Karol Rosa is ready to change her MMA career on Saturday night in Columbus.
Rosa was victorious in her four first UFC fights. This culminated with a victory over Bethe Correia, the bantamweight champion. She sees the UFC Columbus match against Sara McMann, as an opportunity to get on the track for a title eliminator.
“I knew time would come for me to fight one of the best,” Rosa said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “Sara is a veteran, an Olympic champion in wrestling, and I’m very excited for this fight. It’s about time that I fight a top woman, who is very experienced. It will be the toughest fight of my career.”
McMann, like Correia, challenged for the UFC gold after racking up an undefeated MMA record. But she came up short in his championship attempt against Ronda Rousey, losing by knockout in a matter of seconds. Although she has had a few losses and wins since 2015,, her only defeat was by a competitor in the same division.
“I knew I was going to fight Sara at some point,” Rosa said. “She’s ranked No. 9,, which means that I will be the top -10 in the first half of the year. People will get to see me more and get worried because I’m coming to fight for the belt.
” When I am [in Las Vegas], and someone asks me about my next fight, I respond by saying Sara’s. They are right. People will get to know me more after this fight.
“She’s a wrestler, so she will try to take me down and work on the ground. She trades a little bit on the feet, has good boxing, but wrestling is her thing. Although I am ready to fight, I have to be able keep my head up. I also hold a black belt of jiu jitsu. Even though I haven’t showed it yet, only in the Joselyne [Edwards] fight, I’m ready to fight on the ground if we have to grapple.”
Rosa said she expects to put her name in the title conversation with a victory in Ohio. Amanda Nunes, the UFC featherweight queen, is expected to rematch Julianna Pena to attempt to regain the 135-pound gold in July or August, and the PRVT fighter wants to be on the same card so she can fulfil her dream and be a UFC champion in 2021.
“That’s my goal,” Rosa said. “I wanna perform well, I want to try for the knockout or the submission, and go for the title shot. After my March victory, I will fight in the middle part of this year. With another win, I will ask for the belt. With two more wins, the McMann and another one, I’m sure I can fight for the belt by the end of the year.”