“Sassy” Cassie Rodish returns to the Invicta cage for the third time on April 5th against England’s Simona Soukupovaon at Invicta FC 5.
Looking to move to 3-0 under the Invicta banner, and 5-3 overall, Rodish is also looking to put her name in the conversation of contenders at 105lbs. Quiet outside the cage, but angry within it, Rodish wants to continue her current four fight win streak on April 5th.
Corey Smith: You jumped into MMA after taking a kickboxing camp, switching over to Muay Thai and getting addicted to the sport. What was the extent of your knowledge of the sport at that time?
Cassie Roddish: I had no clue what MMA was. I had never seen a fight on T.V. or live. As a child my father was big into Karate. When I was little, he owned a gym and did private lessons. At the time I was too little to be involved, but I remember growing up listening to stories and looking at pictures. So I guess it’s in my DNA.
CS: What discipline of MMA is your favorite to train? And what is your least favorite?
CR: Hard question!! I truly love all combative sports. My training philosophy has always been to train your weaknesses. In my last fight my opponent had a good Judo Hip toss. The last few months I’ve been working with a couple Judo Black belts to work on my defense as well as adding some throws and trip to my game.
CS: You train primarily out of Des Moines Jui Jitsu in Iowa. What is a typical day of training like?
CR: I do a really good job of dividing up my training. I get a couple sessions of Pads, jits, wrestling, judo and sparing in every week. I feel like I’m cheating myself if I only train one discipline at a time. Doing it this way also keeps up my excitement for the sport. I don’t ever want to get bored with my training.
CS: You turned pro in 2010, how long had you been training at that point?
CR: Not very long at all, maybe 6 months. It was a horrible idea and I wish someone would have told me to wait. At the time I never saw myself really going further in the sport. Fighting was fun and I would have done anything to get in the cage.
CS: A common expression is that you learn more from your defeats, than you do from your victories. After losing the first three fights of your career, you have since won four in a row. What did you learn in those first three fights that have helped you in the past four?
CR: Any time you get into the cage you are going to learn about where your strengths and weaknesses are. The biggest thing I learned was how BIG my heart was. I hated to lose, that feeling ate me up. I wanted to train harder and be the best I could be. Everyone gets knocked down, it is how you pick yourself up that matters.
CS: In the past you have fought as high as 135lbs, but now you fight at 105lbs. Do you feel like this is your natural weight class? What are your thoughts on the talent level like at 105lbs?
CR: Now that I’ve had the opportunity to fight at 105, I can’t believe that I ever fought at a different weight class. That goes back to that old mentality of I will do anything to fight. Luckily we have great organizations like InvictaFC to give us these opportunities. The 105 division is stacked. The level of skill in this division is sick and there are new girls emerging all the time.
CS: What types of superstitions do you have before on fight day? Do you keep the same routine leading up to the fight?
CR: I don’t have any crazy superstitions other then I will never walk out to a song I used for a fight I lost. I won’t even listen to the song on the radio. One time I was sparring light and a song came on that I lost to, and I bloodied my partner’s nose. I just got so angry that I couldn’t help but go hard.
CS: What type of feedback and coaching do you prefer during a fight? Whose voice do you look to the most?
CR: I’m very hard headed so I need a coach to be the same. It’s not very lady like but I don’t mind if my coach uses “sailor language” before we hit the cage. It’s a fight and angry seems to be contagious. In the cage I love it when my coaches are vocal about the things I am doing right. If I land a hard kick I want to hear “AHH!!” It pumps me up and mentally chips away at the opponent.
CS: You have fought on two past Invicta events, and are scheduled to face England’s Simona Soukupovaon on April 5th at Invicta FC 5. How has your experience been with Invicta so far? What separates Invicta from other organizations that you have fought for in the past?
CR: I love Invicta and everything it stands for. It gives many, many women the chance to showcase their talents. Before Invicta, I was begging for fights. I was lucky if I fought twice a year. Invicta gave me the chance to turn fighting into a CAREER, not a hobby. The people that are involved with Invicta really care about the fighters. I could walk up to Shannon or Janet and give them a big hug and kiss on the cheek and that would not be abnormal. They are building a family of warriors!!! You will never find a promotion that treats their fighters as well.
CS: With an organization like Invicta holding regular all female events, and the UFC adding a women’s division, what are your thoughts on the state of women’s MMA?
CR: I’m very, very excited. I think it’s awesome for these women to be getting a little recognition. Once people get to see more female fights, I truly believe the men will have to step it up to keep their spots on the cards. The one concern I have is shows picking up a few fighters under contract and not sharing in the talent pool. That will only hurt WMMA.
CS: When you aren’t training, what types of activities do you enjoy doing? What helps you unwind after a long day of training camp?
CR: I like the outdoors. I love sitting by a bonfire and watching my kiddos catch fireflies. Anything the involves chilling with my family is my kind of heaven
CS: Fighting is equally a team sport as it is a individual sport. Who would you like to thank?
CR: I have an amazing team at Des Moines Jui Jitsu. Doug Ownes and Donovan Carboney are my two head trainers. They are amazing and inspire me to be my best. Angela Barr is my go to girl for training. She kicks the tar out of me all week. I have a wonderful group of trainers at Crossfit515, that keep me strong, including Michele Clark. I have the opportunity to travel and train this camp so big shout out to Summer Arthenton, Jessica Philippus, Barb Honchak, Sarah Maloy and her team. I’m so blessed to know such amazing women in this sport.