Mike Russow: Chicago Cop by Day, UFC Fighter by Night
Mike Russow may be one of the best unknown heavyweights in the UFC.
Russow has gone 4-0 inside the Octagon and has only one blemish on his overall MMA record. His UFC record also includes two knockouts—one of which was one of the best comebacks in recent years against Todd Duffee at UFC 114.
For fans who do know of Russow, it's not his hand speed or explosive wrestling that they remark about. It's about what he does outside the cage that gains Russow the most notice.
The UFC Insider crew followed Russow not for a day of training, but rather a day in the life of the heavyweight fighter.
One of the few fighters who also has a day job, Russow works as a police officer in his native town of Chicago.
Russow expressed that from an early age, wearing a badge was something he knew he wanted to do.
"I knew I wanted to be a cop since seventh or eighth grade. Wearing that uniform meant you were representing the best in the city," Russow said.
The crew only captured a few moments of Russow at his job, but it's clear he takes his role as an officer very serious.
It's also clear that Russow isn't simply collecting another paycheck by working in a low crime neighborhood. In the video, Russow explained that he works on a district in the south side of Chicago.
For those unfamiliar with Chicago, the south side is the equivalent to a concrete jungle in certain areas. The stories of gang violence and drug issues that outsiders will hear about the city almost always emanate from this area of the city.
An interesting section of the video catches Russow during roll call, a daily procedure for any police officer. In the background, Russow shares who he considers to be a hero.
His answer wasn't representative of the norm for a MMA fighter.
"I don't have too many heroes or athletes, but when you have guys who are 20-year veterans, guys with salty and stained blue shirts...those are the guys I look up to," Russow said.
Perhaps the best example of Russow's blue-collar work ethic was shown when he goes to work on his cardio.
Where most athletes have professional trainers working meticulously to analyze every movement and breath. For Russow, it is just his coach and him at Saint Xavier College.
The heavyweight contender is shown working a few laps not in some high-tech sports facility but on a simple track above some basketball courts. It's the perfect visual example of Russow's determination and work ethic—something the people in the video mention multiple times about the heavyweight fighter.
Russow is schedule to fight Fabricio Werdum at UFC 147, which will take place in Brazil.
Russow will be fighting one of the best heavyweights in the world in Werdum's back yard—something he said he believes will work in his favour.
"All the pressure is on Werdum for fighting in Brazil," Russow said. "Probably most people think I'm going to go in there and lose, but I know what I can do and I'm prepared."
From the south side of Chicago to Japan, and now to Brazil, it has been quite the journey for Russow.
Already a big name in the Chicagoland area, UFC 147 will be Russow's big chance to receive some national recognition if he can defeat Werdum.
Going into hostile territory to face an elite-level fighter on his home turf?
Sounds like just another day at the office for Officer Russow.
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