Another great night of fights awaits us this Friday as Bellator 243 takes place at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut. This fight card will be headlined by lightweight’s Michael Chandler and Benson Henderson. I had the pleasure of speaking to one of the athletes competing on the card, Dalton Rosta (2-0).
Dalton Rosta may need an introduction as of now, but give it a year or two and this man will be on the radar of all the title contenders. A hot prospect at just 24, Rosta looks to make another statement this Friday as he prepares to take on Mark Gardner.
Rosta dominated the amateur circuit going 7-0 with no opponent making it to the final bell. His professional career started under one of the biggest MMA organizations in the world and the Pennsylvania born fighter has sure delivered. After securing wins over Cody Vidal and Claude Wilcox in 2019, his 2020 season starts on Friday.
Mark Gardner (1-1), who fights out of The Academy in Portland, Maine, looks to rebound from his last loss which occurred in May of 2019. Gardner has been out of competitive action for some time now but the opportunity to make your Bellator debut doesn’t come around every day.
How has life been like for you in the midst of this current global pandemic? Have you been training throughout? Or did the grind start when you were approached to compete at Bellator 243?
Rosta – “Life has definitely been different, but I have been able to train still. They say when there’s a will, there’s a way. And that’s true. Definitely caused some adversity, but we overcame it, and found ways to get the necessary training that we needed.”
I believe this is the longest you’ve been away from MMA competition since the start of your amateur career in 2017. How has that feeling been like for you? Usually you’re an active competitor. Has it been nice to not have all your attention on fighting and then going into another camp and doing it all over again?
Rosta – “This is the longest I’ve been away from the game. I was slated to fight in May, but even that was a long layoff. I prefer being active because I progress faster and tighten up my game better when I am. Also, I prefer it just for the simple fact that I love fighting and competing.”
You’ve shown you quite clearly belong at the highest level; no opponent has ever managed to take you to the distance in your 7 amateur and 2 pro fights. Bellator’s LHW Division, is that where you see your future at? And with another statement over Gardner, how long do you think until we see you competing for world titles? Is there a timeline and goal you’ve set out for yourself?
Rosta – “No one will go the distance with me either. I pride myself on my work ethic and my finishing ability. And my finishing ability comes down to my attitude toward the fight. I don’t just want to win, I want to finish them. I’ve always been taught to not leave it in the hands of the judges/referees, and that is the best chance you’ll ever give yourself of winning. I carry that mentality into my training. When I’m sparring, running, and conditioning, I go balls to the wall from the start and tailor my training towards early finishes. I am making my debut at 185 for this fight and plan on staying here.”
Mark Gardner will be making his debut in Bellator. Some fighters tend to shell up and shy away when getting the opportunity to compete on the big stage. Is this something you feel you will be able to capitalize on?
Rosta – “Yes, it is one of many things I will capitalize on in this fight.”
I see on your Instagram you’ve recently been training with former UFC Bantamweight Champion Cody Garbrandt. How motivating and inspiring is that for somebody like yourself who’s just young and starting off your career? Did Cody give you any words of advice you will take into your bout?
Rosta – “It’s definitely inspiring because he achieved one of my goals already: becoming a world champion.”
Lastly, what can we expect to see from Dalton Rosta on the 7th?
Rosta – “You can expect a first-round knockout.”
Make sure to follow Dalton Rosta across his social media platforms linked below.
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