“ I learned so much from the champion ”
If you’re an aspiring MMA fighter, there’s no bigger star to get a scream than Conor McGregor. The most popular fighter on the planet, “ The Notorious, ” can blow up a fighter’s public profile with a few kind words. This is precisely what he did for Ramston Rodrigues last week when he called the hitherto unknown drummer “India’s next heavyweight champion”.
A side note: A twist of fate would see Mystic Mac’s prediction put to the test almost immediately. Arjan Bhuller, a Canadian fighter of Indian descent, won the heavyweight gold medal with One Championship beating Brandon Vera midweek.
Ramston Rodrigues helped Conor McGregor prepare for Dustin Poirier trilogy fight at UFC 264
Conor McGregor’s approval was not a flippant remark after capturing footage of Ramston Rodrigues on YouTube. It was an exclamation after experiencing the power and skill of the Indian.
An Instagram post showed the pair in sweaty fighting poses on the mat after a spar. The world wanted to know more about Ramston Rodrigues, the heavyweight handpicked by Conor McGregor to get him into fighting shape.
We contacted Rodrigues to get to know him better. A short conversation on the phone brought to light who Ramston Rodrigues is as a fighter.
Sportskeeda: Can you tell us a bit about your experience in combat sports and when we can expect to see you again?
Ramston Rodrigues: I have been an athlete my whole life. Growing up, I was a national level water polo player. I started my combat sports adventure in 2014 and have been the training partner of many professional MMA fighters. My coaches and I haven’t decided on my approach to my pro debut yet, but for now, I’m just happy to help the champion prepare for his next fight.
SK: I see. Where are you based?
RR: I am currently based in Dubai. I was born in Mangalore but grew up in Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.
SK: How did the training session with Conor McGregor go and what did it involve?
RR: I cannot provide you with details of our training and what it entails as it is confidential with the fight to come.
SK: Did you learn anything by training with Conor McGregor?
RR: For a fan like me, acting as a training partner for a global superstar like Conor McGregor is something I hadn’t imagined in my wildest dreams. I learned so much from the champion. People have different opinions on him, but he’s as real as it gets in person. You wonder why he doesn’t train with big names all the time, but that’s part of the man he is.
I think it’s different when you train with big names because you know what to expect. But when you go out with someone stranger, that’s when you take a surprise turn, which shows why the man is ready to fight anyone. He loves what he does and it’s always a joy to train with the champion.
SK: What was your reaction to McGregor’s kind words (“ next heavyweight champion ”), and what were the consequences of his position for you?
RR: The champion was kind enough to write these words. More than the words he spoke to me, it was his support for my great nation that was overwhelming. His generosity is seldom in public. He changes so many lives in so many ways.
SK: How do you see the Conor McGregor trilogy fighting Dustin Poirier?
RR: Conor McGregor is working like never before. His training is an art. He’s only just getting started. We’re eight weeks away, so we’re just getting started. If you ask for my prediction, I would say Conor finishes Dustin in round three.