Christopher Boykin, better known as Big Black from MTV's reality series Rob and Big, is a huge MMA fan.  He has gotten into the game via sponsorships that include such big names such as Brett Rogers and King Mo Lawal. In this exlcusive interview, Big Black talks about his passion for MMA, what he's bringing to the game, and about a major surprise involving Strikeforce.

Interview by Kalin Johnston.

KALIN: I'm here right now with Big Black, star of the highest rated show in MTV2 history Rob & Big, what's up Big.  For people that don't know, you are very knowledgeable in the sport of mixed martial arts.  How did you get your start following the sport?

BB: When we had the Rob & Big show we got invited to a lot of UFC fights and I really liked them.  I used to wrestle in high school and I boxed a little bit as well.  Later on I saw Strikeforce and that's when I really started getting into it.

KALIN: When we were in Nashville you were telling me about how Brett Rogers life story inspired you to want to sponsor him and out of all of the fighters you sponsor he is your main guy.  Tell us how all of that came together.

BB: We were looking for fighters to sponsor with my clothing line Double B.  I was looking at some people who were up and coming and trying to make a difference and stuff like that.  One of my guys told me about a guy named Brett Rogers who was working by changing tires at a Sams Club and was just fighting part time.  I was like dude this is the type of guy that I would like to wear Double B.  I like his story man.  His story really inspired me.  I was like hey lets sponsor this guy and see how it goes.  I flew up to Minnesota, met him, met his wife, talked with his friends and family, and it started a great relationship both as friends and a sponsorship.

KALIN: Brett only has two losses in his fighting career and both of those are to top fighters in Fedor and Overeem.  What's next for Brett Rogers?

BB: He went back to the drawing board.  There is a lot of things that he's got to learn.  He's fighting guys now that have got experience.  He admits himself that he didn't look good against Overeem.  For some odd reason he looked even better in the Fedor fight.  I told him; MMA is not basket weaving bro.  You win some and you lose some, but the winners come back from their losses very impressive.  If you're going to get in the title game you have to really impress.  He's looking forward to his next fight and he's going to impress everybody when he comes back.

KALIN: Is he at a place now where he is training full time?

BB: Yeah man he's training full time now.

KALIN: You said that you wrestled in high school and did some boxing.  I know that Shaquille O'Neal is looking to get into MMA.  Would you be down for a celebrity fight with him?

BB: Nah I don't get into all that man.  I'll leave that to the professionals.  I'm pretty sure there is a lot of people out here who would like to fight Shaq.  I know Shaq personally so I don't really want to fight him.  I'll sponsor him though.  I'm more into the business side of things.  I'm into sponsorships, making money, and helping people...not fighting.

KALIN: Aside from Brett Rogers, who are some big name fighters that you are sponsoring or have your eyes on sponsoring?

BB: I'm going to start sponsoring King Mo Lawal.  There's a few other Strikeforce guys that I have my eye on.  I don't really deal with the UFC much.  That's an organization where the guys aren't allowed to do much.  It's like one or two guys make all the money and the rest can't get much.

KALIN: We'll get back to your view on the UFC here in a minute, but first King Mo is a great guy and I think you two will make a great team on that sponsorship deal.

BB: Exactly.  I held a mirror for him in his fight against Mousassi.  He had to look good.  I like his personality man.  He's good for the sport.  He doesn't take himself seriously.  There's nothing worse than a fighter who takes himself too seriously.  King Mo is in the gym joking and walks to the ring with a crown and dancing girls.  I really like Mayhem Miller.

KALIN: Speaking of Mayhem, what did you think about the post fight brawl in Nashville?

BB: It was unfortunate that it happened, but I feel that there was too many people in the cage to begin with.  I feel like the Diaz brothers shouldn't of been in there.  I think the only people that should have been in there was Jake Shields, his trainers, the ref, Gus Johnson, and then if they wanted bring Mayhem in.

