berry talks to FCF about his upcoming match with Bob Sapp. Berry is one of the top heavyweights in the , but at 250 pounds he’ll be outweighed by at least 100 pounds when he faces the giant American. The two came face-to-face at Cage Rage 20, when Sapp was called out by Dave Legeno, only for Berry to jump into the ring, grab the microphone and announce, “I’ll take the fight, Bob.” Now, his wish has been granted and he’ll tangle with Sapp on April 21st at Cage Rage: Judgement Day.

Why do you want to fight Sapp?
“It’ll be nice to fight Bob to get more recognition internationally and hopefully go to or Pride. It’s a big chance for me.”

He’s a mighty big guy. Are you bothered by the size difference?
“No, as much as he’s big, his jaw line is the same as mine. If he gets caught on the jaw, he’ll go out the same as anybody else. Yeah, he’s a big guy but he’s been beat by smaller guys, so there isn’t a problem there, I’m not bothered about that.”

What do you think Sapp’s strengths and weaknesses are as a fighter?
“His strengths are obviously his size and his power. His weakness is that he’ll gas really quick, so it’s a case of taking his shots and seeing what comes.”

This is the first time you’ve headlined Cage Rage. Do you feel any extra pressure being top of the bill?
“It’s all new, but it’s all good stuff. It’s nice to get recognised a little bit more. I don’t think there’s any extra pressure, it’s just nice to be able to fight someone like Bob Sapp. It’s once in a lifetime you get to fight someone like Bob, I may never get that chance again.”

You had a pretty easy time in your last fight against Mark Buchanan.
“Before the fight I heard that he was a half decent stand-up guy and that he was going to stand up with me, wait for me to tire, then take over. As soon as we went out and I went to chuck my big punch, he shot in and took me down. I thought, well, why didn’t he want to stand up with me? On the floor I have good jujitsu skills, so as soon as he went to get mount, I felt his weight go to the side so that’s when I reversed him and took mount on him. When I started punching him, he didn’t want to know, so that’s why he tapped out.”

Now that Tengiz Tedoradze is the British champion again, do you want another shot at him?
“I’ve been training with Tengiz, I go down and train with him every week. I think Rob Broughton was frightened of Tengiz. Broughton’s only twenty-four, I think he showed Tengiz too much respect. Instead of going in with his hands, he tried to cover up and that’s when Tengiz chucked his hands, got in, supplexed, and as soon as he supplexed him and Rob felt his strength, that shook him up even more. I’ve fought Tengiz twice and been beaten twice, although the first time I should have beaten him. He’s a good guy. After our first fight, he said ‘Buzz, can we train together?’ I said, ‘No, I want a rematch’. So we had the rematch and he beat me again. He said, ‘Now we train together, Buzz?’ I said, ‘Right, no bother’, so I went down to train with him. Paul Murphy, his manager, said, ‘You know Buzz, coming down here and training with us means you can’t fight for the belt’. I said, ‘You can keep your belt, because I want to go onto bigger and better things.’”

With the UFC coming to the , if they called would you go?
“I’ve signed a contract with Cage Rage for another three fights. It would be nice, but I’d have to stay with Cage Rage. Bob Sapp is more important. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to go and fight in the UFC, but the fight with Bob Sapp is just as big as a debut in the UFC.”

I know you’ve wanted a fight with James Thompson for a while. Is that on the horizon?
“Hopefully this year. Dave O’Donnell and Andy Geer were talking about a couple of guys they could line me up with. Obviously James is one of them and they were on about Butterbean, Kimo, so I keep my options open. I’ll have a go with anybody, but yes, I definitely want to fight James Thompson.”

What do you think about Randy Couture coming out of retirement?
“Randy Couture was always my favourite fighter. I admire Randy for what he’s done in his career and at his age as well. I think coming out of retirement, it might be on his mind to have one more fight and go out on a win, rather than going out getting beat. I wouldn’t want to go out on a loss; I’d want to go out on a win. It’s the same thing with Ian Freeman, when he got beat by Melvin Manhoef then came back and beat Mark Epstein for the British Light-Heavyweight title. Now Ian’s retired, he’s gone out a winner with the title.”

Any predictions for the Bob Sapp fight?
“I’m definitely the underdog, but bigger shocks have happened. I’m going out for the win. It’s David and Goliath, but if the right shot connects and if he tires, who knows?”

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