“There’s levels to this” has no doubt become one of the more common phrases spouted during any interview or media day session in the MMA world. Ahead of UFC Vegas 19, Charles Rosa quoted that line in an interview with BJPenn.com, suggesting that he’d score the KO of opponent Darrick Minner in their featherweight scrap this weekend.
Minner certainly had something to say about that on Thursday, speaking to Cageside Press during a virtual media day promoting the event.
“Look at my fights before I got here. I fought tougher competition before I got here than he did. He’s had like three tough fights in the UFC,” Minner exclaimed. “I fought UFC caliber fights from 2013 to now. He can say what he wants, but he knows the truth.”
Minner has apparently been paying attention to Rosa’s pre-fight talk. “He’s predicted a first-round knockout, he predicted a second, third round submission. He predicted that he doesn’t know where it’s going to go,” observed the Glory MMA fighter. “I don’t think he’s too confident in his skill set.”
So, when it comes to there being levels to professional MMA, “the fact is that I fought tougher competition to get here,” stated Minner. “I went through the grinder to get here, and he didn’t. He fought a bunch of bums for his first eight fights, and then he fought Denis Siver for his UFC debut. When we talk about levels to this game, I went through the levels. He did not.”
As for Minner’s own prediction for Saturday night, “I walk in there, and I walk out with two checks.”
There’s no question it took Darrick Minner a while to make it to the big show. He put in years on the regional circuit, amassing a record of 24-10 before finally making it to the UFC. Two fights later, he sits at 25-11 and is looking to build off his first octagon victory.
“I think I’ve always known I’ve belonged here,” Minner said Thursday. As to whether you really feel like a UFC fighter until you win, Minner pointed out that “Everybody claims they’re a UFC fighter, but getting that first win solidifies that you’re a UFC fighter. That’s the big mark. I belong here, now we’re here, winning fights. I’m a UFC fighter with a win now.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 19 virtual media day scrum with Darrick Minner above! The event takes place Saturday, February 20 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, NV.