Rick John Roufus(born June 3, 1966) is an American kickboxer, fighting out of Pound Gyms in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is one of the most famous kickboxers in America, and has also competed professionally in boxing and mixed martial arts. An accomplished professional fighter throughout his competitive career Roufus has won multiple world championships across the globe in several weight classes, he was world champion as a super middle weight, light heavyweight and heavyweight. Roufus held titles for all the major kickboxing associations worldwide (PKA, IKF, ISKA, FFKA and KICK), and is known for his boxing skills and powerful kicks. He is the older brother of Duke Roufus who is also a kickboxer and a muay Thai and mixed martial arts instructor.
Rick Roufus began his lifelong practice of the martial arts at the age of 5. He learned taekwondo from his father. He quickly rose through the national point karate circuit and debuted as a professional kickboxer in his late teens. He had his first professional fight in May 1985 against J.C Owens whom he defeated by decision.
On 19 August 1989, in his tenth fight, Roufus sent shockwaves through the kickboxing community by outworking the reigning national PKC Light Middleweight champion in a unanimous decision win. In April 1987, he fought against John Moncayo for the world title of KICK at super middleweight. Roufus knocked out Moncayo in round 7 to win his first world title.
In the beginning of his career, Roufus fought under the rule of Full contact where leg kicks, elbow strikes, and knee attacks were not allowed. He changed directions on 5 November 1988 when he challenged Changpuek Kiatsongrit in a non-title fight in Las Vegas. His kickboxing record stood at a perfect 28 wins, but the Thai overcame a substantial weight difference by overwhelming Roufus with leg kicks. Roufus knocked Changpuek down twice with punches in the first round, but lost by knockout in the fourth round due to the culmination of low kicks that he was unprepared for. After the fight, the Roufus brothers sought out Thai experts to learn the art of delivering and checking leg kicks.
On 19 June 1991, Rick Roufus faced Marek Piotrowski. A rematch as Piotrowski defeated him in their first encounter. The vacant ISKA Full Contact Light World title was on the line, while Piotrowski's PKC Full Contact Light Heavyweight World title was also up for grabs. Roufus won by heavy second-round KO from a high kick that left the Polish fighter unconscious on the canvas.
On 20 December 1991, Roufus defended his ISKA Full Contact Light World Light Heavyweight title against Dutchman Rob Kaman. Roufus was initially declared the winner by decision but the match was later declared a no-contest after Kaman's corner protested that only 1 minute had been fought in the 4th round - a round that could have been critical to Kaman as he had hurt his opponent. A second bout between the pair came to fruition in February 1994 in Paris, France. The fight was sold out - 20,000 people - weeks in advance. Roufus won the rematch by KO in the second round.
On January 22, 1994 Roufus won the IKF Pro Full Contact Rules Light Heavyweight World Title when he defeated Michael McDonald of Vancouver, BC, Canada, by "KO" at :43 seconds of round 1 at Caesars Tahoe Casino in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
On 26 March 1994 he travelled to Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where he took on Jean-Yves ThÃ©riault. Roufus won by unanimous decision after 12 rounds, defending his PKC Full Contact Light Heavyweight World title. In Paris in 1994, he met Ernesto Hoost, the WMTA and WKA World Light Heavyweight champion. Roufus lost by KO.
He later decided to enter the world of boxing. He enjoyed some success, but he was never able to fight for a world championship. In August 1996, he challenged the vacant title of WBC Continental Americas at cruiserweight. He knocked out Sean McClain, and won his first and only title in boxing. After several losses Rick Roufus returned to kickboxing. He emerged victorious at the K-1 USA held August 17, 1998 in Las Vegas quickly dispatching Pedro Fernandez and Jerome Turcan.
On May 15, 1999 in Lowell Massachusetts, he won the IKF Pro International Rules Heavyweight World title when he defeated Stan Longinidis of Box Hill, Victoria, Australia by TKO after Loniginidis suffered a broken bone in his foot at the end of round 9. Roufus was ahead on all 3 judges cards at the time, 89-81, 86-83 and 88-81.
Mixed martial arts proved to be a new challenge for Rick Roufus late in his career. In his MMA debut, Roufus lost to Maurice Smith in the first round via kimura at the Strikeforce: At The Dome event in Tacoma, Washington on February 23, 2008.
In March 2008, Roufus had his second MMA bout, this time in Newkirk, Oklahoma for Caged Combat Championship Fights. He defeated Mike Buell via unanimous decision. After a stint in several local promotions Roufus brought his mixed martial arts record to 4 wins with 6 losses.