UFC welterweight Danny Roberts spoke to Pundit Arena about coming to terms with his controversial defeat at the hands of Claudio Silva and his upcoming battle with Michel Pereira at UFC Rochester.
Facing the veteran Claudio Silva in an electric showdown at UFC London, the fight was called in the favour of the Brazilian after the referee – thinking that Roberts had verbally tapped to an armbar in the third-round – ended the bout there and then.
Subsequent replays showed that Roberts did not, in fact, submit to the BJJ black-belt and in the direct aftermath of that fight, he made it clear that he was far from happy.
With time now having passed since then, in a recent interview with Pundit Arena, he explained how he has been forced to move on and above all else, take away the positives from the experience.
“You know what, I’m very settled with it now. I’m okay with it. At the time, the way the fight went, you put so much into it, the sacrifices you make, so many elements that add to the internal pressure of what needs to be done.
“So when you have it snatched away from you like that – fighting is my life – it isn’t really one of those things that people can judge on cause it’s a personal thing. It was only me in there, I was the only one riding the ride, putting the work in.
“So with the way the fight went, yeah, I was pissed and nothing could have made me see the light out of the situation. But then when I came away from it, I looked at it. We’re talking about a guy who beat two top-ranked guys in the UFC, he hasn’t been beaten in the UFC, hasn’t been beaten in eleven years. The only thing that saved him, he was saved by the skin of his teeth, and he influenced the ref to do what he did.
“For me, there was a lot to take away from it, there is a lot to take away from it and I did that. The best thing to do was to get back on that horse like I said, straight after the fight, get fit, get healthy, and get straight back out there.”
Now, two months later, he will step in to take on the Brazilian debutant Michel Pereira at UFC Rochester tonight – a man who shot himself into the public eye earlier this year on the back of some frankly bonkers athleticism inside the octagon.
Somersaults, backflips, you name it! Pereira is just a recklessly creative guy in there.
The big question now is whether he will be able to pull it off when it really matters.
Although Pereira will no doubt enter the UFC with quite a bit of hype behind him, Roberts – as the proven talent – considers himself the favourite due to his experience.
Citing several holes he and his team have seen in the game of the Brazilian, Hot Chocolate expressed his confidence in getting the job done.
“It’s crazy, I took a risk taking this fight. I’m eight fights into the UFC, so I don’t have anything to prove – I’ve just got a legacy to build and the opponent in front of me now is Michel Pereira.
“And what we’ve got, as far as his style, is like something you’d see in a circus – it’s hard to break him down, the stuff he does, the backflips, the spins, the craziness, but there’s holes in his game – moments for him to be exploited.
“I’m a guy who you don’t want to be stood opposite to when it comes to making a mistake.
“For me, it’s a bad matchup for Pereira. He does some unorthodox things but we do see flaws and things that we’re going to exploit and make the most out of.”
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena