Rashad's next fight will take place on June 7th at UFC 85. He was originally set to take on another UFC legend in Chuck Liddell. Injury forced Liddell out of that fight and he'll now step in with another light heavyweight contender, James "The Sandman" Irvin. Rashad found a few minutes after training to speak with me.
SS: Thanks for taking the time to speak with me Rashad, how's training?RE: Not a problem, training is going really good.
SS: What are your thoughts now that you're fighting James Irvin, and not Chuck?RE: Well, you wait your whole career to fight guys like Chuck, so I'm a little disappointed. You don't get too caught up in though.
SS: Has your training and approach changed with a different opponent?
RE: Not really, Irvin and Chuck are pretty much the same, both are good strikers.
SS: You have been in with some top guys and have done very well, when are you expecting a title shot?RE: Man, that's like predicting who will win the Super Bowl in 2023. I really don't worry about that. I'm very patient. I plan on making my mark in the sport. I know I have the skills to get to the top.
SS: Is there anyone out there you'd like to fight?RE: I don't dislike anybody. This isn't personal for me. I'll fight whoever they put in front of me when the time is right.
SS: You won season 2 of The Ultimate Fighter reality show, do you think you would be where you are today without it?
RE: I believe in myself and my skills and think I'd be at the top either way. I think being on the show just made it all go faster. It opened up some great experiences as far as training from being on the show also.
SS: Putting Matt Serra aside, who will be the first guy from The Ultimate Fighter show to win a title?
RE: Forrest has the next shot. I think Rampage has too much power for him though. I think the first guy guy to it will be either myself or my boy Keith Jardine.
SS: What are your long term goals in the sport and how long do you plan on fighting?RE: I want be the best. I think I'll continue to get better and hopefully win a title and hold on to it for a long long time. I plan on fighting until I wake up and I'm not motivated, when I look at it as just a job.
SS: Thanks for joining me Rashad, it was my pleasure, I look forward to watching what should be an action packed fight with James Irvin in June.
RE: Cool, thanks.