Rudy Schaffroth readies himself to take on Tyrell Fortune at Bellator 225. The August 24th card goes in Bridgeport, Connecticut at Webster Bank Arena. Schaffroth vs. Fortune is one of several intriguing heavyweight bouts slated for Saturday’s event. The winner of this prospect vs prospect fight at Bellator 225 could very well propel themselves to fights against some of the competitors in the co-main or main event. MMASucka was fortunate to get some time with Schaffroth ahead of this bout.
Rudy Schaffroth Bellator 225
Schaffroth has been training at Gracie Barra Portland which recently went through a re-branding.
Schaffroth said, “So we just switched to American Top Team Portland. Ed Herman has been helping me out. I haven’t been training with Tyrell’s twin brother. Nothing going on there. Just not working out with him as much. Chael (Sonnen) hasn’t been around. He’s retired now so I haven’t had a chance to be working out with him for this fight. Which would have been good but I still think I’ll be ready.”
I was curious if Schaffroth created a gameplan specific to an opponent versus if he mostly focused on his own efforts.
Schaffroth said, “A little bit of both. We have a gameplan set up, without giving away too much, I think he’s going to take me down. His strongest thing would be to try to take me down. So I’ve been working to get off bottom against the wall in my no-gi sessions. When I’m sparring I’m just working takedown defense, let my hands go. I’m taller and longer than he is so I think I have the advantage on our feet.”
Schaffroth continued, “I do feel confident in my ground game. I train with Fabiano Scherner, excellent heavyweight black belt in jiu-jitsu. I do feel comfortable if I get in a situation where I get taken down. I’m going to feel comfortable putting pressure back on him with submission attempts.”
The card is bolstered with names like Vitaly Minakov, Matt Mitrione, Javy Ayala, Timothy Johnson, and Sergei Kharitonov. There’s a pronounced presence for the heavyweights on this event. Not only that but these are heavyweight players who are in the upper echelon of possible title contenders. Rudy Schaffroth Bellator 225 could potentially lead to a future fight against one of these tenured fighters.
He said, “I think so. I think that’s the case for sure. I think whoever comes out of this fight, the next door that opens is going to be a big name. Tyrell’s hype train is already rolling pretty OK. He’s got some followers and some people behind him. He doesn’t respect me or think my abilities are on his level at all. So I don’t really know how he feels about this fight.
Schaffroth also feels there’s some level of miscommunication in the lead up to this fight and that certain details were misconstrued. Schaffroth said “He also thinks that I asked for this fight and I didn’t. His name was on the other end of a phone call about four weeks ago. So he’s taking it personally. He thinks I have a vendetta against him. In actuality, I don’t think he has enough fame or hype to build off of.”
The Tyrell Fortune drama
Rudy Schaffroth Bellator 225 marks his first fight of the calendar year. After a canceled bout in March with Jeremy Hardy, Schaffroth is chomping at the bit to get back to the cage. He stated, “I’ve been ready for a fight for the last couple months. I’ve been really anxious and getting to that breaking point. When they gave me Tyrell’s name about four weeks ago, I wasn’t super stoked on him as the opponent but I’m gonna have to fight everyone in the weight class eventually. It is what it is. So here we are.”
Schaffroth seems to feel disregarded by Fortune and has his reasoning for feeling this way. He said, “I started by saying that just because of how I knew him and how we were in Oregon. He beat me when we wrestled in a duel. I went to Montana to wrestle, I came back, we wrestled each other in a duel, and he beat me in that duel.”
Tyrell had spoken to some media members and said he didn’t see Rudy as an athlete or someone who’s on his level. There was also a layer of disappointment on Schaffroth’s end when being offered this fight initially. “I wasn’t necessarily super pumped for it when they first said his name but like you said, this is a huge card. There’s big names on this card and I’m very excited for this fight now.”
Schaffroth had interesting logic when I asked him why he was disappointed at getting a bout offer against a highly regarded prospect in Fortune. He said, “I would rather it be for more money. For a bigger fight down the line and higher stakes. 8-0, 9-0, more money. More all those things. Just bigger hype. I’m not going to turn down a fight.”
Both men will enter the cage at 6-0 this weekend. One man will leave undefeated and the other will have a record of 6-1. Bellator 225 goes on August 24th live on Paramount Network. Saturday’s main card goes at 9 PM ET but you can check out the prelims at 5:45 PM ET.