UFC 188’s Charles Rosa talks Yair Rodriguez, Kimbo Slice and meeting the Boston Bruins

61f9e7fc98b11beda1f7427d58379565Charles Rosa looks to earn his second straight win in the UFC when he faces off against TUF Latin America winner Yair Rodriguez. This featherweight affair takes place Saturday on the on the main card of UFC 188 in Mexico City. The American Top Team Product spoke to MMAOddsBreaker and discussed a variety of topics on Episode 108 of The Parting Shot Podcast.    Defeating Sean Soriano at UFC Fight Night 59 in his hometown of Boston “That was a dream come true. Ever since I was kid I played hockey and lacrosse. Watching the Boston Bruins and the Celtics play at the Boston Garden, it was always my dream to walk out of the tunnel with my name ‘Rosa’ on my back. I was able to fulfill my childhood dream. To say it was a dream come true, it’s exactly what it was. To be able to have my friends, family and everybody that’s ever supported me and be there, it was definitely special. I was expecting to get a choke finish and that’s exactly what I got, so I’m happy with the result.   TUF 21 and ATT’s rivalry with Blackzillans “They started filming the show right after right after [my] fight, so I was able to go to each one of those events and really have my head up high [after defeating Blackzillians fighter Soriano]. I was at every single one of the filming’s. This stuff is for real. I mean I always wonder sometimes with these reality TV shows like I was always one of those people who wondered if it was [fake or real] This was one of the most intense things I’ve ever seen. It was like the middle of the day Tuesdays, Thursday and Fridays. We’d go meet up and each other’s gym, these were fights right down the street from where I live. We’d meet up with our team versus their team. They’d have all their best guys standing across from each other. It was really special, like something you’d see in one of those oldschool movies like Bloodsport or Lionheart type deal. It had a street fight feel to it.”   Opponent Yair Rodriguez at UFC 188 “I’m not sure what exactly what the odds [are] but I’d have to say I’d be a heavy favourite in this fight. I look at Yair Rodriguez and I do see a young, talented prospect. But I see a guy who’s [also] very inexperienced. Experience is a huge part of it, especially octagon experience. Obviously the level of guys that he’s fought is not the same [as who I’ve fought]. Also there is some mystery because he hasn’t fought anybody like me. I think this will be a great test for him and I think this is a great fight for me. I’m looking forward to it.   Preparation for UFC 188  “As far as coaches I’m using Mike Brown, Ricardo Liborio and Master Katel is the striking coach. I have my coach from Holland Stefan Berkenpas, he’s a Dutch kickboxing coach that I fly in from Holland. I train kickboxing with him and so I can keep sharp on my feet. As far as sparring partners; Daniel Strauss, Robert Whiteford and this kid Garret Gross, he’s fighting Chris Healthy [at Bellator 138]. I got a couple of really good sparring partners. One of my main factors I’m definitely trying keep aware of is being healthy. I think for me it’s always the most important thing. I know when I go into the fight, my skills are there and I’m always in shape. I take a lot of pride in conditioning myself and running. All these things are important. When I’m prepared I don’t think there is anybody in the world that can beat me. I’m predicting a first round choke out.   Facing a Top 10 opponent after UFC 188  “Absolutely that’s where I want to be. When I fought Dennis Siver he was Top 10 at the time, fighting him on five days’ notice, for my first UFC fight, having to cut the 30 pounds in a couple days, in his home country. To be able to put up the fight I did, I truly feel I would have won that fight with just a little bit more preparation, time and experience.  There’s no doubt in my mind that’s where I belong. That was almost than a year ago, I’m much better fighter, more experienced and more confident. Especially with a full training camp for me, ever since I found out about this fight with Yair, I’ve been training two times a day and only taking Sundays off where I still work a job. So I don’t really have any days off. That’s the way I train, pedal to the floor. I’m going at this 100%.”   Who wins at UFC 189: Jose Aldo or Conor McGregor? “Man that’s a really tough call. I really do believe fighting is very much mental. Conor McGregor is a very mentally strong fighter and he truly believes in what he has. But I just feel like Jose Aldo with the experience and just being as good as he is, beating all the top guys, I really feel like he’s one of the pound for pound best. This is one of the most interesting fights for me ever, personally just watching both guys come up. One thing I can say, I think Conor McGregor has the mental edge and I think Jose Aldo has the technical edge, I think [Aldo] is the better fighter overall.”   Kimbo Slice being at ATT and his fight at Bellator 138  “Kimbo’s my boy; he’s one of the first people who I actually met down here in the sport when I was training at American Top Team with Charles McCarthy in Boca Raton, I started off at the satellite gym. Kimbo was one of the first fighters to actually take me under his wing as an amateur. He was my favorite fighter at the time, in the world.  When Charles McCarthy told me he knew him and I was able to get introduced to him. He hooked me up with my first pair of gloves and he’s really been a person I’ve looked up to in the sport. I’ve seen him in the gym; he’s putting in the work. Kimbo’s a fighter though too, he’s one of those guys who goes in there to fight and he has that on and off switch. As long as he can turn that switch on, I think once he starts touching people and gets his hands on him, I see good things happening for him. He’s going to put people down.” Rosa_Kimbo   Working at Steakhouse Cut 442 and cutting weight  “That’s one of the toughest things, that’s part of my mental training. I’m not just a fighter that just does the physical part, I think mental training is an importing thing. I go to work; I do it a lot to stay humble, obviously working 1-2 days a week. That’s the hardest thing, making brownies, peanut butter pies, making steak, salad dressings, mashed potatoes, it’s really tough. It makes me that much more hungrier knowing that when I go into the fight. When I look across the ring and I see that guy, all this stuff that I sacrificed for months, just seeing this guy, he’s is going to pay for it. That’s what gives me that extra edge I think.” rosa_steakhouse   Meeting members of the Boston Bruins  “[Boston Bruins forward] Brad Marchand I remember he sent me a tweet on Twitter saying ‘awesome fight’ because he and the Boston Bruins were at my UFC fight in Boston. I just remember seeing that when I was in Mexico for media day. Just kind of on a whim was like man you know what I’m going to send him a tweet because I know he’s playing in Florida this weekend when I get back from Mexico. So sent him a tweet saying ‘hey what’s up man. I’m a fan of yours’ He’s one of the star players on the Bruins. He sent me his number, so I gave him a call. He hooked me up with tickets. I met him after the game; he was a fan of mine just as much as I was of him. I’m really optimistic and hoping they get their team back on track so they can make a run for the playoffs. Because now I have a hookup for tickets now! rosa_marchand   You can follow Charles on Twitter @CharlesRosaMMA and support his fathers charity organization “Chucky’s Fight”. Youc can also listen to the full audio version of this interview Sunday on Episode 108 of The Parting Shot Podcast. 

Written by James Lynch

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