Vinc Pichel outworked Roosevelt Roberts to give the prospect the first loss of his career at UFC Minneapolis.
Roosevelt Roberts entered UFC Minneapolis as one of the brighter prospects on the card. The 25-year-old was undefeated at 8-0 ahead of his matchup with Vinc Pichel, coming off of back-to-back UFC wins. Those wins came after Roberts earned a contract with the promotion, following a second round submission win in his appearance on the Dana White Contender Series last summer.
Pichel is no stranger to the life of a UFC prospect himself. The 36-year-old competed on The Ultimate Fighter: Live in 2012. He made it to the semifinals, where he lost to Al Iaquinta. He’s since fought six times in the promotion, going 4-2. Most recently, Pichel was submitted by Gregor Gillespie in the second round last summer, ending a four fight winning streak.
The duo traded leg kicks from range throughout the first minute of the fight, before Roberts was able to get inside and land a couple of strikes. Pichel struggled to find the range early, but was eventually able to push Roberts against the cage. Roberts would easily escape after turning Pichel against the cage, and got the fight back to the center of the octagon. A flying knee that just missed Pichel from Roberts followed, forcing Pichel back against the cage once more.
The final couple of minutes were spent with the fighters against the cage, before Roberts failed to get a takedown, but was able to get the fight back in the middle of the octagon. Roberts then fought hard for a takedown after landing some strikes, and slammed Pichel down. He was unable to capitalize, as the first round ended with the men, like much of the fight, up against the cage.
Pichel came out much more aggressive early in round two. Roberts was patient, keeping Pichel at distance with a series of jabs and striaght rights. Pichel used a heavy right hand to shoot a takedown, and impressively forced Roberts to the ground against the cage 90 seconds into the second round. Controlling from top, Pichel was active, but failed to land anything of note. Roberts then waited for his opening, and exploded up and got the fight back on the feet
Pichel continued to find success with his leg kicks throughout round two. While Roberts was comfortable, Pichel’s aggression and top control gave him a decided advantage in the second stanza. Then, late in the second round, Roberts was defending a kimura agains the cage. Once there, he was able to get Pichel to the ground and take his back. But, the veteran Pichel was able to reverse position, and end the round in mount. This likely evened the fight at a round apiece.
Pichel continued to be aggressive to open the third round. Roberts responded by landing a couple of hooks, which Pichel seemed unphased by. Pichel then went back to what worked in round two, pinning Roberts against the cage and taking him down. Roberts worked hard, but Pichel kept top control and position, eventually landing some solid right hands. While Roberts worked to standing, Pichel latched on to a standing guillotine. It looked deep, but Roberts showcased his patience once more and escaped.
He didn’t escape without taking some damage, though. Pichel didn’t let Roberts rest for a second, getting Roberts back on the ground and taking his back in the final 90 seconds. The aggression from Pichel didn’t stop, as he held on to a body triangle and took mount on Roberts in the final minute. With Pichel working for a variety of submissions, Roberts got to his feet as the horn ended the fight.
Vinc Pichel def. Roosevelt Roberts by unanimous decision (29-28×3)
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) June 30, 2019