UFC Vegas 19: Charles Rosa on Minner Fight, Rise of New England MMA

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Charles Rosa is hoping to make it two wins in a row against Darrick Minner, a fight that has taken on a bit of an edge ahead of their meeting Saturday night.

Rosa has predicted a finish, and said in several interviews and media scrums that there are “levels to this” — indicating Minner isn’t on his. Minner got a little fired up about that comment.

But if Minner isn’t on his level, why take the fight? “It’s the fight the UFC offered me,” Rosa said simply during the UFC Vegas 19 media day this week.

Rosa is just one of those fighters that doesn’t say no. “The UFC calls me, and I answer. I’ve never turned down a fight with the UFC.” That includes multiple short notice fights, dating right back to his debut, noted Rosa. That debut saw him stepping in on five day’s notice against Denis Siver.

When it comes to his fight with Minner, Rosa sees it playing out one of two ways. “If he wants to try to stand up with me and eat some shots, then he’s going to get knocked out,” Rosa predicted. “And then if he wants to try to go into the grappling exchanges, which is my silver bullet, where I’m best at, then he’s going to get choked out. Those are the two things that you’re going to see happen.”

Despite the tough talk, “I definitely respect Derek as a fighter. He’s a veteran, he’s been in there over forty fights,” added Rosa. “But there’s no doubt that he’s very uncomfortable in the octagon. That’s why he fights the way he does. He throws very aggressive in the beginning, he comes out swinging realty hard, and he wants to get the finish soon. I’ve never been finished in my career, I’ve never been submitted in my career. I don’t see Darrick Minner being the first one to do it.”

While Rosa admits Minner is an elite level fighter, “there’s levels to it. He’s going to find out come Saturday night.”

While Rosa has been training at ATT in Florida, he’s a New England native, who returns home to the Boston Area to train off-camp. “It’s pretty special,” Rosa said of the rise of MMA in the area. “I grew up in Boston, New England, and I get to go work with Rob Font and Mickey Ward.” Ward in particular, who Rosa called a legend, “is not just a boxing coach to me, but he’s also like a motivational mentor.”

“I really love what Tyson Chartier has done with the team,” Rosa added. Cartier is the coach of fighters like Font and Calvin Kattar, members of New England Cartel that has been on the rise of late. And while Kattar came up short against Max Holloway recently, Rosa believes that “it just showed the type fighter Boston fighters are. The guys aren’t going to quit. So I think he represented our city well, and what we stand for: never giving up, never quitting.”

Watch the full UFC Vegas 19 virtual media day scrum with Charles Rosa above! The event takes place Saturday, February 20 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, NV.

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