Just over a year ago, “Razor” Rob McCullough was the face of the WEC’s lightweight division. He was riding a nine-fight winning streak, and thanks to the bad boy image that his Team Punishment camp possessed, he held an aura of invincibility. Things have since changed drastically for the fallen champ, forcing him to make some tough decisions.
After dropping two of his last three bouts, which included losing his title to Jaime Varner last year at WEC 32, McCullough realized that changes needed to be made. After taking a long look in the mirror, he decided that he needed to get back to why he started fighting in the first place.
“I always fought for fun – I did it because I loved to do it, and I always made sure that it was something that I didn’t have to do,” McCullough stated. “I made sure I made money personal training or teaching classes, so it never took the fun out of it for me. But as my paychecks grew, I started going ‘wow, this really is my career.’ And I’m getting older and I know I can’t do this forever, so coming off a loss, even though it was a great fight and got fight of the night, I knew I had to get back on the title track, so I had to change something up.”
In addition to changing the outlook on his career, he also changed his training camp. Parting with his fight family was a tough choice, however one that McCullough felt he needed to make.
“I have great training partners in Huntington Beach, but I was kinda like the big fish in the pond. I needed to go somewhere where I was just an average Joe,” Razor Rob said.
This average Joe couldn’t have picked a better place to blend in with the crowd. McCullough now trains under Shawn Thompkins and the endless supply of talent at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The former WEC champ said that Thompkins, “Has a great resume with guys at 155, so I said let’s do that. It got to the point where I said that this is something I really love to do. I loved to fight ever since I was a kid, but you’ve always got to be learning. When you think in your mind that you’ve stopped learning and you know it all, that’s when you’re gonna get really hurt. So I backseated everything, humbled myself, and said ‘hey, I’m down to do this.’”
The new-and-improved 31-year-old believes that he is more than ready for his matchup against Marcus Hicks this weekend at WEC 39. But more importantly, he knows that he has what it takes to regain the title.
“Almost regretfully to say, when I had the belt, I was never looking to get the belt,” McCullough said. “I was doing this because I wanted to have fun, and the belt came. I had it, it was cool, but my training started to slack. I was the big dog on the block, and now that I’m back in the hunt, and it’s definitely added some motivation. People always say to me, ‘who are you fighting next? God, you always have tough fights.’ That’s why I do this. I don’t want to be out there just beating up average Joes and guys with no skill. I want to get in there, go to war, and have fun.”