[EXCLUSIVE] UFC 150′s Buddy Roberts: “I’m Fired Up For Saturday”
STUDIO MMA, RIVERSIDE, CA – UFC middleweight Buddy Roberts squares off against Yushin Okami this weekend at UFC 150: Henderson vs. Edgar (II). In his UFC debut, Roberts earned a unanimous decision victory over Caio Magalhaes at UFC on FX 3.
“I didn’t feel the jitters, it was time for the big show,” Roberts told StudioMMA.com. “I wanted to show my skills and go out there and have fun. You can see that in my last fight.”
Roberts was originally expected to fight Chris Camozzi, while Yushin Okami was scheduled to take on Rousimar Palhares at UFC 150. However, after both Camozzi and Palhares were forced off the card due to injury, UFC match maker Joe Silva put together the new match-up.
In Buddy’s Octagon debut, he was facing another newcomer in Magalhaes. Facing Okami — a former title challenger — is a big step up in competition.
“I am super excited. I got fired up when I got the fight…”
“It’s a great opportunity for me. I’m on the main card and fighting one of the top guys in my division. Yushin is a tough guy, coming off two losses, which makes him motivated to win and go back to the winning streak.”
In preparation for the bout, Roberts has been sparring with top-caliber partners.
“I have southpaw guys in the gym, and I have worked with Jon Jones and many others.”
“You are sparring with light heavyweight champ in the UFC, you do well against him and hold your own. It definitely helps your confidence.”
With UFC 150 taking place in the “Mile-High City”, Roberts feels he has the advantage.
“The elevation gives me upper hand to fight in Denver. I feel like I’m the better athlete, and I have to use all my skills to beat him.”
Roberts believes that big things are in store if he gets past [Okami].
“It will put me up there. I’m not sure where, exactly, but I am excited for the opportunities that will come.”
Robert fights out of Jackson’s MMA in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His teammate, Diego Sanchez – a legendary brawler – recently publicly criticized his camp for employing lackluster gameplans. But Roberts put the onus on the fighter, not the coach.
“We have so many different fighters out there with different styles that make us unique. Greg Jackson does the game plan and it’s up to the fighter to execute the game plan to win, not just to survive. So sometimes you have a rough night and sometimes you have a great night. You know Diego is Diego; he always put on great fights. It’s up to each fighter.”
(Photo via UFC.com)