Roel Rosauro is ready to prove that he truly belongs among the bright lights and global stage of ONE Championship, and he can make another big statement against James Yang in the curtain-raiser of ONE: REVOLUTION this Friday, 24 September.
The Filipino will aim for his second straight promotional win in this featherweight mixed martial arts contest, but it won’t come easy given that Yang trains alongside the MMA GOAT, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson.
Still, Rosauro plans to make a dent in the division with a convincing performance against the debuting American.
“The motivation is to prove to people that I belong here, that I deserve my spot, and that I can represent the Philippines well,” he says.
Things have been tricky for the Cebu City resident, with COVID-19 restrictions often affecting his fitness routine, but he’s remained determined to succeed throughout the uncertain times.
That means staying in optimal shape, and when his Survival MMA Fitness Hub gym couldn’t open, the 33-year-old would find other ways to stay ready.
“The preparation has been great. I’ve been able to train to the best of my abilities for this match,” Rosauro says.
“It’s hard because sometimes the gym is closed, especially when the restrictions here change, so sometimes I train at home when the gym is closed.”
It’s good that Rosauro has remained prepared, as he has a tough foe in front of him on Friday.
The 32-year-old Yang is eager to make a good first impression in The Home of Martial Arts and knows an impressive performance in his debut could be the start of big things in the featherweight ranks.
He’s getting plenty of guidance from “Mighty Mouse” – who will corner his fellow American against Rosauro – and also gets to work with longtime ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes in their Washington state-based gym.
With that in mind, the Filipino is expecting to face a varied skill set in their battle at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
“I expect him to be all-around, someone who’s very good at grappling but also has good striking. I think striking is his bread and butter, but I can’t be too sure given that he’s training with some really good grapplers,” he says of Yang.
“We all know that he comes from a very strong gym. His teammates are World Champions, so he has a very good support group behind him.”
When it comes to how their fight will play out, Rosauro finds it difficult to separate his skill set from Yang’s, but he’s confident that his mental fortitude will carry him to an emphatic victory.
“I can’t really say which part of my game is stronger than his, but probably, it’s my fighting spirit. I’m sure he’s trained well, so it all boils down to my fighting spirit,” he says.
“If I were to be given the choice, I’d like to keep this fight standing. I want a knockout win so there’d be no discussions left.”