Danny Roberts is looking to get back to his winning ways following a controversial hometown loss to Claudio Silva at UFC London when he takes on viral sensation and promotional newcomer, Michel Pereira, at UFC Rochester.
Roberts was deemed to have verbally submitted to Silva as he attempted to negotiate his way out of an armbar, handing the victory to the Brazilian. Casting his mind back to the event, Roberts remarked that he had no idea that a verbal submission rule was in place and insisted that the referee did not mention anything about it prior to the contest.
“I only found out after the fight [about the verbal submission rule],” Roberts told MMA Fighting.
“I was going back and forth with people on social media, I was hearing all different kinds of things from all different kinds of places. Even then, there were plenty of people debating if it was a rule or if it wasn’t a rule. At the rules meeting before the fight, it wasn’t something I was made aware of by the referee.”
Up until the Silva loss, Roberts had been in sensational form, seeing off Oliver Enkamp with a first round knockout before claiming a decision win over Polish stalwart, David Zawada. He insists the loss to Silva has brought no pause to his momentum.
“It hasn’t slowed me down whatsoever. It was just a hard thing to digest at the time, but there was also a lot to take away from it. We got some time in against a slippery customer who competes on the world stage in jiu-jitsu, who hasn’t been beat in 11 years. I felt like I was beating him for two rounds and then a mistake in the heat of the moment cost me the fight,” he said.
“Between the UFC and the fans, they know who I am; they know what I bring to the table. I come to fight and I always bring it. I really believe that I’m up there with some of the best in the world and it’s only a matter of time before an opportunity pops up for me to prove that.”
Pereira has become one of the most viral entities outside of the major promotions due to his recent flashy performances with Road FC. Given the Brazilian’s fighting style, Roberts believes he can dominate the proceedings.
“With this kid that I’m fighting, he likes to do flashy things, he’s a bit of showman and I think that will make for an exciting matchup,” Roberts said. “I’m a guy that takes the fight game very seriously and I’m going to have a guy across from me that’s going to try and show a lot of flair and diversity in his striking. Honestly, I think it’s going to be one-sided, I think I’m going to shut him down quick.”
After studying tape on his opponent, “Hot Chocolate” is confident that he can avoid ending up on the end of a spectacular knockout, which has become Pereira’s calling card.
“The guy has had 11 fights in the last two years, so there is plenty of tape on him and we’ve seen a lot of patterns and setups from him that are exactly the same,” Roberts said. “Saying that, a fight is a fight, when you get in there and the lights are on a lot of things can change, but we’re confident that we’ve seen a lot of repetition in this guy throughout his last few fights.”
Roberts believes Pereira’s need to play to the crowd will be his undoing. He also underlined his belief that the Brazilian is taking a big step up in terms of opposition.
“This is the UFC; he’s in the big leagues now. This is the one percent and I truly feel I’m part of the one percent; I feel like I was born to be in the one percent. He needs to come out and prove that he belongs here, because I already know this is where I’m supposed to be. I don’t feel like there’s any pressure on me whatsoever, he’s the one that’s got to do something, not me,” Roberts said.
“Looking at him, who he is and what he does, there will be a lot of eyes on this fight. I don’t expect that to change, I think his fighting style is part of the reason he’s got to where he is. People are going to expect that flair and showmanship, but I’ll be walking forward, ready for a war.”
Pushed for prediction, Roberts forecast that the fight wouldn’t make it to the third round.
“I don’t see it going passed the second round,” stated Roberts. “I don’t think it’s going to hit the floor too much, and again, I really can’t see this one going the full 15 minutes.”
Danny Roberts is an ambassador of leading mouthguard provider, OPRO. For more information please visit https://www.opromouthguards.com/