Rod MacSwain exploded onto the New Zealand MMA scene in late 2008.
A naturally gifted athlete, after seeing MMA on TV for the first time, MacSwain enrolled himself at elite New Zealand MMA academy Strike Force the next day, and took his first fight two months later.
Over the next 12 months, MacSwain racked up an impressive 8-1 record across Australia and New Zealand, establishing himself as one of the region’s top pound-for-pound fighters.
Now a part of Legend FC’s ultra-competitive welterweight division, MacSwain looks forward to representing his home country as he proves himself against some of the best fighters from throughout the Asia-Pacific.
MMAOrient: First of all we at MMAOrient.com congratulates you on your latest victory against South Korea’s Lee Yong Jae.
MMAOrient: Tell us about your Martial Arts background.
I’ve been training and fighting for three and a half years now out of STRIKEFORCE gym New Zealand. We train Muay thai Kickboxing under Aaron Boyes, Grappling under John Bell and Dion Teau and MMA under Karl Webber and Kaota Puna.
Before that I played alot of Rugby union and Rugby League which can contribute to my MMA game also. Along with a very short time in TKD, Boxing and wrestling.
MMAOrient: How did you get into the sport of MMA?
Always been a fan of fighting and competing of any form.
When I stopped playing Rugby I needed something to take its place.
I saw MMA a few times on tv and when I saw a movie which went into more detail of what MMA is and requires it was clear that this is for me. The next day I researched MMA in NZ and turned up for my first class at Strikeforce gym, three years later I’m still there nearly everyday.
MMAOrient: Can you tell us about your thoughts on your latest triumph over the South Korean fighter?
I Trained very hard for that fight but still feel my performance wasn’t anywhere near where I wanted it to be.
I didn’t feel hundred percent going into the fight due to a few things but no one does these days. Jae was very tough and surprised us with his southpaw stance as we were unaware of this.
Aaron helped adapt my game after the first round and Karl provided the directions verbally while on the ground. I felt safe and in control and was happy to get the win.
MMAOrient: We obviously saw the improvement of your game on your last fight at Legend FC 6 most especially in your boxing skills. What was your game plan against Lee Yong Jae that night?
Gameplan was to test the waters in the first round and try adapt and find a weakness and work it in our favour.
Alot of mixed striking and takedowns where necessary. Stay on top and try find a finish but Jae proved to be very tough.
MMAOrient: Do you want a rematch with Bae Myung Ho?
I want to work my way back to title contention definitely. Bae is tough and the road will consist of intense and correct training and decisions.
MMAOrient: Tell us about what went wrong on your title defense against Bae, because many of your fans said that you seemed different when you fought Bae.
Just one of those things I guess, the Level at Legend FC is world class and expecting to compete at this level without the right preparation is a mistake.
I’ve now dedicated myself to the sport entirely (fulltime) in order to remedy the holes in my game and training in every aspect.
MMAOrient: Who do you want to fight next?
Zike Sugawara or who ever Legend FC feel my next move is. (laughs)
MMAOrient: Who’s your biggest inspiration?
I’m inspired all the time. At strikeforce gym i must have spent hours gazing at the wall of fight posters filled with New Zealands World Champion Strikers, Ray Sefo, Mark Hunt, David Tua, Choppa Chapman, Aaron Boyes, Jordan Tai, Jason Suttie, Doug Viney. I think to myself, if they can do it then so can I, as they all trained and fought for New Zealand just as I am doing right now.
Only difference is a world title.
Now when I look at the wall of posters, I see Sam Brown, Pat Crawley, Gareth Ealey, Daniel Hooker, Myself, Ben Sisam, Ricky Campbell and many more of the younger generation of Strikeforce Fighters who are coming through the ranks. Thats inspiring.
Who wouldve thought looking at a wall to be so inspirational.
Just watching and training alongside people also helps to motivate and push me. Training alongside Top Lightweight Adrian Pang at I.M.A was inspirational, anyone who has will agree.
MMAOrient: What is your favorite strike/submission to use in any fight?
Neither. Earlier in my career I was known to lift up and Slam my oponent into the canvas. Something I haven’t done in a while. Legend FC 7 maybe?
MMAOrient: What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career?
As someone who helped take New Zealand MMA to the next Level and beyond.
MMAOrient: Any people/sponsors you would like to thank?
Strikeforce gym NZ – Aaron, Karl and the brothers.
NZ Boxer.com – Brett Sample
Supplements.co.nz – Kim and Jase
Supreme Fitness Solutions – PT Shoneel Singh
Ludus Magnus – Conditioning with Phil and Joe
REVERSAL RVDDW – Juggsy
DEMON energy drink – Steve and Matt
Legend FC – Mike, Chris and Aaron
The trainers and fighters of NZ TOP TEAM – official NZ Fight team
My Family, Mom and Dad, my brother Jim and sister Kat.
The team at MMAorient.com – Zike
Ashlee and all the people who believed in me, I’m doing this for them and for the Lord.
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