Interview with Chad “Robo” Robichaux
By AJ Hoffman
1. First of all, tell me what has been going on up there in Colorado the last several months?
Well, we are 4 months into the launch of the Mighty Oaks Wounded Warrior Foundation (mightyoaksfoundation.org). This is a faith-based ministry to help wounded warriors returning home from combat reintegrate with their families and the world, despite their struggles with combat trauma, such as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). It is going phenomenal and we just got tasked to host 10 classes over the next 12 months here in the awesome mountains of Westcliffe, Colorado. In addition to our classes for combat vets, we have classes for wives of vets, and another class for men with or without military experience. As a Christian program, it has been amazing to see God’s healing power in these young heroes’ lives.
2. Last we talked to you, you had announced your retirement to work with the Might Oaks Foundation. What brought on the change of heart?
I love being a competitor. I have been in martial arts my whole life. I feel great, and that desire just won’t leave. However, when I felt the call to come up to Colorado and work with Wounded Warriors, I was willing to sacrifice my fighting career to do that. I was a combat vet too and suffered with PTSD. A man who I consider my mentor stepped into my life and saved me and my family. I want to do that for others to the fullest extent I can. So, it was an acceptable sacrifice, and I came here to Colorado knowing I would be without a coach or training partner! Then, I spoke with Mick and we discussed me fighting and getting exposure for Mighty Oaks Foundation. Funny how God works, because I came up here in a town of 1,000 people and moved to being 10 minutes from Randy Couture and Olympic alternate wrestler Brad Anderson, who has coached Randy. What a pleasant surprise.
3. What kind of training partners do you have up there in Colorado?
Well after meeting Randy and Brad, Coach Brad offered to step up and be my head coach and we train everyday at Randy’s house (he has a nice home training center). I have had great training partners in the past, but I was the coach, and it has been a long time since I have been in a camp specific to me and “coached”. It is different and I love it. I’m progressing so much in strategy and skills. My conditioning is through the roof due to all my training being at 9,200 ft. I have a lot of great sparring partners like Alex Roman, Cody Connell, of course Brad himself and Randy when he is in town. Marcus Dupar and Jeremy Mahon came out to work with me, and Ricky Turcios is coming out this Monday. Jacob Kugler was here, but left me for his fiancé who is having a baby. What a sell out! Haha. I have to give HUGE thanks to Coach Brad and Alex who are with me six days a week pushing and grinding. It is a selfless sacrifice and I’m so grateful.
4. Talk about the work you have been doing with Randy Couture.
Randy and Brad are master strategists. He and Brad have a great game plan for this fight, and we are very confident for a win. My weight cut and conditioning are being done at a level I never felt comfortable pushing myself at before. I was always scared it would hurt my training to push my conditioning so hard. Now, I feel like a beast. I will own the 125 lbs division in no time. I don’t see anyone at 125 that I would feel even remotely be concerned about, even in the UFC. This will be my division.
5. Your last two fights had the same final result, but I would assume each one left you with very different feelings. Compare and contrast your first career loss against the highly regarded Zach Makovsky at Bellator, and your last loss at Legacy against a relatively unknown Jonathan Mackles.
Zach is an awesome athlete. I trained so hard, and felt I fought a great fight against one of the best. In the end, that bout was the convincing factor to start looking at a 125 lbs cut. Guys like Zach are monster 135′ers. Oh gosh, of course you have to bring up the Mackles fight. I don’t know what happened. No excuses. I just went in there too relaxed and fell down. I took a knee and woke up wondering what happened! There was rumor of a NC for an illegal knee. To squash it, yes my management filed but we are no longer pursuing and moving on with a loss. I shouldn’t have allowed myself to be on the defensive in the first place, and just want to move forward. In this sport, losses like that happen, but it only happens if you have the courage to get in there and put it on the line. That’s what we do. With that said, don’t expect to see it happen to me again anytime soon.
6. Have you been able to follow the Houston MMA scene since you have been up there? Do you still keep a close relationship with your former students?
Absolutely! Houston MMA is one of the toughest springboards for fighters in the country. Great job to Daniel Pineda and Andrew Craig in the UFC, and huge congrats to Legacy with the new HDNet signing. I am so proud of Mick and Andrea for their hard work!
I keep up with all the Gracie Barra students, and am so proud to see them all doing well. Professor Todd and the coaching staff are phenomenal and doing an awesome job in my absence.
7. Your opponent is UFC vet Joseph Sandoval, who is also coming off back-to-back losses. How do you feel you match up with Sandoval?
We both had two tough losses to some tough opponents. The sad thing is someone will be on a 3 loss streak after a long undefeated run. From what I know, Joseph is a super good person and respectable athlete. He has some strong skill sets and big show experience. However, I think I’m more well-rounded and dominant for his brawling style. I’m very comfortable with the match-up, and think the fans will get an exciting bout.
8. Did you give any thought to a warm-up fight before stepping in with a guy on Sandoval’s level, considering you had such a long break from the sport?
I had my warm up fights earlier in my career. I want to fight tough guys like Joseph. If you look at my last few opponents, that’s what I asked for and got. At this point in my career I wouldn’t waste my time with anything short of the top of the food chain fighters. Warm-ups are in the gym, and Joseph isn’t at a level that I feel is superior to mine.
9. Tell people how they can get involved with the Mighty Oaks Foundation?
Mighty Oaks needs support. We are a registered non-profit. Visit MightyOaksFoundation.org
If you or anyone you know needs help with PTSD or Combat Trauma Recovery, please contact us.
If you are a civilian and want to get into a fun week of training with other men and working on character-building, check out our Fight Club for Men Session.
If you want to sponsor a Vet for Training, they need it. You can donate at www.MightyOaksFoundation.org
*Everyday 18 Veterans Commit Suicide. Save the life of a HERO
10. Is there anything else you want to mention or anyone you want to thank?
My wonderful wife Kathy and my kids Hunter, Haili, and Hayden for standing by me and supporting me to do what I love. My Coach Brad Anderson, Randy Couture for letting me use his house everyday, Mick Maynard for the opportunity, Alchemist Management, Ranger Up, Ammo to Go, Monarch Ski Resort, Vinnie Vincent Realty, Damage Control Mouthgaurds, Mountain Sports Haus, my nutritionist George Lockhart at Fitness VT, and all my teammates at Gracie Barra and Xtreme Couture.
11. Good luck on May 11th Chad, and congrats on everything you have going with the foundation.
Thanks so much buddy!!!