|Interview with Roy Lang III: “It’s time to Rattle the Cage!”
Interview by Benny Henderson Jr., Doghouse Boxing (June 16, 2009)
Before the action begins, during the throw downs and in between rounds, all the way up until the dust settles, he is there pumping up the crowd and introducing the fights and proclaiming the outcome of the battle. He, is the ring announcer, and Doghouse Boxing would like to introduce to the fans, the latest break out voice to be heard in the square and cage, Cage Kings and Ring Rulers very own, Roy Lang III.
Just over two years now, thirty-eight year old Roy Lang has been calling out names and declaring the
victors for Cage Kings and Ring Rulers. Originally from Chicago, Lang now resides in Shreveport, LA, and has been a sports writer for the Shreveport Times a total of ten years. Sporting a degree in broadcasting and having his hands in hosting a national radio show and two local shows, Lang has had his voice out to the world. And now you can catch Roy on the MMA circuit announcing the fight festivities to the fans with his signature saying, “It’s time to Rattle the Cage!”
In this exclusive interview conducted by Doghouse Boxing, Roy speaks out on his announcing career with Cage Kings/Ring Rulers, gets into his influences as well as his future plans, enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.: How did you get into the business of announcing fights?
Roy Lang III: Man, I was a boxing fan, and then a MMA fan before it was even called the MMA, but just cage fighting back in the early 90’s. I have always been a big fight fan. I became a sports writer and did not get to cover a lot of
fighting, boxing was kind of on its way down and MMA really had not hit it big yet. But the UFC came to Bossier City, LA; I believe it was in 2002, right after Zuffa purchased it. I told the paper that I would cover the event, so I covered it, and I have been a huge fan since. Of course with their rise in popularity, a lot of small organizations pop up. A couple of years ago Will Broyles brought Ring Rulers to Shreveport, it was his first event here and I was going to cover it for the paper, the day before the show I asked him who his announcer was, because I went to school for broadcasting and Michael Buffer was one of my favorites.
So when I asked him Will told me that it was funny that I asked because he had a radio guy who was going to do the announcing but he backed out. So I told him I would do it, he looked at me like, yeah right, I gave him my background, went to school for broadcasting, hosted a national radio show and two local radio shows and I know the game, I told him to trust me because I would not embarrass you. He let me try, and after the show he asked if I wanted to be his announcer and we have been doing it every since. I love this job, I take it real seriously, I want to do Will a good job and give the fans a show.
BH: Have you ever had that moment where the fight was not so fan friendly and you had to come up with some really quick to get the fans into it between rounds?
RL: Oh yes, there are shows where there are good fights, but a couple guys will be in the ground and it is a real technical match, and anybody who really knows the sport would be into it. But you know most fans wants to see them standing and banging. You just have to understand where the fans are coming from because they are the ones paying the money to see a show, but you just try to reach them during the rounds, you just use whatever you can. You sort of develop a feel for the crowd, and my job has really helped me in doing that because I cover a lot of sporting events and I can tell when fans are in to things, you just have to be in touch. You cannot just go in there and say this guy is in this corner, you have to keep in touch with the fans.
BH: Most announcers have their little saying, Bruce Buffer, “It’s time to begin”, Michael Buffer, “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble”, and so on, how did you come up with, “It’s time to Rattle the Cage!”?
RL: I was calling people the day before I announced the first show for Will, and all my friends where like, what are you going to say? I said from the beginning that I was not going to use any lines unless I think it is really good. I did not use anything at first, then we were doing the first pro show for Cage Kings, and I was driving to the show, and it hits me, two months after I did my first show, it hit me, “It’s time to Rattle the Cage”. I did not want to steal anybody else’s and wanted to come up with one of my own. I told Will and he said it sounded great. But if you just say it, it does not have the impact, but if you put something into it. So after I started using it, I could see the fans picking up on it, so now I let the fans help start the program, I say, “It’s time to Rattle”, and the fans scream “Cage”. It gets the fans into it; it is a lot of fun.
BH: With the forty plus shows that you have been involved in with Ring Rulers and Cage Kings, what has been one of the best fights you have seen?
RL: Man, the best fight, the first Cage Kings shows we did, and this is definitely my most memorable moment. We had had a kid name Ryan, you might have been at this one, the one with Cale Grady, where you at that one?
BH: Yes that was a sadistic knock out brother.
RL: It was a double knock out, but Cale Grady sort of came out of it. But before the fight if you remember they were sort of into it, they were in the center of the cage as I was announcing them, I remember saying and in the blue corner side of the middle of the cage. (Laughs) man they were nose to nose, so I did my introduction and Jon Munz was the referee, and had to sort of push them apart, I was walking out of the cage and I remember saying, you have a doozey here Jon. They closed the cage and I am not even back to my seat yet and two seconds later it was over. We tried to check and so far from what we came up with that was the fastest knock out in the MMA, our first Cage Kings show. It was a real memorable night.
BH: Yes man, I will never forget that, I felt bad because I was taking pictures and Ryan was laying there getting worked on, but it is my job.
RL: Exactly, our photographer for that night, she was in such a hurry because it happened so fast and he started having the seizures, she forgot to put her memory card in the camera so every picture she took was for nothing. But she was worried the kid was going to die, it was a scary situation, and I remember announcing to get the oxygen in the cage. But of course an hour later the kid was fine. If that would of happened in the UFC that would have been the most memorable moment in MMA history. And anybody who was there will most certainly never forget it.
BH: Ring Rulers and Cage Kings are really starting to rise in popularity, in your opinion how much bigger can this thing get?
RL: Well, there is a lot of competition now, when we entered this years ago there were not as nearly as many organizations in it as there are now. But as far as building markets go, the sky is the limit, there are still a lot of people that do not know about the MMA and never been to as fight. But there is room to grow for us, the Cage Kings and the casino market is really starting to pick up. We are talking about doing some shows in Oklahoma; I know Will is trying to get it on TV as well. There are so many more people getting into the MMA, it is an exciting sport.
BH: What advice would you give to somebody who was embarking on a career in ring announcing?
RL: We try not to do it in the south because I don’t want to lose my job. (Laughs) Man, it has always been a dream of mine and I studied up on it, get your chance, find a promoter who needs a good ring announcer. Trust me, there are a lot of guys out there announcing who does not take it that seriously, maybe a radio DJ trying to help a buddy out, but if you find the right place at the right time maybe you can get hooked up like I did. It is a lot of fun, you get to see every side of the business, you get to see the show inside and out.
BH: If anybody can get anything out of this interview, what would you want it to be?
RL: Just to see how much I love the sport, I try to learn about it every day. I would like to start training soon, not to fight, but learn more about the sport, I want to know everything about the sport. One day I would like to do some play by play for the MMA. I love the sport and the people in it, it is just a passion.
For more info on Cage Kings and Ring Rulers, check out www.cagekings.com and www.ringrulers.com
You can listen to Bob Carroll, Butch and “THE Big Dog” Benny Henderson Jr. every Wednesday night from 6-7pm EST on Fightin’ Words Radio Show. To listen live via the internet, go to www.1490wwpr.com and look for the ‘listen here’ tab. Don't forget to check out the Fightin' Words Radio Show website, www.fightinwordsonline.com
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