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UFC Vegas 19: Charles Rosa vs Darrick Minner Preview

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After a successful night in Vegas last weekend for UFC 258, once again we’re back at the Apex for another event this Saturday. The headlining event is between two heavyweights in the hunt for a title shot as Curtis Blaydes comes up against Derrick Lewis.

On the main card, we have two featherweights who are gunning for victory and are both desperate to find their first two-win streak in the UFC. It’s Charles Rosa vs Darrick Minner in possibly the biggest fight of their careers.

Charles Rosa

The American was unbeaten back in 2014, whilst fighting for the CES MMA promotion, holding a 9-0 record. Rosa was then snapped up by the UFC and his first fight came against Dennis Siver, who already had 17 fights to his name inside the UFC. So, it could be very easily said that straight away, Rosa was thrown into the deep end.

He was defeated by Siver due to a unanimous decision by the judges. It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Rosa though as he and Siver earned themselves a fight of the night bonus, which certainly earned Rosa some praise on his UFC debut.

In Rosa’s next fight he fought on the same card as Siver, who was headlining the event against “The Notorious” Conor McGregor. Rosa fought on the prelims against Sean Soriano. In the third round, he found a way to get his first win in the UFC by submitting Soriano with a D’Arce choke.

Since then, Rosa has had three more wins in the UFC against the likes of Kyle Bochniak, Manny Bermudez, and most recently Kevin Aguilar. Those three wins seem to be dampened though by the three losses he’s also had. After his win against Soriano, Rosa lost in a split decision to Yair Rodriguez. In his UFC career, Rosa has gone on a theme of winning one fight and losing the next.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JUNE 13: (R-L) Charles Rosa punches Kevin Aguilar in their lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on June 13, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Back in May 2020 at UFC 249, Rosa stepped up to face young prospect Bryce Mitchell AKA “Thug Nasty”. Mitchell was dominant in this fight, winning by unanimous decision. Rosa is known for his Jiu-Jitsu but simply couldn’t handle the takedowns from Mitchell. His submission defence was outstanding though, as somehow he stopped Mitchell from getting the sub in the three-round fight.

It’s been up and down the divisions for Rosa in his career, and after beating Aguilar in his last fight in a lightweight, he’s now opted to move back down to featherweight again, where he was defeated by Mitchell, with a win against Minner, it’s looking like he will be favoring this division.

Darrick Minner

Without a doubt, the biggest fight of Minner’s career is this weekend. The submission artist steps into the octagon for the 37th time, only his third in the UFC.

The 30-year-old started his professional MMA career in the promotion Disorderly Conduct back in 2012, as he was submitted in his first fight to Dominic Blanco. Minner has fought in DCS (Dynasty Combat Sports) for the majority of his career. He’s also featured in LFA (Legacy Fighting Alliance) four times, where it didn’t go to plan, as he lost all of his four fights in the promotion.

Minner now holds a 25-11 record, 22 of them wins have been submissions, which is a phenomenal number. He only started to get noticed in recent years, when he was on Dana White’s contender series season three back in 2019. Minner faced Herbert Burns, the brother of Gilbert. He was submitted by Burns in the first round due to a triangle armbar.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 19: (R-L) Darrick Minner secures a guillotine choke submission against TJ Laramie of Canada in their featherweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on September 19, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

It’s safe to say at this point, Minner’s chances of getting a UFC contract wasn’t looking likely. A huge attribute of Minner is his determination. A loss as big as the one against Burns can be hard to come back from, as his dreams of a UFC contract were potentially shattered. After losing to Burns, he fought again two months later and won. And repeat, two months later he fought again in DCS and won.

Dana saw something he liked in Minner, and at the start of 2020, he was awarded a contract. He’s known for stepping up to a challenge as you can see with the number of fights he has on his record. His first fight was on nine days notice. He stepped in for the injured Chas Skelly, to face Grant Dawson at UFC Fight Night 169.

A dream start for Minner was destroyed by Dawson after being submitted in the 2nd round of his UFC debut. A positive factor is, he took the fight on such short notice, he came into the fight a clear underdog and this was still just the start of his UFC career.

Seven months later, Minner was back in the octagon at UFC Fight Night 178 to face T.J Laramie. Finally, his dreams were achieved. Minner submitted Laramie with a guillotine choke inside the first round. A massive stepping stone for him, as it wouldn’t be great for any fighter to start with an 0-2 record in the UFC.

The Matchup

Rosa and Minner have 30 professional submissions combined between the two of them. They’re both Jiu-Jitsu artists and have fantastic ground-game. Rosa has never been submitted in his career, whilst Minner has been submitted eight times.

The approach from the fighters will more than likely go different ways. Rosa may look to stand up and fight Minner as he feels he has the advantage over him on the feet. Minner responded to Rosa’s prediction of “knocking him out in the first round” to our very own Ryan Truland in his interview with Minner. He laughed off the claim as he stated: “The fact that Rosa said he’s gonna knock me out in the first round is ridiculous”.

With Minner probably using his strengths and going for the takedown, Rosa stated his thoughts on that, “If that’s where he wants to take the fight, it’s on him,” Rosa told MMASucka. “I’m an MMA fighter, so that’s the way I fight. I find the opponent’s weakness and I capitalize on it. If I start landing punches, and I’m landing shots and he’s not able to defend himself, then you’d better believe I’m gonna knock his ass out and put him down with a shot. But if he starts shooting on these takedowns and I snap down a front headlock, he’s going to sleep for sure.”

As stated before, Rosa will use the stand-up to his advantage and look to stay on the feet to meet Minner’s weakness. Minner will look for the takedowns from the get-go, but we know Rosa has impressive takedown defence, so it’s not going to be an easy task.

Charles Rosa vs Darrick Minner Prediction

It’s a tough fight to predict, as on the ground these are a match made in heaven. Minner is going to come out of the blocks all guns blazing, looking for the takedown. Rosa’s submission defense in the fight against Mitchell was so impressive, it’s tough to see how Minner is going to achieve this. For me, the stand-up advantage of Rosa is what wins him this fight.

Charles Rosa vs Darrick Minner Prediction: Charles Rosa 2nd round TKO.


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