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Grappling Phenom Robert Drysdale Set To Make Pro MMA Debut

Ariel Helwani has a great feature on Robert Drysdale making his professional mma debut at Armageddon Fighting Championships 3 in Victoria, British Columbia.  The 2007 ADCC Open Weight World Champion will make his first of four scheduled fights for the promotion this Saturday night taking on Bas Huveneers (8-2-1).  Known by most as one of top heavyweights in the international grappling circuit, his win at ADCC in 2007 was only at 97 kilos (213lbs), making a cut to either 205 or 185 manageable.

Drysdale went on to explain-

Listen, I can maybe make 185, but it would be very hard, and it's not my natural weight. I'm probably going to stick to 205. 

When asked about his contract's stipulations about fighting for other organizations, Drysdale revealed that his deal with the Canadian AFC is only exclusive to Canada.

It's exclusive for Canada, unless it's the UFC. So I can't fight for any other Canadian organization.

I can fight in the States [for anyone else]. If I wanted to go to Strikeforce or the UFC, then that would be OK.

Yes, I have spoken to them [UFC, Strikeforce] before, and it's open. I would actually very much like to fight for them, and I even have in mind who I would like to fight. Roger Gracie.

Although his MMA experience is nearly non-existent, Drysdale is confident that he will be competing against the best at 205 sooner than later.

I'd like to think that I'm there right now, but experience[-wise] I'm not. I think technically, I'm not far away from any guy in the UFC at my weight. I don't believe that. I think experience certainly counts for a lot in this sport, and I don't have it. It's true. So, I'm going to take my time, but I would like to think that after these four fights with AFC, I can compete with anyone in my weight class.

Asked about Fabricio Werdum's recent submission victory over Fedor Emelianenko, the BJJ black belt wasn't at all surprised of the outcome.

I get this all time, people who don't believe in grappling, and that never made any sense to me. How can you say something like that? Do you not watch this sport? I'm not surprised Werdum finished Fedor. I wasn't shocked at all -- I know that surprised a lot of people. I know for a fact that Werdum is a much better grappler than him. He was the underdog in the fight. I think that, overall, Fedor is a better MMA fighter than he is, but I wasn't surprised Werdum made him tap. I know that Werdum is light years ahead of him on the ground.