Brett Rogers On Fighting Former Training Partner Kevin Asplund In Bellator After House Fire Incident: “I Didn’t Get Any Apologies…In My Mind, I Have To Whoop Somebody’s Ass.”
By Dario Valdez
When newly signed heavyweight Brett “Da Grim” Rogers (11-4) steps into the Bellator cage for the first time next Friday night, he will find a familiar face staring at him from across the cage.
Rogers will square off against former friend and training partner, Kevin Asplund (15-1), in the 71st installment of Bellator Fighting Championships, and the kickoff of the promotion’s “Summer Series” in Chester, W.V.
It was a bizarre chain of events that drove Rogers to seek out this fight with his former crony. Rogers believes that Asplund’s wife, along with her friend, are responsible for causing a house fire at his Minnesota residence while he was out of town.
“I don’t know if it was on accident (or) on purpose. Anything could have happened, but they could have burned my house down” Rogers told Full Contact Fighter. “I didn’t get any apologies. So, it is what it is. In my mind I have to whoop somebody’s ass, and the only way to go about that is in the cage.”
Challenging his old training partner hasn’t gone over very well with mutual friends in Minnesota. Rogers, however, feels that it was absolutely necessary.
“When it comes to life and death, you better get down and say you’re sorry. If the tables were turned, I would have been over there trying to make it right. Not just for him, but for his whole family. And I didn’t get that.”
While Rogers admits that he and Asplund were close friends at one time, his main focus is putting a beating on his old gym mate and earning a spot in the next Bellator heavyweight tournament.
“Kevin was by boy,” Rogers said. “We’ve known each other for a few years. But to my knowledge, the way it’s going down, is whoever wins this bout will move onto the tournament. I’m not trying to sound cocky, but friends or not, this is going to be my spot.
“I’m going to do everything right, get my ranking up, and let the world know.”
After starting his career off with 10 straight victories, most of them via early round stoppages, Rogers has gone 1-4 in his last five bouts. To his credit, three of those losses have came against some of the best heavyweights in the world in Fedor Emelianenko, Alistair Overeem, and Josh Barnett.
Aside from his skid inside the cage, Rogers has also had to deal with trials outside of the cage. A much-publicized domestic dispute with his wife led to a short jail sentence.
After being inactive for the past several months, Rogers is poised to make the most out of his opportunity to compete in Bellator.
“I’m happy to be a part of Bellator.” he said. “I can’t wait. I need to be fighting.
“I’m glad Bjorn (Rebney) is allowing me to show what I can still do as a heavyweight. I want to prove myself and show my appreciation by getting in there and winning. I’m not here to say ‘Hi’ and ‘Bye.’ I want everyone to know that Brett is working hard!”
Rogers is no stranger to facing top level competition, and after the layoff, he made it clear that he is as anxious as ever to get in there and mix it up with the best heavyweights that Bellator has to offer.
“I feel I’m way overdue for a fight. I love being consistent. If I can fight every three to four months, that’s perfect for me. I consider this a blessing, and I can’t wait to go out there and show my appreciation.
“I want that tournament. There’s a lot of money at stake and it’s right within hand’s reach. So, I’m going to work hard to get it. I’m going to work hard to complete the tournament and go after Cole Konrad and take that belt away from him. Grim is in it to win it.”