Mike Brazzle wants Takayama vs Don Frye type fight at Shamrock FC 275
After a more than four-year layoff from competitive mixed martial arts, 28-year old Missouri native, Mike Brazzle (3-1) returns to action.
Brazzle will headline Shamrock FC 275 at the River Rock Casino in St. Louis on Friday, September 9 when he goes toe-to-toe with Aaron Highfill.
Brazzle’s last fight was on July 28, 2012 when he TKO’d Alex McKinney in the first round at Shamrock FC – Chaos.
It was Brazzle’s third consecutive win and his third consecutive first round finish. Things were looking up for the youngster as his only loss, his first pro fight, ended via disqualification from an illegal knee during a fight that he was winning. Had the knee not happened Brazzle believes he would be undefeated.
We had a chance to speak with Brazzle to talk about the circumstances that caused the layoff and what it will be like to return to action.
MyMMANews – Mike, obviously the million dollar question: You had an impressive three-fight win streak and then all of a sudden you are not fighting. What happened?
Mike Brazzle – “Well, my girlfriend at the time, she was pregnant and I just felt like my training was bad, my heart wasn’t there, we weren’t in a very good financial situation and I felt like I wasn’t there enough. I wasn’t dedicating enough time to my family, taking care of my daughter, and then when I was in training, my heart wasn’t there, my head wasn’t in it, I wasn’t focused and dedicated to fighting to the way I needed to be at. I wasn’t an amateur anymore. I couldn’t go just three times a week and still get away with it. I just wasn’t ready for what was handed to me. I was 24 or 25 then and I was trying to figure out life and how to be a father. I made the decision to do what was important for me and my family. I couldn’t dedicate myself to fighting. My number one goal was to be the best father I can be.”
MyMMANews – When did it click in your head, when did the though of making a comeback, getting back in the gym for training and fighting competitively spark again?
Mike Brazzle – “It never went away. I’ve never been far away from the sport or what is going on in the sport in the area. I had a fight scheduled a year or two back but it never went through. I’ve always wanted to fight and now I have the opportunity. I have to support the family still. It’s a skill I’ve continued to develop. I’m like a painter who has learned how to paint for eight years and just not painting anymore. I’ve learned how to fight and now I’m going to use my skills to make some money and support my family.”
MyMMANews – After four years off how do you find yourself in the main event?
Mike Brazzle – “I’ve been fighting for Shamrock since 2008, 2009. The promoters and the matchmakers know what I am capable of. They know I come to put on a fight. They know I come at you no holds barred, I’m coming after you, and they know how much I hate to lose. They’ve seen where I came from and what I transitioned to and I think they have faith in me when its fight night. And when it’s fight night I come to win. I was the one who reached out to them and said I wanted to fight. They said they had a fight September 9 and I said, ‘I’ll take it.'”
MyMMANews – You mentioned that you had a fight scheduled a few years ago. What happened that it fell through?
Mike Brazzle – “A lot of bad of stuff was going on in my life. My head wasn’t right. The timing wasn’t right. The last four years were tough. It fell through. I thought we were fighting at 170 (pounds). The guy thought we were fighting at 185 so he came in at 186 when I weight 170. I said ‘I’m not gonna take the fight.'”
MyMMANews – Here we are now, a week out from Shamrock FC 275 and you are taking on a guy named Aaron Highfill. What do you know for him and how do you prepare for this fight after the long layoff?
Mike Brazzle – “I really don’t know much about Highfill. I watched what I could watch on him. He looks like a strong guy. He looks like a wrestler. He looks like a game opponent which is exciting for me. I think this is going to bring out the best fighter in me. I know he has heart and a game plan, but I’ll just take what he gives me. I’m confident in my own set of skills. I going to find where the openings are, push the pace and see where the fight goes. If I see a strike, I’ll take the strike. If I see a takedown, I’ll get the takedown, but I’m not going to force anything. He’s a brawler. If you get caught, anybody can get caught. Ask Robbie Lawler.”
MyMMANews – Is this fight at 170 pounds then?
Mike Brazzle – “It’s 175. Highfill stepped in late so it is a catchweight. Original opponent had a cut.”
MyMMANews – Being the main event, what kind of reception do you think the fans are going to give you since this is a comeback fight?
Mike Brazzle – “Hmmm, that’s a good question. I didn’t even think about that. Being in the main event, I’ve been in pressure situations like this before. I’ve got nervous. I get anxious and excited, but I don’t think being the main event will add to it because I was going to feel that anyway. As far as reception, I have a whole bunch of friends and family coming out so I’m sure the reception will be great. As far as Shamrock….. it’s a completely different organization now than when I left. To see them now and what they have become from what it was then, I’m excited. As far as fans, I don’t know how many I will have out there but they know from past experience that I come out to put a fight on for them. I think I will be well received.”
MyMMANews – “If you had to pick one area of mixed martial arts that you feel is your break and butter, one area of expertise, what do you feel that is?
Mike Brazzle – “It would have to be my wrestling. I wrestled since I was 12 years old. Sixth grade to senior year in high school. I played some football in college. But right after wrestling I went into MMA. My wrestling coach from high school was fighting and freshman year in college he told me there was a fight at 170 pounds and asked me if I wanted it and I’ve been fighting ever since.”
MyMMANews – In a perfect world, how do you see this fight on September 9 going down?
Mike Brazzle – “In the fight game I hate making predictions but like I said, he’s a game opponent, I’m a game opponent. Actually in a perfect world it would Takayama – Don Frye. That’s actually the dream fight or Edson Barboza heel kick knockout.”
Done Frye fought Japanese professional wrestler Yoshihiro Takayama at Pride 21 on June 23, 2002. In a fight that many consider to be one of Pride’s most exciting matches, Frye and Takayama clinched in a hockey fight pose, each holding the head and hitting, with Takayama finally going to the body after more than a full minute of unrelenting, undefended shots. This would happen three times in the fight, until the referee stopped the bout after Frye mounted Takayama, who was visibly much worse for the wear.
Full Shamrock FC 275 Fight Card Below: