UFC on ESPN 11: Roosevelt Roberts Undaunted by Experience Gap with Jim Miller

Roosevelt Roberts wasn’t planning to fight again so soon. After his submission win against Brok Weaver at UFC Vegas at the end of May, the plan was to take a little time off. Go home, see his kids. Perhaps target a return in July or August.

Then the UFC came calling, offering him a big name. “They called me with this good opportunity, I couldn’t pass it up. So I jumped on it,” he told Cageside Press at the UFC on ESPN 11 media day.

The name: Jim Miller. The longtime UFC lightweight, who is once again about to tie Donald Cerrone for the most fights in promotion history. 35 in total, once he steps in the cage against Roberts.

“I was kind of surprised,” Roberts said of his reaction to being offered the Miller fight. “I thought I was going to get [Matt] Frevola.”

That’s a fight Roberts had asked for after UFC Vegas. Frevola was actually supposed to fight on the card this weekend, against Frank Camacho. Only to be pulled after a corner tested positive for COVID-19. And so the man who planned to fight Saturday won’t be. Roberts, who expected some time off, will, against a much bigger name.

The fight will also be at a 160lb catchweight. Something Roberts requested.

“I just didn’t want to have to cut again so quick,” he explained regarding that request. “155 for me, I’m skinny. Tall and skinny. I don’t really have that much muscle. So it’s kind of hard for me to get down to 155. I just didn’t want to have to cut weight again in two weeks after I’d just got done cutting weight. So we asked for 160, he took it, and I’m grateful for that.”

When it comes to Miller, Roosevelt Roberts has nothing but respect for the veteran. Miller will now hit 35 UFC fights. Over 45 fights total. In fact, Jim Miller has more losses than Roberts has professional fights in MMA. But at the same time, Roberts is not at all intimated by the wealth of experience his opponent has.

“He’s human. He bleeds just like I bleed, he’ll go to sleep just like I’ll go to sleep, he’ll get knocked out just like I get knocked out,” Roberts told us. It’s not all about cage time, he suggested. “I don’t care how many times he’s been in there. I’ve been fighting my whole life. I haven’t been fighting MMA my whole life, but I’ve been fighting my whole life. So it don’t matter. He’s just human.”

Watch the full UFC on ESPN 11 media day scrum with Roosevelt Roberts above.