By Mark Elezaj
The sport of mixed martial arts is one where fighters display a skill set unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. From boxing, to grappling to submissions and powerful take downs, it is truly a sport that leaves us asking who will be the next big thing?
Lirim “Lenny The Gorilla” Rufati is an up and coming MMA prospect in the welterweight division, who already has caught the attention of some with his impressive performances and abilities inside the cage.
Rufati, a Former Army and college graduate, is currently undefeated with a 3-0 professional record, one victory by way of knockout, who trains at Roufusport Mixed Martial Arts Academy in Wisconsin.
The gym is the “Home of Former UFC Welterweight World Champion Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley, and former UFC & WEC Lightweight World Champion Anthony “Showtime” Pettis.”
Joe Rogan, UFC Commentator, said that Roufus is “One of the best gyms in the world.”
Rufati, who has worked with the likes of Tyrone Woodley and Anthony Pettis, made his professional debut on November 16, 2018 at ROC (Ring Of Combat) 66, where he dominated and won via decision over another tough prospect, Andy Segovia.
He returned three months later to face Travis Foster at ROC 67 on February 22, 2019, and showed again why he is a force to be reckoned with, winning by unanimous decision and improving to 2-0.
His next test was against up and coming prospect Jaimie Drago at ROC 68 on May 31, 2019. This time, Rufati made quick work of his opponent, stopping him at 3:12 of the first round. With another impressive victory, the fight fans have started to take notice.
“The Gorilla” continues to train hard. We recently caught up with Rufati, who is preparing to face Troy Green on September 13, 2019 at ROC 69 in Atlantic City, NJ, to ask him about his thoughts and what he wants to do as he moves forward with his career.
•How did you get in to the sport?
I got into some fights outside of the mma cage and I quickly learned that I love the adrenaline rush.
•What’s your favorite strike or submission to use?
Left hook; Americana
•Who is your biggest inspiration?
•Do you like to stand with your opponents or take them to the ground?
•What does being a fighter mean to you?
•What holes do you see in your next opponents game?
Not a killer
•If you could have one dream fight with anyone, who would you love to face?
Never really thought of it, can’t say.
•When it’s all said and done, what do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career?
After speaking with Rufati, you can feel the hunger that he has. He wants to show the world what type of fighter he is and will be. You can see the dedication in his heart and it has truly been a pleasure speaking with him, even before writing this article. I look forward to seeing what the future has in store during this mans journey to the top.
We here at The Fighting Voice wish you continued success.
~ The Fighting Voice ~
(For ticket information to ROC 69, contact us here at the Fighting Voice)