In an extended, two-part interview with Rattling the Cage MMA's Tony Reid, Kevin "The Monster" Randleman expresses gratitude for the current state of mixed martial arts, and nostalgia for the raw old days.
"MMA is the best, the largest growing sport in the world right now," said Randleman. "Thanks to guys like Dana White, the Fertitta brothers, Scott Coker, Bryan from Pure MMA, Titan, Bellator...Thank you guys for helping guys like me know that we have a future and that we can be something, even if it's just to my son, and my son says, 'Wow dad, that was you. I want to be like you.' I'm thanking you for that."
Those however are not The Monster's sole feelings on MMA.
"The early days of the UFC was pure. It wasn't a bunch of commercial s---. It wasn't a bunch of f------ bureaucrats trying to change everything, and you didn't have owners that thought their s--- didn't stink."
"There were no weight classes. It was just two guys in there. Guys could be 40-pounds heavier or bigger. Now, everyone is crying about a difference in five pounds."
"Nothing is ever going to be pure again like that. Granted, now the changes in rules is for the safety, but back in the day, it was as raw as it gets."
"I've always given accolades to (the UFC) for everything they've done for the sport and keeping it around, but the bottom line is, they're not the f------ sport. Every guy that fights, we're the sport, and without us, there ain't, there won't, there is no fights.
"Until we get together and unionize ourselves, there's not going to be a bigger payday... It's going to take another company with a guy with some big money that can take fighters away with big money and big promises, and you know what, it's coming."
"We as fighters, we're entitled to half of the pot. Without the fighters, the UFC would fold. Without the fighters, Bellator would fold. Without fighters willing to bang every day, it would fold.
"There should be insurance for every fighter that's on the company's f------ payroll. You should have insurance just like any other company should have. So if you're training and you're under contract with the UFC, you should have health insurance and life insurance.
"(MMA) is not a rich man's sport. It's just rich men that own the sport. It's a blue collar man's sport, and blue collar men should have more say in what goes on...You ain't Michael Vick, and we ain't f------ dogs."
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