By: Nick Portella
What’s good fight fans? Today I had the chance to catch up with LFA heavyweight Richard “The Black Eagle” Odoms. Rickard won his most recent fight via KO/TKO (punches) I n round 2 at LFA 6. Let’s take a seat and get to know a little bit more about him.
Nick: What does it mean (for you) to be a fighter?
Richard: A fighter to me is someone who even when against all odds will defend their self. It doesn’t matter who and it doesn’t matter where. They will fight back mentally, physically and spiritually. Even in subtleness, the fight will be there.
Nick: At what age did you begin to train martial arts?
Richard: I started training in martial arts at age 18. I started with American MooDukKwan. I started martial arts because I wanted to join the Police Department. I felt I needed to personally know how to defend myself in order to protect others. I didn’t get on the department until I had earned my black belt.
Nick: What disciplines do you currently train and what belts do you have in them?
Richard: I am a 5th-degree Black Belt in American MooDukKwan. I have a 2nd-degree Black belt in TangSooDo. I am a Blue belt in BJJ under Prof. Rodrigo Pinheiro. I am a pro undefeated boxer. I study Muay Thai under Pete Spratt.
Nick: What was your amateur record?
Richard: I really don’t have an official MMA amateur record. I competed in tough man competitions nationally with a record of 15-2, amateur kickboxing 2-0 and was heavy into sport karate tournaments at one time. Never got a chance to do amateur MMA.
Nick: What camp do you train out of? How long have you been with them?
Richard: I train out of RPBJJ/PSMT (Rodrigo Pinheiro BJJ/Pete Spratt Muay Thai). I have been with them for about 4 years. I have been teaching MMA at Submission Concepts for 2 years, so I get some work in there also..
Nick: What would you say is your best attribute is inside the cage?
Richard: My indomitable spirit, I refuse to give up and I will always find a way to win. You will have to put me away to beat me. With my experience, I will find a way to come back.
Nick: With cutting weight and fighter safety always being a priority. What methods of cutting weight do you use? How much weight do you usually have to cut before a fight? Do you feel the weight cut has a major impact on your strength before a fight?
Richard: My methods of cutting weight are ketogenic diet and hard work. I work my ass off literally. I try to stay in relative fight shape but I like to cook and eat. I usually cut 30-40lbs. It can have an impact if you do it wrong. I have been blessed, fortunately, I have been able to do it right and not take a big hit fight night.
Nick: Your nickname is The Black Eagle. Who gave you that name and why?
Richard: I had to come up with a nickname when I was fighting in Toughman. I wanted something with some thought involved. The eagle is a master hunter of the animal world. It sits on a perch and patiently calculates its prey’s movements and then swoops and makes the kill. It can do it on land, air or water. I was watching National Geographic one day and they were covering the Verreaux’s Eagle. Also known as the Black Eagle and boom I was in love with it. I ran with that and it stuck ever since.
Nick: What tips would you give young up and coming fighters just getting into the fight game?
Richard: Approach the game professionally. If you have to make weight hit the mark every time. Be on time to everything. Back up what comes out of your mouth.
Nick: How do you balance the long hours of being a police officer and training to win a championship?
Richard: It is something that just has to get done. It is rough! I go to work as a police tactics instructor at SAPD Police Academy 40+ hours a week, 8+ hours a week teaching traditional martial arts to children and MMA to adults at Submission Concepts as a second part time job. Training at RPBJJ/PSMT 8 to 10 hours a week. I spend 10-12 hours a week doing cardio and conditioning work. I am a father/husband with 3 kids
They get the rest of my time. I hate you for asking me this because anyone who knows my day to day knows I’m not telling a lie. My wife, Janie, really has to keep me on schedule and it is rough. I couldn’t do it without her. She is a big part of why I am able to do this. At the end of the day, I love what I do, so it is a labor of love.
Nick: June 30 you will be fighting for the LFA title. Who is your opponent? How much do you know about him?
Richard: Jared Vanderaa. I don’t really know much about him other than he trains at Team Quest and he is undefeated. Nothing but respect for my opponent.
Nick: Do you have a prediction for the fight?
Richard: Fireworks! He and I will be throwing to get that belt. If it lasts all five rounds expect that someone will not be walking out the cage under their own power.
Nick: Richard have you submitted to the takeover?
Richard: This is Richard “The Black Eagle” Odoms and I have submitted to the takeover.
Richard would like to thank all his family in blue. He would like to give ClinchGear a shout out for my thin blue line fight shorts and gear to train in. Dr. Cyr and the Osteocorps, G.E.A.R. clothing, Mouthguard Max, Jim Murray and Submission Concepts, G-fuel, Dr. Denise Tarver, RDX Sports, Action Pro Gear, Bold Warrior, Fuji Sports, Hayabusa Gear, Direct Vapor, Rodrigo Pinheiro and RPBJJ, Pete Spratt and PSMT. SAPD Off. Flaig for lending me his thin blue line flag when I fought in the Philippines. All of my training partners(too many to count), My management Jeremy Luchua Iridium Sports Agency. If I missed anyone I will get you next time. Thank you for your time.
I would like to thank Richard for his time. I wish him well in his upcoming title fight and beyond. Signing off for TheMMATakeOver.com this is Nick Portella. @NickPortellaMMA