Ricco Rodriguez

Pride Fighting Championships: You're originally from New York. Is there any family with you out West?
Ricco Rodriguez: Nope. I pretty much just packed up when I was 17 and left. My family still lives on the East coast. I moved to California when I was 17. Graduated high school and moved with 150 bucks in my pocket. I knew some friends out there and started training.
Pride: You moved to fight?
Rodriguez: No, I didn't know at that time. I was a wrestler in high school, a national high school champion and a state champion. I basically moved to California and met the Machado brothers, cousins to the Gracies. I trained with the Machado brothers for 5 or 6 years.
Pride: When you look back now, do you think "Damn, I did the right thing when I moved"?
Rodriguez: I don't really sit and dwell about it. I've had a great opportunity. I've lived all over the world. I lived in Brazil and Japan. Living and training everywhere. I've had a great experience, just having fun. I just picked up and did it.
Pride: What do you like about fighting for the Japanese audience?
Rodriguez: I like the Japanese audience because they are so well educated. This is where this sport was pioneered, coming from Pancrase, RINGS and Pride. People know about it. In America, you get 15,000 people screaming and crazy. In Japan, you've got 60,000 people but they're all quiet. They respect the sport. They don't boo when it goes to the ground. They're very patient. They understand what goes on. They're so smart in the aspects of the sport. This is where it was born. The fans still follow you. I still have hardcore Japanese fans that follow me to America and then come back.
Pride: What was the last thing you were listening to in your car?
Rodriguez: 50 cent.
Pride: Some people just call him "fitty." What do you call him?
Rodriguez: Fitty.
Pride: You're from Jersey. You a big Bruce fan?
Rodriguez: Nah.
Pride: You don't like Bruce?
Rodriguez: I give him his props but he's a little before my day. I listen to everything. I listen to Cher. I listen to Opera.
Pride: What was the last good movie you saw?
Rodriguez: Pirates of the Caribbean. Johnny Depp playing a schizo. I liked it.
Pride: Favorite comedian?
Rodriguez: Chris Tucker. He's a funny motherfucker.
Pride: What do you do when you aren't fighting? Do you have a steady girlfriend?
Rodriguez: Yeah, about a year or so. Carrie Lane. She's a little hottie. About 5'6" with E-cups. Check her out at She's a cross between Faith Hill and Pamela Lee Anderson.
Pride: That's not a bad combination.
Rodriguez: No, not at all.
Pride: Do you read a lot?
Rodriguez: Actually, I do.
Pride: What's one of your favorites?
Rodriguez: 48 Laws of Power. I read how to keep my group tight. I'm 25 and been around the world and everyone thought they would get rid of me but here I am.
Pride: Do you feel that you have to prove something to somebody?
Rodriguez: I'm always down, man. People don't think I'm worth the buck they pay me. People are never impressed with what I do. I won the World Championship when I was 19, I was Abu Dhabi Champion and a Brazilian champion. I've beaten some of the best men in the world and people just won't give me my respect.
Pride: Why do you think that is?
Rodriguez: I don't know. People don't like my attitude, don't like my cockiness.
Pride: Are you cocky? Do you think you're cocky?
Rodriguez: Naah, I don't think so. I think I'm just outgoing. I tell it how it is. People can't take my style. If I don't like someone, I don't shake their hand and say, "Hey, how you doing? Nice to meet you." No. I say, "Fuck you. Get away from me. You're a dick." I didn't like Stephen Quadros either and I told him straight to his face.
Pride: What if somebody doesn't like you and they tell you? Can you let it go?
Rodriguez: You know what, I'll always take someone's opinion. They're like assholes, everyone's got one. But, I don't disrespect anybody.