By: Nick Portella
What’s good fight fans? Today I got the opportunity to speak with professional MMA fighter Cassie “The Hulk” Robb. Cassie is still fresh off of a KO/TKO victory over Jayme Hinshaw at KOTC: Starbound. She is also scheduled to step onto the world stage July 30 at Rizin. Let’s sit down with Cassie and get to know her a little bit better.
Nick: What does it mean (for you) to be a fighter?
Cassie: Fighting is my greatest passion. It’s constantly pushing me past my comfort zone and testing my abilities. It’s also the most exhilarating and fun things I’ve ever done.
Nick: At what age did you begin to train martial arts?
Cassie: I was 19 when I had my first MMA fight. I had only been training a few weeks before I made my amateur debut.
Nick: What was your inspiration to continue training and pursue a career in MMA?
Cassie: I think losing my debut really pushed me to want to get better and more well-rounded as a fighter. I was addicted after my first match.
Nick: With over 60% of your wins coming via submission, what belt do you hold in Jiu Jitsu?
Cassie: I am a purple belt currently, but I hope to get my black belt by the age of 30.
Nick: With an amateur fight record of 3-2-1, what made you decide to go to the professional level?
Cassie: My last amateur fight I won the Kickdown atom weight title. Shortly after I was offered to make my pro debut with Invicta. It was only about five weeks notice but I was beyond grateful for the opportunity so I went for it.
Nick: Your nickname is The Hulk. Who gave it to you and why?
Cassie: I gave it to myself around the time the new Hulk movie came out. I thought we related because Bruce Banner is a calm, collected and smart guy. When you get his adrenaline pumping he turns into a beast. I felt like that is kind of how I was when I stepped into the cage. I’ve tried to rid myself of the name the past year or so but it just stuck.
Nick: What would you say your best attribute is inside the cage?
Cassie: Definitely my grappling. I feel like no matter what my position is I’m always looking for submissions and I am very active on the ground.
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?
Cassie: Depends on what weight I am fighting. I don’t cut much for 115 usually 2-4 pounds. If I fight at 105 I usually cut about 10 pounds. I don’t do it all last minute though. I diet weeks out, cut out the sodium, and cut water weight by doing salt baths for the last couple pounds the day of weigh-ins.
Nick: You currently fight at atom weight, a weight class we have seen fighters abandon just for a chance at the UFC. Have you considered moving up if it meant a shot at the UFC or will you plan to stay at atom weight?
Cassie: If I was ever offered a fight for the UFC I would absolutely go up to 115. I fought as a strawweight my whole amateur career and made my pro debut at 105 for the first time for Invicta. I still think the UFC should add a 105 division.
Nick: King of the Cage just recently signed 14 WMMA atom weight and strawweight fighters. What do you think of the advancement of your weight class?
Cassie: I think it just goes to show how exciting the smaller fighters are and how action packed the fights can be. More and more people are starting to realize it and KOTC is smart for building the division the way they are.
Nick: How does it feel to be stepping onto the world stage to compete at Rizin Fighting World Grand Prix 2017?
Cassie: It’s almost a little overwhelming, but totally in a good way. I never thought I would be fighting in Japan when I started training in Wyoming. I am so excited for the fight. I have never left the country either so it will be an adventure.
Nick: You will be facing a tough opponent in Miyuu Yamamoto who did compete at Rizin last year losing in the finals to Andy Nguyen. How much do you know about your opponent since this will be your first time meeting in the cage?
Cassie: I know she has strong takedowns and she is heavy on top. I believe no matter where it goes I will outstrike her and/or out grapple her.
Nick: Miyuu has two losses both coming via way of submission. Will it be part of the game plan to take her to the ground and finish since you are an exceptional grappler?
Cassie: If she doesn’t get me to the ground first. To be completely honest, I am 100% confident wherever the fight goes.
Nick: Do you have a prediction for your upcoming fight?
Cassie: I would love another knockout win, but I see me submitting her in the first round without a doubt.
Nick: Since you have made this journey what one piece of advice could you give to fighters working their way to the professional level?
Cassie: NEVER GIVE UP! Don’t let your record determine the fighter you are. You have to know how to fail to really appreciate winning.
Nick: Who is your favorite MMA fighter past or present?
Cassie: My girl Rose Namajunas. I have grown so much as a person and a fighter because of her. Inside and outside of the gym she has truly been the best friend and training partner I could ask for.
Nick: Cassie have you submitted to the takeover?
Cassie would like to thank 303 Training Center, Tony Basile, Robert Lamorie, her manager Jay General, Pat Barry, Rose Namajunas, and her corner Joe Guerra. Also, all my sponsors Intensity Nutrition, Society Nine, Denver Chiropractic LLC, IronJaw Mouthguards, Sports Ink Apparel, XionX, Smokin Photos, and Mile High Ink. Biggest thank you goes to Terry Tribelcock. Thank you for the opportunity to fight for KOTC and now for Rizin FF. I am forever grateful to be able to live my dreams the way I am!
I have to say it was a pleasure speaking with Cassie. I would like to wish her all the best in her career and in her upcoming fight at Rizin. Signing off for TheMMATakeOver.com this is Nick Portella. @NickPortellaMMA