I spent some time over the weekend to talk to Rick Farbo (heavyweight fighter in the Summer Brawl event on July 16). What I thought was just an ordinary matchup between two heavyweights became a grudge match from events that happened in the past. I intend to get Chris’s side of the story, but from what I heard with Rick it was a bully getting what was coming to him. What started as a Senior vs Sophomore fight has led these two fighters to Summer Brawl in the Odeum. I can’t tell you who will win, but I can tell you from personal experience that these two will not leave anything out of the cage. Below is my talk with Rick as well as his last fight with Jim Moreno back in April of 2010.
Chi-Town MMAniacs I’m here with Rick Farbo from Hackney’s Combat Academy. As of now your record is 1-0. The fight was back in April ’10. Have you been working out between then?
Rick Farbo Absolutely. What had happened was I had scheduled a fight six months after the Jim Moreno fight with Josh Worthington from Iowa. Unfortunately, when I showed up to the fight he didn’t. That cost me some time due to the fact that I work a full time job. It makes it hard for me to prepare for a fight.
Chi-Town MMAniacs Were you planning on fighting after the Iowa event even though the fight never happened?
Rick Farbo I had been training this whole time through. I never stopped training. It’s just that I haven’t taken a fight since Josh Worthington.
Chi-Town MMAniacs So what made you take this fight with Chris Hill? Did you call him out or did he call you out?
Rick Farbo Before I fought Jim Moreno the first time, I heard that he (Chris) was training at a gym and I asked for the fight about a year and a half ago. He declined the fight at the time. I ended up fighting Jim Moreno in APFC. Since then I’ve been training. About 10 days ago, Keith Hackney asked, “Do you know a kid named Chris Hill? He wants to fight you.” I was like, “All right when?” “July 16. Do you have a problem with that?” “Keith, my only problem is that I weigh 290. There’s no way I can get to 265 by July 16.” “Can you make a catch weight? How’s 275 sound?” “275 sounds great.” Then Keith called the promoter to see if Chris wanted to do a catch weight.
Chi-Town MMAniacs So we’ll see you guys duke it out as a catch weight. Why is Chris Hill calling you out? I’ve been following up with both you and Chris on facebook and it looks as though you guys have some vibes from “past incidents”.
Rick Farbo It started back during the high school football season. I was a sophomore and Chris was a senior. Every year the Varsity team plays the Junior Varsity team and the winner gets to play in the Varsity football stadium. Chris was a big fucking bully. What happened was he was trying to bully me and I was like, “Absolutely not!” He goes, “I’m going to make you.” Before you know it he was pushing me and I smashed his nose in. Then he tried to get in some dumb wrestling move and I grabbed his head and started slamming it on the concrete floor 5 or 6 times until the coaches pulled me off him. His face was covered in blood and I split his nose wide open. What ended up happening was that all the seniors in the school started making fun of him for getting beat up by a sophomore. So we have bad blood. What happened a few years after that after we both graduated high school and he went to do his own thing and I did my own thing.
Chi-Town MMAniacs The only other fight you had was with Jim Moreno. It was actually less than a minute. You brawled through him making him run away from you giving his back. Then you sank in a rear naked choke. It’s not much for us to go off as to what you have in your arsenal. What are you bringing to your fight with Chris? Do you want to keep it standing? Take it to the ground?
Rick Farbo Jim Moreno was a great opponent and I would like to say nothing but great things for him. He’s been back in the cage 3 times since my fight and he’s won all three. He’s obviously a really good fighter. Nothing but love to Jim Moreno. As far as my training for Chris Hill; I’ve been working a lot on my ground game. I’m obviously a striker. However MMA is mixed martial arts so I’ve been focusing on my ground game. The problem with is me is that I’m a muay thai fighter. I like to stand up; I like to throw kicks; I like to throw punches; I like to throw knees. Between me and you, we know Chris is a ground fighter. He likes to wrestle. He doesn’t like to get punched. You know what I’m saying? You’re the one that travels from gym to gym and I know Chris Hill. He likes to wrestle. We have two contradicting techniques here on what I’m the best at and what he’s the best at. I’ve been working my fucking ass off on the ground so I don’t get put in a bad spot.
Chi-Town MMAniacs Are you focusing on all aspects of the ground game, or are you focusing in on jits or takedown defense?
Rick Farbo Flexibility is an issue with heavyweights and I’ve been working on flexibility lately. I’ve also been working on jits and ground positioning. I think positioning is the most important thing especially in a heavyweight fight.
Chi-Town MMAniacs The last time I was at Hackney’s I remember you had a small wrist injury. How’s that healing?
Rick Farbo When I first started training, I got wrist tendonitis. Basically the tendons in my wrists were swelling up. Every time I threw punches it bothered my wrists. They’re in good shape now. No problems.
Chi-Town MMAniacs So you’ll be good to go come June 16?
Rick Farbo Absolutely.
Chi-Town MMAniacs Is there anything you want to say specifically to Chris?
Rick Farbo I would just tell him to be ready for war. I don’t want to sound like an asshole, pardon my language, but I got respect for the kid. What happened in the past happened is in the past. He came and I ended it. Then he challenged me. I respect that. I don’t shy away from a challenge so I’ll be ready and prepared to fight and I hope he understands that. When he leaves the cage, whether he wins or loses, he’ll know he was in a fight. It’s a grudge match. It’s redemption for Chris Hill, and it’s me giving him a shot at it.
Chi-Town MMAniacs So are you planning on making it go the distance?
Rick Farbo Obviously I want the highlight reel knockout. That’s what every fighter wants.