The New England native, Charles Rosa, continues to prove even the smartest wrong with submission victory.
The hometown hero, a man who calls himself “Boston Strong” a saying that means a lot to the citizens of this city, Rosa proves just how Boston Strong he is. A first round submission victory over the much hyped and top 15 bantamweight, Manny Bermudez, also a hometown kid at UFC Boston. This was Rosa’s first fight in two years, and many had him as a big underdog, he didn’t seem to mind.
“It was exhilarating. I expected every second of it. I knew I was walking into that special building and getting a finish, getting a big win. I just broke the record, from Conor McGregor, for most UFC wins in the TD Garden , that is special man.”
It is only fitting that such a record of wins in the TD Garden belong to a local, a guy who fought in the CES cage for much of his young career, a promotion that based in Rhode Island who has fed many New Englanders to the UFC or Bellator ranks. You may be thinking, this is the absolute perfect return for a guy like Rosa. As perfect as it may seem, Rosa believes it could have went better.
“I ate a lot of shots, I based this camp around staying off of the cage, and first thing I did was end up on the cage. The cage seemed smaller than usual maybe I don’t remember correctly” Rosa joked. “He hit me with a leg kick that hurt, I was hurt, and I let him take me down and I stayed down to recover, he landed some shots, but it all worked out.”
Whether it was perfect or not, a first round submission of Manny Bermudez is pretty spectacular. Bermudez, a man with 14 wins, 11 submissions, and previously only one UFC loss. Bermudez had moved up in weight but was a top 15 at the bantamweight rank. It only makes sense that Rosa find himself a top 15 featherweight next in line, but who?
“I want Yair [Rodriguez], I won that Mexico City fight, I want that one back” Rosa told MyMMAnews. “I deserve someone top 15, top 10, I just submitted a top guy in the first round. I am healthy and have champion level talent, my only losses are to top guys, I want someone big.”
The words, I am healthy really stuck with me in the conversation. A man who had been gone for two years dealign with a neck injury, to come back and do what he did was amazing enough. It was when Rosa began speaking about his doctor that you could tell the emotion was pouring through his voice.
“I had a doctor tell me ‘I had a slim chance at ever fighting again and that I should probably change careers’, I told that doctor that one day I’d put the UFC belt on his desk” Rosa exclaimed. “Don’t ever tell me to quit, I’m not weak minded, I’m not you I told him. If it was 100% chance I couldn’t fight again that is one thing, but to say ‘oh 80% you better quit’ nope, not me, I don’t quit.”
Rosa says for the first time in his career he feels 100%, that most if not all of his career he was fighting at less than 100% but now he feels his health will not get in the way of his journey any longer. That journey has had plenty of ups and downs, but never did Rosa ever stop working his absolute hardest to get to where he is today. It is because of this journey that Rosa had such a strong response to Bermudez missing weight come fight night.
“I was emotional, I had to cut 3lbs that morning, I was in a sauna suit at 6 am” Charles Rosa told MyMMAnews. “Maybe that made me more frustrated, maybe not, I was pissed. Get your sh*t together and have some respect, have some discipline, I was up working my a** off that morning to be on weight, where were you. End of the day I got to hit him and take his money.”
Bermudez has had weight issues in his last four fights, and moving up to 145, he still couldn’t make weight. Rosa and his career have been built off of respect and discipline, so this is something he feels extremely strongly about. The fight camp for Rosa could not have gone better, a member of American Top Team, the home of fighters such as Jorge Masvidal, Colby Covington, Dustin Poirier and more elite members, Rosa has plenty of minds to bounce ideas off of. Covington who will be fighting for the belt at UFC 245, has had some interesting comments about teammates, and teammates such as Joanna Jedrzjczyk, Poirier and Masvidal have not held back on their own comments.
“I am friends with everyone at the gym. I don’t get involved really with all that” Charles Rosa told MyMMAnews. “It is interesting, a while ago I’d be playing cards with Masvidal and Colby in the hotel room, all talking about fighting and life, hate to see friendships squashed but they are both my friends, both separate relationships, both teach me a lot in the gym. It is what it is.”
Charles Rosa will continue to use American Top Team’s elite to grow as he will more likely than not soon be joining the ranks of the top 15 at the stacked 145 division. Although Yair Rodriguez may be at the top of the potential opponents list, Rosa admits anyone, anytime, just someone with a big name is what he wants most next. Anything to move him closer to the title, the same title that the POTN at Boston winner, Rosa, plans to leave on the desk of a doctor who told him to quit. Chip on the shoulder.