Welcome to the UFC: Karol Rosa and Lara Procopio

UFC Ottawa
UFC Ottawa screen Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

The women’s bantamweight division gets some reinforcements when Karol Rosa and lara Procopio join the fold at UFC Shenzhen at the end of the month.

The UFC is coming to Shenzhen, China inside the Universiade Sports Centre on August 31, with a number of debuting fighters in tow. The card is headlined by UFC strawweight champion Jessica Andrade defending her title against rising star Weili Zhang. In fact, no fewer than six debuts are slated. Two lined up to face each other are Karol Rosa and Lara Procopio, will do battle in a women’s bantamweight bout.

How will Rosa fare in the UFC:

On the feet, Rosa has good fundamentals with her jab and mainly her leg kicks which she will throw often. She isn’t the fastest which would probably be her biggest flaw, maybe even her only one. Her takedown defense isn’t great but she scrambles well doing a good job not staying stationary. She has some decent wrestling she uses at times and on top, she has some notable effective ground and pound. Rosa does good work throwing solid output but she could be more technical throwing looping hooks opening herself to counters.

How will Procopio fare in the UFC:

Procopio is a good prospect who proved herself in her last two outings against fair competition, winning the Shooto Brasil title in the process. Procopio first and foremost is a very strong grappler. Her standup is still a work in progress as her striking defense is a bit shaky and her movement is really just straight forward. Her striking, in general, is not somewhere she is strong but she does a fine job letting go to enter the clinch. Procopio has strong BJJ and it shows with her submission base, ability to get dominant positions easy, and smooth transitions. She falls short at times getting taken down and losing scrambles which result in her on her back. Procopio is a threat off her back, however, particularly with the arm-bar but against tougher competition she will struggle.

How these two match up:

Both are good prospects who match up with each other perfectly. On the feet, Rosa has the advantage as her leg kicks could be the biggest factor for her in this fight. Rosa isn’t technical like Procopio but Rosa throws more, her defense is better, and she hits harder. Procopio has the advantage on the mat with superior BJJ but the question is, can she take Rosa down? Rosa has decent takedown defense and the wrestling of Procopio isn’t what it needs to be. It’s a very tough fight to call but keep in mind that Rosa has lost by submission twice.