Roosevelt Roberts was ready to fight anyone, on any date, regardless of the notice.
Roberts, 26, will face fellow Dana White’s Contender Series alum Brok Weaver at UFC on ESPN 9. The event takes place at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas and will be headlined by a welterweight bout between Tyron Woodley and Gilbert Burns.
The lightweight bout came together on a little over one week’s notice and Roberts put pen to paper immediately.
“I didn’t care,” Roberts told MMA Fighting while appearing on What the Heck. “I don’t care who they give me. I kind of wanted somebody who had been in there a little longer but I don’t care. I just want to get paid. When you put that name on a contract and send that contract my way, I’m gonna sign it.”
“GoGetta” has won nine of his 10 professional fights with the lone loss coming via unanimous decision to Vinc Pichel at UFC Minneapolis this past June. Roberts took a lot away from his first professional defeat, which led to a decision victory of his own against Alexander Yakovlev at November’s UFC Moscow event.
He will face Weaver, who was victorious in his lone octagon appearance at UFC Rio Rancho—although it wasn’t the type of win he had hoped for. The Alabama native made his long-awaited promotional debut after earning a contract on last summer’s Contender Series and took an illegal knee from Rodrigo Vargas in the first round, which lead to a disqualification.
“Chata Tuska” caught Dana White’s attention with his ability to entertain and cut a promo, which is something Roberts has caught onto as well.
“Dude’s good,” Roberts explained. “He’s a good fighter. It’s gonna be a great fight. He’s got the gift of gab, he knows how to talk so that’ll definitely shine him up a little bit. But when we step into that cage, all that talking? There ain’t gonna be no more of that.”
Roberts admits that fighting on such short notice isn’t the most ideal situation, as he prefers a fight camp that lasts around six weeks. With the opponent that will stand across from him this weekend, he and his team feel that the normal study sessions for a fight aren’t warranted.
“To be honest with you, fighting Brok is gonna be a very basic fight,” Roberts said. “He’s a good boxer, he’s tough and there’s not too much that we need to worry about. We just need to worry about going in there and doing what we’ve got to do.”
Originally, Roberts was scheduled to face Matt Frevola at April’s UFC Lincoln event before it was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns. Although he still would like that fight someday, Roberts believes he’ll have a short night at the office before calling his shot to compete on “Fight Island” this summer.
“I see it going down with me either getting a knockout or submission,” Roberts said. “I haven’t got a stoppage since my (Darrell) Horcher fight (in my UFC debut) so I’m going in there hungry, ready to tear his head off and make it happen.
“I definitely want to get on that island after this fight,” Roberts continued. “Hopefully this fight goes smooth so I can get right on that island. I got a name—and it’s not Frevola—but I’m not gonna say it right now.
“I’m definitely gonna say it in the cage after I win.”