Bantamweight Karol Rosa stepped into the octagon for nearly the first time in a year at UFC 251. She left with her hand raised.
Rosa (13-3) had be lined up with “The Raging Panda” Julia Avila over the past 11 or so months. However, each time, something had come up. An injury to Rosa. Multiple coronavirus postponements and cancellations. Travel issues, with the world on lockdown.
In the end, it was fellow Brazilian Vanessa Melo who Rosa took a unanimous decision against on Saturday. A much heavier opponent, as Melo missed weight by a full five pounds.
“For me the weight was not really an issue,” Rosa told Cageside Press following the bout. “From the beginning, this was four fights cancelled already, so I was ready to go with this fight for whatever weight. So basically even if she was 5 kilos above [the weight class], I would have actually gone for it.”
Rosa replied with in the affirmative when asked if a bout against Julia Avila still interested her. “I think that maybe in the near future our paths will cross, and eventually we’ll fight against each other,” she said.
She may have to wait a little, as Avila appears to have a fight lined up.
In the meantime, Rosa is hoping she can do a little exploring on Fight Island.
“Honestly since the moment we arrived we loved everything. From the breakfast all the way to the dinner,” she said of her stay on Yas Island, in Abu Dhabi. Dubbed “Fight Island,” of course, for this month’s UFC stint. “Everything has been a great experience. Now that I’m done with the fight, I’ll be staying here for a week. I would love to go around and get to know the beaches and the cities.”
Watch the full UFC 251 virtual post-fight press scrum with Karol Rosa above.