Where Are They Now: Gabe Ruediger Discusses Overcoming Adversity and Upcoming BAMMA USA Bout
While some people crumble in the face of adversity others push forward to rise above the negativity. For Gabe Ruediger, his television persona on The Ultimate Fighter 5 has illuminated a dark cloud over his career.
However, through all of the trials and tribulations Ruediger has remained ambitious and focused on his goal of becoming a success in the sport. US Combat Sports had the opportunity to interview Ruediger to discuss his rocky road since the show, the secret behind his motivational drive and his plans for the upcoming year.
Many people remember you from The Ultimate Fighter show, excluding what others may feel, how do you feel the show has affected your career?
Gabe Ruediger: It’s a bit of a double edged sword. People know who I am, which is always a good thing for a fight career. Now, how I was portrayed and how people perceive me is a bit annoying. It’s a TV show and not a true showing of the person you are or were. It’s been 6years since the show and I still hear nonsense about it.
Moving forward, you have achieve some success in smaller organization including becoming a champion, how important was it for you to stay active and not let the show define your career?
Gabe Ruediger: Well, it was very important. I was a fighter prior to the show and I certainly wasn’t going to let one instance in my life to bring me down and certainly not a TV show. I went back to fighting as soon as I could.
Through the up and downs, what has keep Gabe Ruediger motivated through it all?
Gabe Ruediger: I’ve always enjoyed rising to the occasion and setbacks don’t do anything but motivate me. After TUF, I had to get my neck fused. I could have called it a career right there, but decided to get back in it and come back even better, which I feel I did. After my last fight in the UFC I had to have back surgery. Do you think I’m retiring now? No. I’m fighting Jan 13th.
Speaking of the UFC you made your return there last year, how did it feel to be back on the grand stage?
Gabe Ruediger: It was a great feeling, but bad timing. I had worked my way back, had won 6 fights in a row, beaten some really tough guys and won a legitimate world title(TPF lightweight) and got the call. The problem was my back was giving me problems and I hadn’t trained in over a month when the UFC called. It was either wait and see if they called again or take the fight. I had worked too hard to get back and it wasn’t an ideal situation, but I said ok. In retrospect, it was probably a poor decision, but it is what it is.
Since that time you have somewhat disappeared from the spotlight, what have you been up to as of late ?
Gabe Ruediger: Well, as I said in my last questions, I was dealing with a back injury in my last 2 fights. Turned out I had a 12mm herniation of my L5. Had to get back surgery. Since then I’ve been recovering and training again. I’m back to training with PKG, started training stand up with Antoni Hardonk at Dynamix, strength & conditioning and wrestling at SK Golden boys. I’m getting ready to fight again on January 13 for BAMMA USA.
What has this journey through the sport taught you about yourself?
Gabe Ruediger: That I should have finished college haha! No, I’ve learned to persevere regardless of what hardships are put in front of you and to not allow anyone detract you from your goals.
Finally what should fans expect to see from you in the future?
Gabe Ruediger: Well, I plan to keep fighting and proving doubters wrong. I have every intention on dropping to 145lbs and make a run there. My last fight in the UFC I only cut 3lbs to make 155 and feel like I could have been even leaner, so that would be the division for me at this point in my career. I want to make one more push for the UFC, but this time with no injuries and at the weight class I need to be at.
Before we wrap up do you have anyone you would like to thank?
Gabe Ruediger: I want to thank everyone who has stood by me regardless of what’s happening. Also, my team of trainers and training partners at PKG, Dynamix, Valley Cross fit and SK Golden Boys. If anyone wants to know more information or interact, feel free to follow me on twitter/GabeRuediger, Check out my fanpage at Facebook/Gaberuediger and my own site www.gabegodzilla.com