11-04-2007, 11:47 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
| | Interview w/ J-Roc
Conversation with TUF6's Jared 'J-Roc' Rollins - 11/4/2007 |
by Ron Merrill
Born and raised in Southern California, Jared 'J-Roc' Rollins was a three sport athlete in High School and attended Chapman University in Orange County on a football scholarship. While at Chapman, Rollins studied Jiu Jitsu under the legendary Carlson Gracie at the age of 22. A quick learner and natural athlete, he competed in the 2002 World Championships with only three years of training.
Rollins graduated from Chapman with a B.A. in Advertising, but realized he would rather pursue his passion to be a MMA fighter.
As seen this week on The Ultimate Fighter 6, Rollins was the 7th competitor overall to drop his preliminary elimination bout when he suffered a knockout at the hand of George Sotiropoulos.
Inside Fighting: What was it like to get the initial call that you were accepted to appear on the show?
Jared Rollins: Yeah, it was pretty exciting because at first when my teammate [Rob] Emerson told me about the show I wasn't too ecstatic about it. I didn't think it was that big of a deal. But then when I got there and saw Dana White and the Spike executives I realized it was, so...
IF: What did you walk away from?
JR: Just training and fighting. I had just gotten back from an event in Japan. I had just gotten back from a fight actually when Emerson told me to do the tryouts. I was a pro fighter. I didn't have any other job or anything. I was teaching Jiu Jitsu at my academy and my school and training and that's it.
IF:Who were your inspirations in the sport?
JR: That's a good question. Just the other fighters that I've watched who are going for it, winning their big fights and making a name for themselves. It could be anyone as far as the upper echelon. Some of the big name guys that I've watched over the years in smaller events who've worked their way up. You know? No one inparticular though.
IF:When you arrived at the house did you have any preference for which team you were placed on?
JR: No, there's positives and negatives to both teams, you know? I felt like if I was on Matt Serra's team there would be a lot of cool opportunities to learn a lot of Jiu Jitsu. And if I was on Matt Hughes' team, which I was, then it was a good chance to learn some good wrestling and some of his tricks that he's got. So either way it was good.
IF:How big of an adjustment was that for you - the life in the house and the production being around you?
JR: Yeah, it was a big adjustment. I never really adjusted to that. You can't get used to that. You can't get used to coming home from practice and not being able to watch TV or having to practice without music, or cutting weight on a treadmill without your I-Pod. You know? It's just weird.
IF:You fought later on past the mid-point of the production. Certainly there would have been advantages to fighting early or later. Which would you have preferred?
JR: Earlier for sure. Nobody wanted to fight late. You're just there for however many weeks you're there before you fight and you're just training. And it sucked, you know? It doesn't suck to train, but it's just the situation that you're in, you know? You want to fight soon. You don't want to fight too early because even Mac [Danzig] was going crazy in the beginning because he got his first fight over with and it took so long. He had to wait and he just wanted to fight again. He's like, "Man, I want to fight, you know? I'm over this." So either way. I would have rather fought kind of half way like around when Billy [Miles] fought.
IF:Was there tension between you and George Sotiropoulos aside from the normal pre-fight tension?
JR: Yeah and no. We were just kind of unsocial with each other and didn't talk much. I didn't hold much of an opinion of him because I didn't know him, you know? So we didn't have a relationship like I did with some of the other guys on the team - Dan [Barrera] or [John] Koppenhaver - or some of the other guys that I knew a little better because I would talk to them, you know? George was just kind of there doing his own thing. He wanted to win the show. We all did. He was just focused on doing his thing.
IF:Let's talk about your fight a little bit. How big of a factor come fight time was your rib bruising?
JR: It wasn't. I mean, when you step in there whatever injury you've got just pretty much goes away. I don't know if its the adrenaline or what, but you kind of just forget about all the worries and aches and pains. When you step in there initially and you get ready to fight you're not thinking about that because you're thinking about that guy that's on the other side of the Octagon.
