Finally, the Marine is stepping back into the cage.
Following a two-year suspension for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs, Minnesota's Mike "The Marine" Richman is returning to MMA on Friday night at Mystic Lake Casino.
The Minnesota Martial Arts Academy product is taking on prospect Lazar Stojadinovic in the 145-pound main event during Legacy Fighting Alliance's first show in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The longtime Bellator product brings and 18-6 professional record into the bout.
Regardless of what fans think of Richman's positive test for PEDs, he's always been one of the sport's most exciting fighters and one of Minnesota's brightest prospects. He's also a former Marine, and someone who's faced an incredible amount of adversity throughout his life. So when his suspension hit, of course there was frustration and sadness, but Richman has experienced far worse forms of adversity in his life. And the positive test did not erase what he's accomplished in his amazing career.
The positive test and subsequent suspension easily could have ended Richman's career. He's 31 now, and he could have ridden off into the sunset and never fought again.
After Richman's anger and frustration wore off, he realized MMA was still his true passion. He's always been an assassin, and that won't change when Richman returns to the cage at Mystic Lake on Friday night. The night's main card, which broadcasts live on AXS-TV, begins at 8 p.m., and tickets will be available at the door.
This offers Minnesota fight fans a rare opportunity to watch the Marine in person. Many of today's fight fans weren't around when Richman was fighting locally.
One thing is for sure, Richman's attitude and desire have not changed. He's still out for blood, and Minnesota fans should expect nothing less from the Marine.
We caught up with Richman this week to talk about his showdown with Stojadinovic. Nothing was off the table, and Richman agreed to take on the PED talk head on. For that, he's earned even more of our respect. Not that he didn't already have it. But, it's great to finally have the Marine back in the cage.
What do you know about your opponent on Friday night, Lazar Stojadinovic?
RICHMAN: Honestly, I had no idea who he was. I guess I knew he fought Jordan (Parsons) back in like 2012. He caught Jordan with a clean shot,