Not long ago, Brett Rogers had worked his way up to the top of the Strikeforce heavyweight division, knocking out former UFC champ Andrei Arlovski and earning a shot against Fedor Emelianenko. However, two losses later and Rogers found himself outside of the Strikeforce spotlight and competing in another promotion to work his way back up.
On April 9, Rogers will face longtime heavyweight contender Josh Barnett in the opening round of the Strikeforce Grand Prix. For Rogers, he knows it’s a second chance; another opportunity to prove he’s among MMA’s elite.
“That’s exactly how I feel,” Rogers told ProMMAnow.com. “I’m down two. I’m hungry and it’s time to get in and tear somebody’s head off. It just happens to be Josh Barnett. He’s going to be standing across from me. I’m not talking as if he’s nothing. I’m not going to lie to you, the man is great. But this is definitely going to be the time for him to get the loss.”
After dropping consecutive bouts to Fedor and Alistair Overeem, Rogers got back to his winning ways on Oct. 23, taking a unanimous decision over Ruben “Warpath” Villareal. Already with the experience of competing against Strikeforce’s best, Rogers feels more prepared mentally this time around.
“I had to reset and I had to kind of think about what’s going on and I feel composed,” Rogers said. “Had to get these lungs right, get this heart right and get this head right and [now I'm] moving forward.”
While Barnett is a dangerous opponent, he has tested positive for performance enhacing drugs on more than one occasion. As a result, he still hasn’t resolved his licensing issues with the California State Athletic Commission. Nevertheless, Rogers said that he hasn’t lost focus.
“If it’s over there [in Japan], I’m sure the timeframe is different but I’ll adjust,” he said. “I’m not going to lose focus off of [my training]. I’m gonna go out there and throw some hands and some legs and trade with him.”