According to an article Monday on ProMMAInsider.com, Dewey Cooper has long been one of the busiest men in the world of combat sports. Competing himself in boxing, MMA and Muay Thai, he also is a trainer, overseeing such accomplished gladiators as Beibut Shumenov and Jessica Rakoczy.
We caught up with Cooper at Lion Fight 11 and got his thoughts on Jessica Rakoczy and her time as a competitor on the UFC's "The Ultimate Fighter" show which is currently airing on Fox Sports 1. Rakoczy was considered a big underdog by many going into the show because of her less than spectacular MMA record, as well as relative anonymity amongst fans not familiar with her boxing exploits. Apparently the coaches on the show, Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey, were also unfamiliar with her since she was the last fighter chosen to be on a team.
What is not known by many, or those too lazy to dig deeper, is that Jessica Rakoczy has spent much of the last two years hard at work with Robert Drysdale in an effort to improve her ground skills. Her previous losses came to girls (Michelle Ould, Zoila Gurgel, and Felice Herrig) who had much more experience on the ground, and they were able to exploit that weakness in her game. Furthermore, to call her fight with Herrig a "loss" is questionable, as few who saw it agreed with the verdict.
This is the week those perceptions are going to change, according to Cooper, as Rakoczy will be fighting one of the pioneers of women's MMA, Roxanne Modaferri on the program which airs on Wednesday night. He encourages fans not to overlook what she has to offer.
"She has more world championship fights, than most of those girls have fights. Don't underestimate the boxing fights, and don't underestimate the eight world titles," Cooper said.
While those familiar with Rakoczy as a boxer, and those who have seen her grow as a mixed martial artist know better than to overlook her, her performance on the show Wednesday, and beyond (should she advance) will go a long way towards convincing others that she is as legitimate in MMA as she has been for a long time in boxing.