KALIN: Now that Kimbo has been cut from the UFC there is a chance of him potentially making the move to Strikeforce down the road.  Is that a fighter that you would be interested in sponsoring?

BB: You know what man Kimbo has his own set of sponsorships.  I like Kimbo as a person, I like his management, but I feel like Dana White used him.  Dana White called the guy out, got him on his Ultimate Fighter show, got the best ratings on Spike TV ever for that show, gave the guy two fights, and then dumped him.  If that ain't a used situation, then I don't know what is.  If they didn't have Kimbo then the ratings on that season of The Ultimate Fighter would have been trash.  I feel like he should of given Kimbo at least four fights before he put him out of the organization considering he won his debut.  I feel like Dana White totally used him and I would totally welcome him to Strikeforce.  I would like to see him and Brett Rogers fight because in Elite XC those guys were mouthing off and trying to get something going.  I would like to see Kimbo fight Brett, Bobby Lashley, and somebody with a more similar style to his.  He's been fighting bigger guys.  Mitrione is a pretty huge dude.  I just feel like he was used by the UFC and then pushed aside.

KALIN: Whenever I'm talking or writing about a situation I try to be as real as I can about things.  In the UFC Kimbo was 1-1 with his only loss being to an undefeated fighter.  Between him having an even record and bringing in monster ratings, I don't see how the UFC could of let him go.  Kimbo himself claims to not be a good fighter, but that he tries his hardest and keeps trying to improve.  Makes me feel bad for the guy.

BB: Well look at UFC.  Mr. White bad mouthed Mr. Coker about bringing in Herschel Walker and then he turns around and brings in James Toney.  At least Herschel has been doing karate all of his life and is a black belt.  The mans been doing some type of mixed martial arts his whole life.  To criticize one organization and say that they're bringing in an over the hill guy and then you bring in Toney...that's contradictory and hypocritical.  That's why I don't really watch UFC.  That's why I like Strikeforce, because I can go to a fight and I can see a father with his son at the fight, eating popcorn, and not spending $300 for just decent seats.  It's not restricted to corporate sponsors and people who have the money to see it.  I don't want to see that as a consumer.  I'd rather see something on CBS where people can watch it for free or Showtime or something of that nature.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy watching UFC the times that I do, but I would never attend a fight.  I don't want to go.

KALIN: What about how Scott Coker handles his business makes you such a big supporter?

BB: I love how Mr. Coker handles business.  He's a great and outstanding guy.  He's a great business man and I like him as a person.  I've talked to him on many occasions and he's just a great outstanding person.  I like how he runs his organization.  I wish Strikeforce nothing but luck.  Whenever they do an event the UFC always tries to rival it, but there's enough money to go around with everybody.  There's enough fans to where if you like Strikeforce you like Strikeforce.  If you like UFC you like UFC.  Like somebody told me, when you think of tissues, you think of Kleenex.  UFC is the Kleenex of mixed martial arts, but there are other brands that you can use.  There's other brands that work and do very well.  I think that Strikeforce is a very organized and doing well organization.  You're going to see in the fall how good these guys really are.  There's a lot of stuff on the horizon that nobody is talking about that's going to be real big for Strikeforce.

KALIN: Why is Fedor not fighting Overeem for the title?

BB: Well Overeem was over in his neck of the woods in Japan fighting and doing his thing and there was a problem with Fedor and his contract and what was going on in that end.  I guarantee that if Fedor beats Fabricio Werdum on the 26th you might just see that fight.  Like I said before, there is something really big coming this fall with Strikeforce.  Just be watching.  Just be watching, because they will set the MMA attendance record before the UFC does.  Watch what I tell you.


Kalin Johnston

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Comments  

 
#1 Guest 2010-08-31 11:50
I like this interview, man.

It seems very natural.

How did you get into contact with BB, you don't mind? He seems like a real cool dude.

Keep up the good work Kalin.
 

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