IF:Fight training obviously isn't basketball practice, but do you feel that the training had become unnecessarily rough or retaliatory?
JR: Not retaliatory, but sometimes it was excessive on the way they would take it. I think part of it stems from...Matt Serra has been in the house before so he knows that not only is it physical but it's a mental endurance game, you know? And Hughes? He hasn't been in the house. He's been a coach but he hasn't lived under those conditions. So he can't really empathize with what the fighters go through.
IF:That's a really good point.
JR: Yeah, Serra's been there. He actually went through a season if you remember. It's like he knows what it's like to be there. Whereas Matt Hughes, he's a great fighter and he's accomplished a lot. But as far as seeing how it is when you're in that house? Man...nobody knows unless you've been there.
IF:And this is kind of jumping ahead, but you're getting into one of my other questions. In your opinion what factors do you think contributed to the run of bad luck that Team Hughes was having? Did you just mention a major one?
JR: Probably some of our training habits. I don't know. I think some of those losses were the fighters' fault as much as it was the coaches' fault. I always feel like when a fighter loses it's like a 50/50 deal. Partly the coach, partly the fighters. I mean, the fighter has got to get in there and do his part. The coach did his part leading up to the fight, so once you're in there you gotta do your part. I don't really feel like it was him. I feel like some of the stuff that he said after the fights wasn't necessary. I think his attitude on the way that he saw the whole show was that it's him versus Serra. It wasn't for us. It's like when we were losing he was like, "You're making me look bad." You know? "My name is on your back. My name is at the center of the Octagon." He made those comments a couple times on the show and it was like, "Yeah, we know that, dude. Get over it though. Why don't you help us win these fights?" You know what I mean? That's how I see it.
IF:You said "training habits" but it looked like at least by the way you guys were edited you just went balls to the walls every time.
JR: We did, but I didn't feel like we did enough live sparring. We did a shit-load of wrestling and grappling and a lot of bag work. But I felt like we should have used Coach Pena more during sparring. We only sparred live a few times. Not as much as we should have though.
IF:Let's get back to your fight. We had seen a lot of post-fight confessionals with Matt Hughes and a lot of talk about not following the game plan. What was the game plan going into your fight and did you follow it initially?
JR: The game plan was we wanted some ground work for sure. Pretty much the game plan was the ground, you know? Obviously it didn't get there, so I didn't do my part. As far as him really working on a game plan, pretty much before the fight started I was working with Pena in the Octagon doing hand pads and that was pretty much the only time I got to work with him. Before the fight he was holding pads for me when we were doing our pre-fight planning. I don't know if that got me in the mode to want to stand, but the game plan was the ground. George was a black belt. And Matt Hughes, from training with me felt like, "Hey man, he's strong enough to take this guy out." So that's how it went.
IF:Was Matt Serra getting in your head? Were you even able to hear your own coach?
JR: Yeah, I could hear him. He was just super loud. I could hear him, man. The guy is just vocal. I can just remember during the fight thinking, "Wow, he's loud." Geez, man. Yeah, dude. He's loud. After the fight when I commented on him I was pissed off, you know? I was really pissed off.
IF:Absolutley. So what's next for you?
JR: Fight in the finale in December and go from there, you know?
IF:What will you take away from the experience as a whole?
JR: Just all the elements of being in front of the camera, doing the interviews and the confessionals, being in the house - just all that stuff makes any fighting situation that I'm in after that a lot easier, you know?
Sounds like he has a good head on his shoulders. It'll be interesting to see how he does in his next fight.
11-04-2007, 02:03 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
He has a really good point about Serra having the experience of being on the show that I hadn't considered earlier. I hope he gives a good show in the finale cause I really want to see him bring his A-game (hoping that wasn't his A-game on the show)
__________________ Favourite Fighters: Fedor, Sakurai, Aoki, Sakuraba, Cotoure, Kang, Big Nog, GSP, Sudo
Originally Posted by Quinton "Rampage" Jackson
I don’t talk crap about nobody until after I whoop their ass except in some cases if they have bad breath or they ugly as hell.
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