(Props to Ms. Tracy Lee.)
‘Razor’ Rob McCullough’s life has changed quite a bit since the last time we saw him on Versus. The legendary swordsman cut up his ‘Playa’s Card’ and settled down and got married – albeit to adult film actress Lexxi Tyler – and the couple is expecting their first son. “I [have] a lot more responsibility,” the 32-year-old says. “Now I’m not looking after myself, but [also] my chick. And apparently, I made a baby.”
Aside from wearing a wedding ring and preparing for a newborn, McCullough (17-5) has made several modifications to his overall game in preparation for his three-round affair with Karen Darabedyan this coming Wednesday. Those include new trainers, new management and, virtually, a new hand.
In his last outing against Marcus Hicks in March, the Huntington Beach-based fighter broke his hand in the second round while delivering hammer fists to his opponent’s head. McCullough won via majority decision but didn’t fix his fracture, opting instead to go on a vacation to Mexico with his giant “Mickey Mouse hand.” He went to the hospital 13 days later.
“It was the first time I ever had to have surgery,” the fighter recalls. “They put metal pins in my hand to keep it in place and actually, the bone grew back thicker – that’s what she said – and it was kind of a good thing.”
McCullough was sidelined for the next two months but he kept busy by building up his apparel line, Razor Clothing, and looking for a new manager.
The 155-pounder’s old management team tried talking him into being a cast member on “Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew” which currently airs on VH1. Although McCullough mildly entertained the idea at first for self-promotion purposes, he felt the program was for celebrities who had serious issues with sex addiction. The only issues McCullough had were with his management team.
“I started realizing, ‘Wow. This is for people who actually have a legitimate problem. This isn’t a joke.’ And I’m like, ‘Nah, I ain’t doing this’,” McCullough recalls. “[I said] to my old manager, ‘Hey man. You didn’t have my best interest at all.’ And he was like, ‘Oh, the producer was gonna invest in my company and now he’s gonna think I am a schmuck.’ And I’m like, ‘You know what? You are a schmuck, and you’re fired too’.”
McCullough would find new management, complete extensive therapy for his once broken hand and then, commence training. He started working with Rob Natzel for strength and conditioning, and hooked back up with his original Muay Thai coach Jean Carrillo.
With a new team behind him, the former WEC lightweight champ is ready for his battle against Karen Darabedyan on Nov. 18. Darabedyan, who is a training partner to fellow Armenians Karo Parisyan and Manny Gamburyan, holds an 8-1 record and black belts in Karate, Tae Kwon Do and Judo.
“It threw me off because I think [Karen] was my 3rd Grade English teacher’s name,” he says with a laugh. “But all jokes aside, I’ve seen him fight. I’ve been a color commentator for some of his fights. He’s a gamer. He’s gonna come to bang, which is awesome for me. That’s what I need; a guy who wants to fight and he’s definitely ready to fight. He hasn’t fought any big shows yet, but he’s 8-1, so there are eight guys out there that think he’s a stud. I just hope he’s in shape because I’m ready to do this.”
Although there isn’t a title on the line, there is a lot of extra motivation for McCullough going into this battle. “There’s a lot leaning on this fight for me. I’m not doing it for fun anymore. I’m not that kid from around the corner that grew up on everyone’s couch and got into the mix of things. I’m raising a family on this now,” he says. “I got a wife and a son who is about to be born. I got a lot of good sponsors looking into it. I got some new tricks up my sleeve and [I’m] just ready to go to war. I want that belt back, so I gotta make an example [out] of someone. Hopefully, he’s insured. Hopefully he’s got a good dental plan. Or a no KO mouth guard because this time, he needs one.”