Phoenix, AZ – Undefeated Bellator middleweight prospect Dalton Rosta has no problem with an opponent change just days before his bout at Bellator 273 on Saturday night at The Footprint Center.
Rosta (5-0) was supposed to face Romero Cotton but, for the third time, the fight fell through opening the door for a late replacement to step into the cage with the young prospect.
“We talked after my last fight about the rankings a little bit on the way to the interview. Obviously the media is in charge of those, they vote on it, and everything. I though for sure after my last fight, after beating Tony Johnson, I would have for sure been ranked above him. Then they put me in top 10, he was ranked still above me after that, and I was done with him after that. After he pulled out the first few times. Then I was asked about it and I was like, ‘You know what, I want the fight again.’ Just because he’s ranked above me I feel like I got something to prove. But then next thing you know he ends up accepting the fight after 8-9 months of silence just radio silence,” Rosta said in his media day scrum.
“Calling him out on Instagram, calling him out on Twitter, calling him out in interviews. Having Rich Chou and the matchmakers push for the fight and just straight silence. Nobody hearing back from the dude. And then finally he takes the fight, I was expecting him to pull out, I was hoping he didn’t but I was expecting it. I told my teammates, my friends, my manager, ‘I think he’s going to pull out.’ And then sure enough three weeks before the fight he pulled out. I don’t think it’s anything besides the fact that he’s scared. That he doesn’t want to actually fight. That should say enough.”
As far as Johnson (6-2) goes Rosta admitted he didn’t know much about his short notice opponent.
“I’ve honestly never heard of him before. And then I’d seen ‘Duane The Rock Johnson’ first thing. Talk about professional wrestling, first thing that comes across. But I knew nothing about him, I’ll be honest. He fought on the prelims on the Sergei Kharitonov and Cheick Kongo card. I watched that card, but I didn’t catch all the prelims. I don’t know what I was doing I usually try to catch them all. But I would have recognized his name had I seen his fight.”
“Whenever I looked him up I seen that fight. I seen he got a 64-second D’arce choke which is pretty impressive, but you know the quality of opponent isn’t what I was facing.”
As for what is next after Saturday night Rosta said he remains focused on Johnson, but does have opponents in mind for after.
“I am looking forward for fights with a couple people after this. That being Mike Shipman or Charlie Ward. They’re ranked 6th and 7th and 8th, whatever they are. I want to fight guys that are ranked above me. I don’t want to can-crush. It’s not who I am I’ve always taken the tough fights. I want to prove my worth, and that’s that.”
Watch the full Bellator 273 media day appearance by Dalton Rosta above. The event takes place this Saturday, January 29, 2022 at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, AZ.